A wonderful night was held on Saturday 20 May by Can Assist – it was the occasion of the Gail O’Brien dinner.
The event was well-attended with 100 people from Harden and surrounding towns coming to hear Gail speak. Gail O’Brien was the wife of Dr. Chris O’Brien of Lifehouse. Gail’s talk was inspiring and had the guests mesmerised with what she had to say. She talked about how her husband fought to save many patients before he contracted his cancer, even when he knew his eventual outcome.
Gail had the audience enthralled as she bravely spoke about her family’s experience of dealing with cancer. At times she brought the audience to tears, especially when she spoke about losing her son Adam at 27 after an epileptic seizure and then to have her daughter Juliette also diagnosed.
Juliette has written a book entitled, ‘This is Gail’. In her gentle and quiet way she spoke about drawing on one’s inner resources and faith to survive the loss of her husband and son. Chris was given only 6-8 months, but fought on for two and a half years.
Chris worked to form a board to establish a hospital that would treat cancer patients in the same place for all of their treatments, e.g. surgery and chemo. Patients would not have to go elsewhere and so the Lifehouse has come to fruition with help and support from the board and Gail. Situated near RPA in Camperdown, Gail continues to be involved in Chris’s legacy, Lifehouse.
Entertainment was provided by Greg Jamieson and Geraldine Ryan (musical items) and Robyn Sykes (poetry) was very popular with the guests. The door prize was won by Annie Jacobs and the raffle by Peter O’Connor.
Thank you to all who contributed to making this special event memorable and thank you to Gail for inspiring us. Special thanks to Coopers Butchery, Harden Motel, Radio 2LF, Ron Spellman, Twin Town Times and Hilltops Council.
You will never walk alone.
Pictured: President of Can Assist Monica O’ Connor with Gail O’Brien.