Helping with chemo treatment

Demonstrating one of three new tablets, loaded with new cancer survivor magazine In It Together,...
Demonstrating one of three new tablets, loaded with new cancer survivor magazine In It Together, donated to the Clutha Health First chemo unit yesterday are (from left) magazine creators Emma Kelly, Anna Townsend, and Beckie Baird, all of Dunedin, and facility team leader district/chemo Helen Keen. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
Experiences as a cancer patient in 2016 have inspired a Dunedin businesswoman to make a creative donation to Clutha Health First (CHF), in Balclutha.

Through her company, Unifone director Beckie Baird made the donation of three tablets and accompanying Wi-Fi worth $2500 to the facility's chemo treatment room yesterday morning, with husband and managing director Travis.

The internet-enabled tablets, which can be used by those undergoing chemo treatment at the South Otago facility, will also come pre-loaded with a new cancer survivor magazine, created by Mrs Baird and collaborators, called In It Together.

The magazine drew on her and fellow cancer survivors Emma Kelly and Anna Townsend's experiences undergoing treatment in Dunedin Hospital's chemo facility two years ago.

The three women befriended one another during treatment, and were inspired to create something to help other patients, Mrs Baird said.

"While I was being treated [for Hodgkin's lymphoma], I was thinking of ways to make the waiting more interesting. First we came up with the idea of individual tablets for entertainment, then the magazine - everyone has a unique story to tell."

If the South Otago "test run" proved successful, Unifone hoped to roll out tablets for other SDHB chemo facilities, starting with Dunedin.

CHF team leader district/chemo Helen Keen called the tablets a welcome innovation.

"Because the units are curtained off, TV didn't really work. So this will allow patients to distract and entertain themselves during what can sometimes be long and quite boring treatment."

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