“The Cabrini Brighton Wig Room is a great initiative run by Cabrini volunteers to provide wigs to cancer patients experiencing hair loss all across the South East of Melbourne”
Rosie Creswell’s connection to Cabrini is a special one spanning close to 50 years.
Rosie’s first experience with Cabrini was when she worked as a nurse at Cabrini Malvern in the early 1960s. After that she was involved in starting an in-home nursing agency was and has always been passionate about providing a high level of nursing care while still keeping patients in comfortable and familiar surroundings.
Years later Rosie brought her daughter to Cabrini with a melanoma on her leg.
“It was very frightening” Rosie said.
“At first we thought that part of her leg would need to be amputated, but luckily the melanoma was removed without my daughter needing to lose her leg”.
Rosie’s gratitude for her daughter’s care reignited her passion for Cabrini and led to her interest in Cabrini’s oncology care.
It prompted her to volunteer at Cabrini Day Oncology and was a way for her to connect with patients and contribute to the warm and supportive service. Rosie would sit with patients undergoing infusions and other therapies and be a welcome comfort for them, assisting them and listening to them.
“Patients tended to talk to me about things they couldn’t share with their family or friends, she said.
“Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger”.
Rosie loved volunteering so much that she also gave her time to support patients at Mercy Hospital. She organised major collections of medical and theatre hospital supplies and equipment from Victorian hospitals and donated them to hospitals in Thailand and Laos. Rosie also volunteered organising free legal aid at the Kew and Hawthorn Citizens Advise Bureau and acted as the Girl Guide Commissioner at the Kew and Hawthorn Girl Guides.
Rosie had been volunteering at Cabrini for fifteen years when, on New Year’s Eve in 2019, she was preparing to leave the house for a volunteering shift and suffered a stroke. The paramedic that came to her aid happened to be the husband of a Cabrini patient Rosie had cared for a few years earlier.
Rosie recovered from the stroke but decided to wind up her volunteering and focus on sharing her warmth and engaging nature with her grandchildren.
“They keep me young,” she said.
Earlier this year Rosie’s dedication to voluntary services was recognised when she was honoured with the Melbourne Rotary Award for Community Services as part of the Melbourne Rotary centenary. The award included a plaque designed and sculpted by Michael Mezaros and a $10,000 donation toward the recipient’s charity of choice.
Rosie didn’t hesitate to direct the donation from The Melbourne Rotary Club to care for Cabrini patients.
“The Cabrini Brighton Wig Room is a great initiative run by Cabrini volunteers to provide wigs to cancer patients experiencing hair loss all across the South East of Melbourne,” Rosie said.
“I chose to give the $10,000 to that service because it provides comfort, dignity and courage to those patients – hair loss can be quite devastating and it’s already a difficult and stressful time, so this can really help lift their spirits”.
Cabrini Foundation Major Donor Manager, Catherine McElhone, was delighted to accept the donation on behalf of Cabrini Foundation.
“Rosie is a wonderful, kind woman who has made such an impact through her many years of community service to many organisations, and we are humbled that she has chosen to direct her $10,000 towards Cabrini’s volunteer run Brighton Wig Room service,”Catherine said.
“It’s people like Rosie that make Cabrini the wonderful place it is, and we are so glad that she is part of our community”.
To donate towards Cabrini’s many services call 03 9508 1380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org