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The power of community

This week has seen an amazing demonstration of the power of community to create change.

A news article about the lack of a dedicated family room for oncology parents in the new Perth Children’s Hospital sparked outrage from affected families, and in response Communified (Inc) founder Rhiannon set up a petition at change.org asking Dr Kim Hames, WA Minister for Health, to reconsider.

Within 24 hours, the petition had received over 4000 signatures, and in the course of the following days the numbers skyrocketed to almost 50,000.

The petition began to attract media attention, with another news story highlighting the issue once again. The same evening, Rhiannon was interviewed live on radio by 6PR.

Several parents of children currently being treated in the cancer ward spoke to journalists and to the Shadow Minister for Health, Roger Cook, who invited those concerned to attend Parliament the following week for a grievance debate.

However, that proved unnecessary as that weekend, only 6 days after the petition was started, the Sunday Times broke the news that Dr Hames had taken the decision to allocate a dedicated parents’ room for oncology patients as requested.

While it remains to be seen exactly where the new room will be or what it will include, the families of Perth’s cancer kids are optimistic that their requirements will now be given all reasonable consideration.

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