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Adem's mum is new hospital's first cancer patient

HER son Adem died from cancer, but Lu Crosby has beat it.

Now she'll be the first member of the public to have an appointment at the new cancer centre named after Adem.

As the Sunshine Coast University Hospital opens the Adem Crosby Centre to the public today, Lu Crosby is having a check-up, after being cleared of cancer more than a year ago.

Her son Adem had been studying his first week of oncology nursing - his dream career - when doctors told him his illness was terminal.

He died at age 19 in 2013, after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2011.

Mrs Crosby said her own diagnosis with breast cancer had come as a shock, but after receiving surgery and "exceptional" treatment at Nambour General Hospital she was now in remission.

"I've been clear since my surgery," she said.

"My doc said, 'you had it, then surgery got it, and then we give you chemo and radiotherapy just to make sure'.

"Now I just go for check-ups."

INSPIRED: Lu and Brent Crosby at the Adem Crosby Centre named in honour of their son Adem. The centre opened at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital yesterday and Lu was its first patient.
INSPIRED: Lu and Brent Crosby at the Adem Crosby Centre named in honour of their son Adem. The centre opened at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital yesterday and Lu was its first patient. John McCutcheon

Women with breast cancer can now access radiotherapy at the Adem Crosby Centre, where Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service staff are now based.   

"What I really want...is to inspire people who are diagnosed in the future to not feel like a cancer diagnosis is the end of their world," Mrs Crosby said.   

"For many it is a little hiccup that they've just got to get through.   

"It's unfortunate to be diagnosed with any illness - cancer being up there as the worst, but once you've accepted it, you've just got to do the best you can.   

"Adem inspired me to keep strong and now he's going to inspire so many future patients walking through here.   

"Once they hear his story they'll get strength from him - that's what we hope."  

 

Lu Crosby, mother of Adem Crosby, is the first patient to be treated in the state-of-the-art cancer care centre that bears her son's name at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Lu's consultation and treatment marks the commencement of outpatient services at SCUH, as part of the new hospital's staged opening process. Brent and Lu Crosby.
Lu Crosby, mother of Adem Crosby, is the first patient to be treated in the state-of-the-art cancer care centre that bears her son's name at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Lu's consultation and treatment marks the commencement of outpatient services at SCUH, as part of the new hospital's staged opening process. Brent and Lu Crosby. Patrick Woods

Adem inspired the creation of cancer support and awareness group Team Adem, which his parents actively manage.

The central Sunshine Coast location of Birtinya saves many families from having to move to Brisbane to support their loved ones as they undergo treatment, Mrs Crosby said.

"It's amazing walking through the doors of the Adem Crosby Centre, knowing this fully comprehensive cancer care unit on the Sunshine Coast will now enable residents to access world-class treatment for their cancers or blood disorders in a facility that allows them to not travel to cities," she said.

The Crosbys had to move from their Buderim home to Brisbane to support Adem, but other families could now avoid that upheaval, she said.

"Now a lot of families will still be able to live in their homes and support their loved ones a lot easier.

"The children can still go to their local schools."

 

Adem had referred to nursing staff at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, where he also received treatment, as his "second family" and the bond he shared with Nambour staff was also close, Mrs Crosby said.

"I happened to know many of those nurses - they treated my son - and I was just enveloped by care and top quality treatment and it really was amazing," she said.

"Being a patient of public health at Nambour, I received the best treatment and I'm doing really well, and here I am now, talking about my son's wonderful centre."

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service oncology staff had been part of the decision to remove the word cancer from the centre's name.

 

Brent and Lu Crosby of Team Adem gained a national blood donation award for their efforts in 2016. Photo: Che Chapman / Sunshine Coast Daily
Brent and Lu Crosby of Team Adem gained a national blood donation award for their efforts in 2016. Photo: Che Chapman / Sunshine Coast Daily Che Chapman

Now it was a centre for hope and inspiration, Mrs Crosby and her husband Brent agreed.

"It takes away of a little bit of fear," she said.

"Not everyone coming through will have received a diagnosis of cancer. It won't be as frightening and intimidating."

Mrs Crosby said her appointment with her doctor today had been positive - she's still in the clear, with her next check-up due in six months.

Adem Crosby Centre key features

An integral component in the $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital at Birtinya, it will provide:

  • Every patient bedroom has a window, providing access to natural light and views
  • Services include cancer care, medical oncology, radiation oncology and chemotherapy as well ashaematology and acute specialised inpatient services
  • Significant new technology and equipment
  • Clear 'wayfinding' - the use of art and lighting provides a calming atmosphere for patients
  • The region's first publicly delivered radiation oncology service: two linear accelerators worth about $5.6 million in total will be used deliver radiotherapy to patients with cancer
  • The radiation oncology service has the capacity to eventually expand to four linear accelerators, which will treat more than 650 patients with 13,000 treatments in the first year of operation.    .
  • Included in the Adem Crosby Centre is a dedicated CT scanner for radiation therapy planning.

Topics:  adem crosby birtinya cancer cancer centre general-seniors-news scuh sunshine coast university hospital


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