JO Holding wondered whether she’d stepped into the right house when she saw her transformed Two Rocks bed-and-breakfast for the first time.
It has now opened as Genesis CancerCare Lodge for rural patients needing accommodation while they undergo treatment at the Joondalup facility.
Ms Holding, the Two Rocks-Yanchep Assisted Cancer Travels (TRYACT) co-founder, told the Times earlier this year she had felt driven to help when she heard that cancer sufferers who were unable to pay out-of-pocket accommodation costs were sleeping in their cars or stopping their treatment.
She said there had been a shortage of “appropriate” accommodation for country cancer patients, with none in Perth’s far northern suburbs.
Average radiation therapy treatments can mean that patients are away from home for between four and six weeks.
The lodge offers four private rooms for people eligible for the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS) allowance for adult cancer patients who live more than 100km from a treatment facility.
Genesis CancerCare WA general manager Michael Davis said the organisation was happy to support the venture when Ms Holding approached him with her idea and offered her home.
“With a focus on rapid access to cancer care for all patients, Jo’s vision reflects our own,” he said.
Mr Davis said the generosity of the community had been overwhelming, with about 60 businesses and volunteers involved in the refurbishment.
“Clarkson Nissan also donated a vehicle, enabling Jo and her team of volunteer drivers to provide a complimentary shuttle service between the Lodge, Genesis CancerCare at Shenton House and Perth airport,” he said.
A sausage sizzle, ice-cream van and coffee cart were on site at the October 25 opening, with proceeds from the day given to Camp Quality and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
People were also able to meet the team behind the revamp, House Rules 2015 WA contestants Brian and Karina Day.
Ms Holding said she had been sent away while works were completed and had been amazed to see what they had achieved on her return.
“I thought I’d gone in the wrong house,” Ms Holding said.
“I was just ‘wowing’ the whole time I went in every room because I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I just got my wish.
“The first people that came in (to stay) are just amazed at what they were getting because they don’t have to pay any extra for it… he reckons it’s a six-star hotel.”
For more information and reservations, call 1300 977 062, email genesiscancercarelodge.com.au or visit here.