That Little Bit Extra

When you meet Rebecca Pahl you can’t help but smile. Walking with her at the Children’s Cancer Centre at Monash Children’s Hospital, parents nod and children wave enthusiastically and shout ‘Hi’. 

The Foundation funds Rebecca’s position; in fact the Foundation created and funded this role way back in 2007. 

As the Family Resource Coordinator, Rebecca is the go-to person for practical and emotional support across the inpatient, day oncology and outpatient wards. 

“I am trying to make hospital a bit more fun, so that when families go home after their treatment, they think that it wasn’t bad all the time,” Rebecca said.

A parent can spend up to 10 hours a day in the Children’s Cancer Centre with their child. They watch TV, read magazines (for the umpteenth time) and comfort and chat with their child. Just waiting.

“I spend a lot of time talking to parents,” Rebecca said. “It’s often about everyday stuff. They can’t go to their mum’s groups or work fulltime because their child is just too sick. They just want to have a normal chat with an adult.”

Ask any hospital worker about a typical day on the ward and most would say that ‘no two days are ever the same’. This is certainly true for Rebecca.

“I love spending time with the kids and seeing them light up. The other day I sat with a patient who is not doing great, and we just sat there colouring together. And she turns to me and says with the biggest smile ‘I am having so much fun’. She was so excited and said ‘This is the best day. Normally I come to hospital and it’s bad, but this is fun.’ To me it’s colouring in, but to her it made a really big difference.”

We greatly admire the hospital staff like Rebecca who fight the battles and make the effort so that children going through treatment have access to the best possible care and support.

Rebecca Pahl with a patient at Monash Children's Hospital