A Touch Of Sunshine On A Rainy Day

Merridy Justice’s nurturing and compassionate spirit is a welcome relief to families at the Children’s Cancer Centre Kookaburra ward and Day Oncology Unit. 

As the Family Resource Coordinator, Merridy’s role ensures that patients, families and staff are supported both practically and emotionally on a day-to-day basis. She makes it possible for children and families to stay connected with the outside world, while helping to relieve some of the stresses associated with cancer treatment and long hospital stays. 

“It makes a big difference to the parents and to the kids to be able inject some normality into their lives. It’s the small gestures that count – having a well-stocked kitchen, giving a hug, smile or some words of encouragement – that make hospital stays much easier for families, especially the unplanned ones,” Merridy says. 

Merridy is a ‘non-medical’ friend to laugh with and talk to, a shoulder to cry on during a dark day, or to help navigate the world of cancer treatment. Parents and patients describe her as “sunshine on a rainy day” and someone who “makes the ward a safe, fun and happy place.” 

The Foundation has funded Merridy’s salary since 2006, one of the many positions funded by the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

Merridy received overwhelming support and congratulations on marking her tenth year anniversary at the Children’s Cancer Centre, a testament to the incredible work she does that makes her an integral resource to patients and their families. 

As one parent tells us, “I’ve cried so many tears in the kitchen of Kookaburra and Merridy has always consoled me and makes everything feel better. Life without her in Kookaburra would not be the same, she is such an asset! A beautiful, caring, considerate lady.”

It is this care and commitment from staff, like Merridy, that makes hospital a little brighter. Her genuine warmth, humour and kindness puts a smile on everyone’s face, at even the toughest times. 

“It’s an absolute joy to be at the service of children and their families of the Children’s Cancer Centre, and help lighten their day,” says Merridy. “I love my work and am so grateful to the Children’s Cancer Foundation.”

Stacey with Family Resource Coordinator, Merridy