HONOURED: Jane Montgomery-Hribar is a cancer patient and also received an OAM.
HONOURED: Jane Montgomery-Hribar is a cancer patient and also received an OAM. Warren Lynam

Centre deserves a medal

SHE had a high-flying career and recently received an Officer of the Order of Australia medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours, but for Jane Montgomery-Hribar a local oasis for cancer care has been her "saving grace”.

Mrs Montgomery-Hribar has terminal cancer, and now as she undergoes treatment for her third bout of the disease, she said it was the staff at Bloomhill Cancer Care in Buderim who deserved a medal.

"You go into Bloomhill and its like walking into this amazing, caring, warm support bubble,” she said.

"The angels that are cleverly disguised as human beings that run that centre, they deserve a medal.

"Compassion flows though place. It's built on a foundation of solid caring, compassion and professionalism.”

Bloomhill is a centre for integrated cancer care, that enhances the quality of life for people living with and beyond cancer.

Mrs Montgomery-Hribar and her husband, Andrew, moved to Doonan in 2016 when her cancer returned, and she retired, and she said she wished more centres like Bloomhill existed around the country.

"For someone like me with stage 4 cancer, there's no cure. There's treatment but there's no cure. What is important is quality of life for people like me,” she said.

Mrs Montgomery-Hribar has regular oncology massage and weekly acupuncture at Bloomhill and said she notices a huge difference in how she feels if she misses a session.

"I have no doubt in my mind both those treatments have dramatically improved my quality of life, together and in conjunction with mainstream medicine, including chemo and blood transfusions and all the other stuff,” she said.

And there are services available to help the often-forgotten carers too.

"Their needs are in many ways greater than ours. My husband and family are suffering much more than I am,” she said.

Mrs Montgomery-Hribar would like to see more centres like Bloomhill opened across the country.

"Cancer like a lot of chronic illnesses, is not just one thing; there's a lot of elements associated with it,” she said.

"I'd love to see a holistic treatment unit attached to the cancer areas in major hospitals. It not only saves lives, it enhances and gives greater quality of life.”

Bloomhill is a Sunshine Coast-based charity, that receives no government funding, and relies on events, donations, bequests, sales from 11 op shops across the region and stallholder fees at the Cotton Tree Markets to fund the free and subsidised services it offers at its centre in Buderim.

Mrs Montgomery-Hribrar was awarded the OAM for her "distinguished service to the building and construction sector, particularly in the areas of project procurement and industry standards, through executive roles, and as a mentor of women”.