A COMMUNITY vision is just steps away from becoming a reality, with construction of the Wimmera Cancer Centre close to finished.
The centre in Horsham will provide cancer treatment, dialysis and community palliative care.
Construction for the centre on the corner of Robinson and Arnott streets started in January after a community fundraising campaign – Rachael’s Wish – notched more than $1.6 million.
More than 900 individuals and organisations have contributed to the appeal.
The state and federal governments provided a combined $3.6 million for the cancer centre.
Wimmera Health Care Group chief executive Catherine Morley said it was amazing to see the centre nearly finished.
“It really is very exciting – it’s looking really good,” she said.
“Locks Constructions have done a great job, as has everyone involved.
“Carmel O’Kane – who is currently our nurse practitioner – has just been appointed as the new nurse unit manager, which is very exciting.
“Everyone is working feverishly to make sure everything is in place and will work brilliantly.
“We’ll get the handover in early December, but we’ll then spend time commissioning the centre to make sure everything is perfect.
“We want to make sure the services are right to go, the garden is finished and that all the donor names are displayed.
“We expect the centre will be fully operational in February.”
Ms Morley said there would be opportunities for the public to visit the centre when it was finished.
“We’re planning to have days for the community where people can have a look around,” she said.
“Hopefully we'll have them over a few weekends. We want to be able to thank the organisations and individuals who have contributed to this.
“We are so grateful to those who donated significant funds and the community members who have given us their last $5 to make a difference to this project.”
Ms Morley said everyone involved was most excited for the patients who would use the centre.
“It’s a beautiful space,” she said. “We hope it can make their treatment time a little it more bearable – that's what this project was all about.”