When Jorja Romein's mother tearfully approached her with news the sixth person in her chemotherapy group had died, she embarked on a two-month mission to raise funds for the ward.
It was just days after Warrnambool resident Jorja's 17th birthday when she found out her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was admitted to Portland District Health for chemotherapy.
"It definitely wasn't the best thing," she said.
"She was diagnosed in 2018 and she went underwent chemo for about a year.
"Thankfully she's been cancer-free for two years now.
"But two months ago I found out everyone my mum went through chemotherapy with, only her and her best friend survived. Out of eight of them, six had passed away.
"Mum told me because she was a bit upset and I asked her what was going on and she said another person from her chemotherapy group had passed away.
"From that point onwards I thought I really wanted to get something done - it had been in the back of my mind for ages and as soon as she said another one had passed away, I had to do something. I wanted to give back to the nurses."
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Over two months, Jorja reached out to the community and partnered with local businesses to raise $4000 for PDH.
She said she just wanted to bring some joy back to both patients and nurses during what was a "very difficult time".
"I wanted to give them something that would help bring joy to them because they're stuck in their rooms all the time looking after sick patients," Jorja said.
"I thought doing the raffle would help them feel so much better because they wouldn't have to walk into the room and see the machines all day, they'd be able to change it in a way to make them and patients feel more comfortable."
She said ward staff were "astonished" with her secret efforts.
"They were astonished with everything I gave to them including $4000," Jorja said.
"They also got a quilt made by a woman who had gone through breast cancer - she donated that for us and said she wanted the chemo ward to have it in case anyone got cold so they could feel warmth and happiness.
"There were knitted clothes as well as stuffed teddy bears for any children going through chemo. A lot was given to them and they were very happy.
"A lot of people donated and when I sent out tickets, overnight I sold over $1000 worth. A lot of people got around it and shared it and everything which I'm thankful for."
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