When mother of one Francesca was diagnosed with breast cancer her first concern was for the welfare of her young family as she faced commuting from their hometown of Ceduna to Adelaide for treatment.

Thankfully The Hospital Research Foundation’s Under Our Roof project was there to be a haven for Francesca and her family.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December last year. I’ve been through six months of chemotherapy and part of my treatment was coming down to Adelaide for two weeks,” Francesca said.

“I heard about the Under Our Roof homes through my local doctor in Ceduna, so I found a brochure and this is where I’ve ended up. It’s been a lifesaver.”

Staying in Mercer House gave Francesca the opportunity to have her husband, mother and beautiful two-year-old daughter close by as she recovered from her treatment.

“Being around my family was so important to me. Having my husband and mum here has been what’s kept me positive. It’s allowed me to keep that sense of normality and routine as if I was still at home,” she said.

Francesca and her loving mum couldn’t be more thrilled with the nurturing and comfortable environment the Under Our Roof homes provide for families like theirs.

“I was blown away walking into this house,” Francesca said.

“Every room in the house has beautiful light coming into it that just makes you feel instantly better, that’s what this house offers,” Francesca’s mum Johanna added.

“Knowing my family was safe here while I went to hospital meant I could focus on me and I knew that they would be okay. It’s given me the opportunity to get more time with my little girl, and for me that’s been such a positive experience,” Francesca said.

Seeing the positivity Francesca exudes during a difficult time highlights how special this project is, made possible thanks to the dedicated riders and support crew involved in Mercer SuperCycle as well as an array of generous individuals and local businesses that have supported this vital community project.

“I’m very grateful to everybody involved who have created this space for families like my own,” Francesca said.

“It’s a challenging time – but having a place to stay has alleviated so much financial worry for us.

“What everyone involved has provided us is stability and a sense of normality in a place that feels like home.

“Thank you to everyone who made this possible and who donated along the way. You may not see the rewards, but it’s huge for us,” Johanna said.

“It’s a joy, and that’s what you’ve been able to give people going through a hard time.”

For THRF it’s a privilege to be able to provide a refuge for special people like Francesca and her family through Under Our Roof.

There are so many ways you can support the Under Our Roof program, hop on a bike and join Mercer SuperCycle 2017 or donate to support the next Under Our Roof project. If you are a patient and would like further information about the homes please click here.


find out more about Under Our Roof

New family home for country cancer patients

Patients undergoing cancer treatment and their families will soon have a new home-away-from-home in Bowden, Adelaide thanks to The Hospital Research Foundation’s (THRF) latest Under Our Roof project and Mercer SuperCycle. read more

Riding to Support Country Cancer Patients – Eric’s Motivation

Eric Young is one of 50 SuperCyclists who is riding 1000km over seven days across rural South Australia to raise vital funds for The Hospital Research Foundation’s Under Our Roof project, providing accommodation for country cancer patients and their families who need to travel to Adelaide for treatment. read more

A Place of Healing

Separated from her loving husband and three beautiful children while braving treatment for breast cancer, Karla O’Neill from Whyalla found comfort in a house to call home - The Hospital Research Foundation’s Under Our Roof Project. read more

The Ride of A Lifetime

It was a record year for Mercer SuperCycle 2016 with 69 cyclists and 22 support crew participating in a cycling challenge across some of the most stunning parts of rural South Australia. read more