To mark the end of each patient’s final radiation therapy at Tamworth Hospital’s North West Cancer Centre (NWCC), each person is handed an engraved guitar pick to keep — and a very special guitar to strum.
This signifies an important cancer journey milestone.
The guitar was donated and autographed by Troy Cassar-Daley, who’s not only a country music legend but a big supporter of the hospital.
Troy has made many informal appearances throughout the years. He visits to sing and to ensure the guitar is tuned. It’s a wonderful boost for our patients, carers and family members whilst they attend the centre for treatment.
In fact, the machine that delivers the radiation therapy is nicknamed Troy.
The tuning of the guitar is a very important ritual as it must be tuned to a D major chord with a suspended 2nd. The hospital even has a ceremonial guitar tuning policy.
When it’s not in use, the guitar forms an artwork entitled Tamworth Fanfare. It’s held and mounted inside a glass case on the wall outside the radiation bunker where patients undergo their treatment. Patients can view it as they sit in the radiation therapy waiting room, acting as a sign of hope.
Since opening its doors in July 2013, 1400 patients have completed radiation therapy at NWCC.
The guitar theme, given Troy’s connection to Tamworth and his contributions to the broader Australian community, fits perfectly with our Tamworth region community values and culture.
We'd like to thank Cheapa Music for donating the glass guitar case and the Willis family for donating the guitar picks.