News

Bob's a passionate fundraiser 18/10/2018

BOB Ison looks like a big tough, scarey bikie dude. But underneath the leather jacket there’s a passionate fundraiser.
Bob and his wife Peta are taking part in the 17th annual Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster this weekend.
And for the first time, they are being joined by their son Neal, his wife and two children – making it three generations of Ison’s to fundraise together.
They have been taking part in the fundraising motorcycle ride since 2009 and have only missed one year in that time. “I started off with a Harley custom sporty and then I had my Fatboy but now I’ve got a Roadking. We’ve only got five motorbikes between us,” Mr Ison said.
“What I really like about the Muster is the camaraderie and that you meet different people from all walks of life. And fundraising for the hospital is pretty important. I enjoy doing something for the community and knowing that we are helping people close to us,” Mr Ison said.
This year’s Muster is fundraising for EEG equipment at Cairns Hospital and will head to Undara Lava Tubes this weekend. Cairns Hospital Neurologist Dr Ian Wilson said the latest EEG imaging equipment would provide substantially improved high resolution cameras, screens and software with the latest recording technology available.
 “The EEG equipment is used to monitor people with epilepsy and other brain conditions in our clinics, but also in Emergency and ICU to assess brain activity in unconscious patients, including after traumatic brain injury,” Dr Wilson said.
“Patients having repeated, unexplained events may undergo day-long (sometimes over several days) EEG testing to ‘catch’ the event and determine if the brain activity changes and is abnormal during the event, while others simply have a “snapshot” 30 minute recording of brain wave activity,” he said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said it was hoped to buy two EEG’s at a total cost of $70,000. “There is a lot of excitement among the riders about this trip,” Mr Franz said.
Himself a participant, Mr Franz said the ride had not been to Undara for several years, and it was sure to be a fun and enjoyable weekend. “The people who take part in this event do so for the right reasons – because they are passionate about supporting health services in this region,” Mr Franz said. So far about 43 people are registered to take part.
The Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster will head to Undara Lava Tubes October 20-21. All vehicles and motorcycles are welcome to take part. Visit HERE to donate.

 

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Patient urges participation 5/10/2018

EMILY Edward is a young lady very accepting of her epilepsy, but she is also very passionate about her doctors having the best equipment.
The 16-year-old was diagnosed with the condition last year when she started having hand jerking movements, despite experiencing “absence seizures” since she was 10 or 11.
“I was diagnosed in Perth and we moved here and the doctors here have been wonderful,” Miss Edward said. “They’ve been trying to get my medication right but it’s a matter of trying different medications to find the right medication and the right dose for my body,” she said. “I did notice a difference in the equipment from Perth to Cairns and that’s why I think everyone should support the Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster this year,” she said.
This year’s Muster, in its 17th year, is fundraising for EEG equipment at Cairns Hospital and will head to Undara Lava Tubes this month (October 20-21). Cairns Hospital Neurologist Dr Ian Wilson said the latest EEG imaging equipment would provide substantially improved high resolution cameras, screens and software with the latest recording technology available. “Emily will need EEG monitoring about every 6-12 months or whenever her epilepsy is not well controlled. The EEG tells us if she has developed a different type of epilepsy and if Emily needs her medication altered again. This can happen as the brain continues to develop into adulthood,” Dr Wilson said.
Approximately 5% of people with epilepsy have Absence seizure and 10-15% of children will develop other seizure types in adolescence, generalised tonic-clonic and/or myoclonic seizures.
 “The EEG equipment is used to monitor people with epilepsy and other brain conditions in our clinics, but also in Emergency and ICU to assess brain activity in unconscious patients, including after traumatic brain injury,” Dr Wilson said. “Patients having repeated, unexplained events may undergo day-long (sometimes over several days) EEG testing to ‘catch’ the event and determine if the brain activity changes and is abnormal during the event, while others simply have a “snapshot” 30 minute recording of brain wave activity,” he said.
Heart-breakingly, babies and small children are among their patients – some of whom have genetically acquired conditions that impact on the brain’s development and cause severe seizures.  Diagnosing and treating the seizures early is important to prevent further brain injury and give the child the best chance of recovery.   The equipment also will be a vital tool in future research projects.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said it was hoped to buy two EEG’s at a total cost of $70,000. “This year the Muster is heading out to Undara on the weekend of October 20-21, and there is a lot of excitement among the riders about this trip,” Mr Franz said. Himself a participant, Mr Franz said the ride had not been to Undara for several years, and it was sure to be a fun and enjoyable weekend. “The people who take part in this event do so for the right reasons – because they are passionate about supporting health services in this region,” Mr Franz said.
The Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster will head to Undara Lava Tubes October 20-21. All vehicles and motorcycles are welcome to take part. Visit HERE.

 

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Cyclists share heartfelt passion 21/09/2018

Twenty-three years separate them, but the similarities between avid long-distance cyclists Pete McNally and Jeremy Scott, are astounding.
Mr McNally instigated the Cardiac Challenge 12 years ago because of his experiences seeking and receiving treatment locally for his long-term congenital heart problems. He had open heart surgery age 53 for a hole in the heart, a surgery they did not routinely undertake in the 1950’s, whereas New Zealand -born Mr Scott had his surgery for hole in the aortic valve as a toddler.  
Mr Scott is famous for riding 52,000km around the world and wrote the book “The Long Road From A Broken Heart” and this year is riding the Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge with Mr McNally.
Visiting the region as part of a public speaking tour, Mr Scott came across some participants in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge at a local Rotary meeting in 2017.
As a toddler, he had a huge hole in his aorta valve that denied him the chance to live the life of a normal child. At four years of age, he underwent open heart surgery at the hands of renowned surgeon Sir Brian Barratt-Boyes. Thirty-four years later, with very little experience or training, he began his 2.5 year bicycle ride that resulted in him riding through 29 countries from the UK to New Zealand.
Mr Scott, a recipient of the Australian Heart Foundation’s Heart Hero Award, said he was blown away by the efforts of Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge participants in its 12 years raising funds for better cardiac care locally.
“There are so many synergies between what I have done and what the people organising and fundraising in this event, do,” Mr Scott said. “I would strongly urge anyone with a family member or loved one with heart issues, to get behind these fundraisers and help them achieve their goals,” he said.
The hole in Mr McNally’s heart was repaired with a bovine patch but he has since gone on to undergo further cardiac treatment for arrhythmia. With both interventions he had to travel for treatment because it was not locally available at the time. He still requires monitoring and there is the distinct possibility of future problems which drives his passion for the event as well as his passion for cycling. “You just never know when you or someone you care about might suffer a heart condition, so I strongly urge everyone to donate to the cause that might save their life one day,” Mr McNally said.
•    The Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge is an annual fundraising ride from Cairns to Cooktown. Since inception in 2007, the ride has raised more than $3.5 million to provide improved cardiac equipment and services in FNQ. The event has contributed to a $1.4 million Foundation donation towards a second cardiac catheter laboratory at Cairns Hospital.
To donate to Mr McNally visit HERE and to donate to Mr Scott visit http://bit.ly/CCJeremyScott.

 

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Challenge with heart 20/09/2018

The harsh bobbing beam of hundreds of cyclist lights will break through the darkness on their way out to Tjapukai Adventure Park early this Saturday.
They will be about to start their journey on one of the Far North’s most arduous and yet rewarding, fundraising adventures, the Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
Cyclists will pedal up hill and down dale, all in the name of improving cardiac services in the Far North.
Since inception, the event has raised more than $3.5 million for cardiac services in FNQ including contributing towards the Foundation’s $1.4 million donation to the second cardiac catheter lab project.
It is unique in that every cent donated stays local to help local patients and every cent donated goes to its intended cause. This is because the registration fee covers the cost of running the event, and all the Foundation’s costs are covered by its commercial operations.
Instigated by local heart patient Pete McNally, Cardiac Challenge is responsible for thousands of people achieving something they never previously thought possible – riding 333km to Cooktown.
Read below three local people’s thoughts on the event – the heart patient, the rider and the cardiologist.
Karyn Bristow - the heart patient

LIKE so many heart patients, Karyn Bristow simply never thought it would happen to her.
On the night of October 23 last year, she had some pain in her chest that she attributed to indigestion.
She says she “felt a bit crook” during the night but after getting up early and starting work at 5am she later started to feel a “dull pain” in her chest.
“About 8am, I just felt that something wasn’t right. I had a dull pain, I felt tired and foggy so I nipped over to the doctor’s across from my work and asked for an appointment. They said they could see me in 15 minutes, so I went back to work to get my purse and then I said to one of the other staff ‘I just don’t feel very well’. And that’s the last thing I remember.
“I passed out in her arms and they were then doing CPR on me – the doctor from across the road came over and I think the ambos were there within a few minutes. I kept going in and out, but I was zapped a few times in the ambulance and when I got to hospital too.
“I then remember waking up in the catheter lab at the hospital and vaguely seeing Dr Starmer’s face and he was telling me what they were doing and that I was going to be alright.
“It turned out I had some plaque in my artery that had broken off and was blocking the blood flow. I’ve no family history, I don’t smoke and never have, I don’t drink much, although I am a bit overweight.”
Aged 58 at the time, Mrs Bristow said after a stent was installed and she started to physically recover, it took some time to psychologically recover.
“My head was pretty messed up and I went into a dark place but the support I got from my husband and family, the hospital and the six week cardiac rehab program absolutely changed my life. It’s a great program – I’ve joined a gym now, I eat better and my general outlook on life is so much different. These days I prioritise my family and I’ve learnt that some stresses just aren’t worth it. I guess you realise what’s important.
“At the time, I just didn’t think it was a heart attack. They say it’s a silent killer and it’s so true, but if you’re having any sort of pain, or if something doesn’t feel right, you shouldn’t ignore it. I think people need to be more aware and go to the doctor and get checked out. I was having regular checkups anyway because I’m on blood pressure medication. I could have gone to bed that night and just not woken up. I was just very lucky where I was because the people in my workplace really saved my life. We’re very close now.
“I’ve been given a second chance. I want to be here for my husband, children and grandchildren. At the time I didn’t feel lucky, but now I really do. I’ve got a lot to live for.”

Jimmy Chan - the rider

FOR Jimmy Chan, the sudden loss of a family member to a heart condition, was just the shove he needed to get on the bike.
2018 will be his sixth Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge and it is an event he never tires of.
“Yes, the road is the same, Desailly Range doesn’t get any easier, but it’s the people you meet and the fun you have along the way that makes it worthwhile,” Mr Chan, 53, said.
“For me, fundraising is easy because I only do this one charity event so I’m not approaching people all the time.
“I remember fondly my first year being 2013. Two years before that I had a scousin up here who tried desperately to get me to do it.
“After I signed up for the 2013 challenge I lost my brother-in-law, who passed away unexpectedly on June 14. He was a lot bigger than me, a lot stronger and a lot fitter. So that came as an unexpected event. He had heart issues which he knew about and that was probably the kick along that I needed. And every year since then I’ve been hooked on it.
“I guess my reasons for doing that could be broken down into three parts.
“The first part is obviously the fundraising side. It’s a great thing to do something for the community. I see it as a long term investment. What we do now in terms of investing in medical equipment and services, as we get older, somewhere down the track we will need them.
“The other part of it is the fitness aspect. It keeps me going, keeps me motivated.
“I love the fun side of it, get out there, meet people, catch up with old mates.

Shane Preston - the Cardiologist

Dr Shane Preston is an interventional cardiologist at Cairns Hospital and has been since 2013.
Originally from Brisbane via Sydney and Canada, Dr Preston became a doctor and a cardiologist because of the immediate beneficial impact on patients.
The son of a boilermaker and dressmaker, he is a keen fisherman and enjoys the FNQ lifestyle.
“I used to read a lot of science books when I was a kid and I asked to do cardiology as an intern. I don’t have any family members who are doctors, it was just something I was always interested in.
“What I enjoy about helping people when they are in this situation is that when they come into the cath lab and you fix their blocked artery, you get to see the result of your work immediately. It’s very satisfying.
“When I moved to Cairns I said to Greg (Dr Starmer) that I would only be here for 12 months.
“A couple of the reasons I love it here is because of the weather and the fishing. When I left Canada it was -20 degrees.
“And I might be biased but we do have an amazing team in the cardiac unit and they are simply awesome to work with. Knowing that we are making a difference to people’s lives makes the long hours and the years of study all worthwhile.”
Dr Preston has been taking part in the Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge since 2015.
“I first did it because I felt that as a doctor who uses the equipment that it raises money for, I should participate and see what it was all about.
“But now I ride the event each year because I really do enjoy it. It’s a great motivator to keep fit. It’s just fun, it’s good fun and a good cause. We see exactly where the money goes because we’re the ones using the equipment that the ride purchases each year.”
This year his uncle Peter will be riding with him, and his parents are travelling up from Brisbane as support along the ride. “They know I’ve been doing it for a while and they wanted to get involved.”
“I’m taking some days off with the family afterwards and hopefully the fishing will be good in Cooktown.”

 

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Leader among men 20/09/2018

HARRY Felstead might only be 15, but he is being described as a “leader among men” by going way out of his comfort zone and riding 330km to Cooktown.
The St Andrews Catholic College student is inspired to ride in this year’s Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge by one of his teachers, Michael Aitken, who suffered a heart incident in December last year.
Harry, whose mother is a nurse in the cardiac catheter laboratory at Cairns Hospital, said Mr Aitken’s heart incident gave him a shock, as he is such a fit and healthy man.
“Physical exercise is not my favourite thing to do, but I have been doing a lot of training so I know I can do it. I’m not sporty, I am the person sitting in HPE classes in the corner and hating every minute of it. What I’m looking forward to about Cardiac Challenge is the end but also a sense of achievement. It’s for a good cause and the money is going back to support the hospital that we all need,” Harry said.
Mr Aitken noticed a decline in his running performance, and increasing tiredness, over a period of time.
He experienced a discomfort in his chest he attributed to indigestion, which he discussed with his wife (a nurse) how it was associated with exertion, and she urged him to get a medical check-up urgently. That he did, and was kept in hospital for several days awaiting an angiogram.
“I wasn’t showing any of the typical signs of a heart attack and I actually didn’t have one, but my family history and my age made my interventional cardiologist (Dr Anthony Brazzale) want to keep me in hospital for an angiogram,” Mr Aitken said.
His father had died at age 62 of a heart attack and his brother had three stents installed at age 47.
“They took me down to the cardiac catheter laboratory for an angiogram and then Dr Brazzale patted me on the shoulder and said ‘we’ve found a blockage and we’re going to put a stent in’,” he said. “I feel very privileged that Harry feels inspired to ride because of me and I just think he’s a leader among young men and we need more of them.”
Dr Brazzale also will ride in the Cardiac Challenge and is on the fundraising team as Harry – the Cardiac Maniacs.
To donate to Harry’s fundraising visit HERE or to Dr Brazzale’s fundraising page visit: HERE.

Photo: Student Harry Felstead, teacher Michael Aitken and interventional cardiologist Dr Anthony Brazzale say "it's all about heart".

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Alan grateful for cardiac "pit crew" 13/09/2018

TWELVE years ago Alan Morgan suffered his first heart attack. After the incident, he waited four weeks and travelled to Townsville on a bus for the stent to be performed.
Last Friday when he arrived at Cairns Hospital with another heart attack, he was immediately taken to the Cairns Hospital cardiac catheter laboratory for a STEMI procedure.
And he was released to go home on Monday to recuperate.
It was also in 2006 that fellow heart patient Pete McNally first rode to Cooktown to “see if it could be done” before the first Cardiac Challenge was held in 2007.
Since then, the event has raised more than $3.6 million, thousands of people have taken part, and it has bought many pieces of equipment for adult and child heart patients.
“Being in the catheter lab on Friday for my procedure, I was awake and it was like watching a racing team pit crew – they were so efficient and professional at their job. They were just amazing. I’m so grateful that I’m here now because of everything those people do,” Mr Morgan, 62, said.
His cardiologist, Dr Anthony Brazzale, originally from Mutchilba, said Mr Morgan had a great outcome.
“Unfortunately we often meet patients with life threatening heart attacks, suffering a lot of pain, and it’s very rewarding to be able to quickly treat their condition and see their pain ease instantly,” Dr Brazzale said.
“The other amazing fact about Mr Morgan’s heart attack is that 12 years ago there was no cardiac catheter laboratory here – everyone had to go to Townsville or Brisbane for their treatment,” he said.
“Now not only can you have your stent here, but when the second cardiac catheter laboratory is built, we will be able to perform electrophysiology procedures here.”
Dr Brazzale is one of 244 riders in this year’s Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge, riding from Cairns to Cooktown for cardiac services.
For further information or to donate to riders or teams in Cardiac Challenge, visit HERE.

Photo: Cardiac Challenge instigator Pete McNally, Cairns Hospital interventional cardiologist Dr Anthony Brazzale, heart patient Alan Morgan and Cardiac Challenge pack leader Jimmy Chan.

 

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Scarlett's a fighter 6/09/2018

Scarlett had just started Prep like any other five-year-old, when her life was turned upside down. 

Instead of having the time of her life playing with her friends at school, Scarlett was fighting for her life in Brisbane – 1600km away from her home in Innisfail.

Scarlett was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone and soft tissue cancer, and has spent the past 12 months enduring chemotherapy, surgeries, blood and platelet transfusions.

Through it all, Scarlett has remained a positive and energetic little girl whose cheeky smile makes everyone smile.

Scarlett’s mum, Anna, said the care and support over the past 12 months at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital had made all the difference when dealing with a situation no parent, or child, could ever prepare for.

“The oncologists and nurses have been absolutely amazing,” Anna said.

“They are so dedicated and passionate about what they do and every child is so important. They make you feel like you are the only patient they are seeing.”

Away from the medical needs, Anna said the services offered by Children’s Hospital Foundation had helped Scarlett cope with being in hospital for such a long period of time.

“There has always been plenty of entertainment and Scarlett especially liked Book Bunker program, bedside play volunteers and Juiced TV,” Anna said.

“No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of a mother.”

After 12 months of treatment Scarlett and her mum have just returned home to Innisfail.

They will have to return to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane every three months for check-ups.

Now that Scarlett is home, she is looking forward to catching up with her cousins, grandma and aunties, and returning to school in the new year.

Scarlett said she will be doing lots of craft, singing, dancing, playing outdoors and with animals now that she is home.

Your generous donations to the Woolworths Regional Wall Tokens Campaign helps fund programs in your local hospital, and at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, which help families like Joel’s through an emotional, stressful, and at times uncertain journey.

Funds raised this year will go towards:

Mossman Hospital: McGrath video laryngoscope, Otowave Tympanometer and screening audiometer, Screening Cart, Broselow Alkuminiuym colour code cart, Sony Camera with CMOS Sensor.

Cairns Paediatrics: three high chairs, four wheelchairs with leg extensions, four commodes with leg extensions, three prams.

Cairns Theatre: two car/ride remote control vehicles to transport children to theatre, 1000 signature bears.

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Wayne checks EEG equipment 30/08/2018

THE roads around Cairns and the outback will roar to the sound of motorcycles and their riders fundraising for delicate EEG equipment in the Far North.
This year’s Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster is heading west to Undara Lava Tubes, and fundraising for vital EEG equipment to record electrical activity of the brain.
Hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the Muster is now in its 17th year, and has raised a total of more than $893,000 in that time.
Sponsor Wayne Leonard was excited to try out the current EEG equipment being used by the small but hard-working neurology team at Cairns Hospital. Mr Leonard laughed that he had never experienced an EEG before, but he was relieved to see that all his brain activity was normal.
Cairns Hospital neurologist Dr Ian Wilson said the latest EEG imaging equipment would provide substantially improved high resolution cameras and screens, and the latest recording technology available.
“The equipment that we have is used to monitor people with epilepsy and other brain conditions in our clinics, but also in Emergency and ICU to assess brain activity in unconscious patients, including after traumatic brain injury,” Dr Wilson said. Patients having recurrent, unexplained events may undergo day-long EEG testing to ‘catch’ the event and determine what activity happens in the brain, while others simply have a “snapshot” taken of brain activity, he said.
Heart-breakingly, babies and small children are among their patients – some of whom have genetically acquired conditions that impact on the brain’s development and cause severe seizures.  Diagnosing and treating the seizures early is important to prevent further brain injury and give the child the best chance of recovery.   The equipment also will be a vital tool in future research projects.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said it was hoped to buy two EEG’s at a total cost of $70,000. “This year the Muster is heading out to Undara on the weekend of October 20-21, and there is a lot of excitement among the riders about this trip,” Mr Franz said.
Himself a participant, Mr Franz said the ride had not been to Undara for several years, and it was sure to be a fun and enjoyable weekend. “The people who take part in this event do so for the right reasons – because they are passionate about supporting health services in this region,” Mr Franz said.
Registrations are open HERE.

Photo: Cairns Hospital senior neurophysiology scientist Linda Welch, Wayne Leonard and neurologist Dr Ian Wilson are excited to be working together to raise funds for the neurology unit.

 

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Kevin is all heart 14/08/2018

“I JUST feel I have a debt that I need to repay,” says Cardiac Challenge rider and cardiac arrest Kevin O’Donnell.
Mr O’Donnell, a Melbourne resident, is riding the fundraising event for a second time and is currently the second highest individual fundraiser.
Five years ago on August 7, Mr O’Donnell and wife Pat were holidaying in Port Douglas when he suffered an out-of-the-blue ventricular fibrillation. He was resuscitated in the ambulance, in Mossman Hospital and also in Cairns Hospital. An angiogram revealed he had a fully blocked diagonal artery. Due to complications, he spent six weeks in a coma in the intensive care unit at Cairns Hospital.
He underwent several surgeries, and was the first patient in Cairns to undergo an “ABRA” procedure – where the abdominal muscles are slowly brought back together around organs while retaining a physical barrier against bacteria.
Cairns Hospital staff surgeon Dr Nathan Brunott said Mr O’Donnell was a daily inspiration to him. “We’ve only used that procedure once since, to my knowledge but in those two cases they really made a difference to patient outcomes,” Dr Brunott said.
“I tell medicos down south now about my medical history and they are absolutely amazed that I am still alive, and that I made it through this process,” Mr O’Donnell, 69, said. In 2017, he approached the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation to make a donation, as he has every year since recovery when he visits on holidays.
On this visit, he found out about the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge and a couple of days later, returned to the Foundation office and said he wanted to ride.
He rode the event for the first time last year and is back again, this time with two friends from his Rotary club in Melbourne – one who is going to ride and another who is going to be a driver.
“I won’t rest until the team has reached $3000 and we’re up to $2681 so far,” he said on Tuesday. Part of his fundraising efforts have included busking using his tin whistle. “I’m not a great whistle player, by any stretch, but it’s a unique way to raise money and draw attention to the cause,” he said.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said Mr O’Donnell epitomised the spirit of the ride and was actually one of many with a personal heart story.
“We know that we have a local community that is passionate about what we are trying to achieve, but stories like Kevin’s tell us that our amazing hospital staff are touching a much broader community as well,” Ms Duncombe said.
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is an annual bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown, raising funds for cardiac services in Far North Queensland. For further information visit HERE.

 

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Saying thanks to workers 14/08/2018

IT was lovely to catch up with some of our hard-working volunteers recently at Rydges Esplanade for a delicious breakfast buffet recently.

This gorgeous gang are devoted raffle ticket sellers, helping us and our participants in events such as the Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster and Audi Arrow Experience.

It was nice to give these folks a small token of our, and the community’s appreciation.

 

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Vollies help at fundraiser 14/08/2018

HOLLYWOOD faux pas and foibles were laid bare by insider Richard Reid at a Cairns Post Cairns Club event in early June. The master of glitzy gossip regaled a full house at the Reef Hotel Casino with star-studded tales of scandal.
The entertainment guru on Channel 9’s Today show for eight years, Mr Reid was the keynote speaker at the third event for the 2017/2018 season.
An internationally renowned entertainment correspondent, Mr Reid is one of the most sought-after personalities in Australian television, radio and print.
Held at the The Reef Hotel Casino in June, guests included Cairns Regional Council mayor Bob Manning and, as a guest of event sponsor Audi Centre Cairns, the managing director of Audi Australia Paul Sansom.
Guests mingled with an approachable Mr Reid after the formal proceedings and many were keen to prolong the festivities, kicking on afterwards downstairs at BAR36.
The Cairns Post Club event, hosted by actor and television personality Sofie Formica, raised $3810 for the Foundation.
Audi Centre Cairns co-owner Connie Ren said the event was well-run. “Everyone seemed to really like it,” she said.
“It is very important for us to support the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation. We are very grateful for the opportunity and it was a wonderful opportunity for people to connect with each other.”
A couple of our star volunteers - Lee Oastler and Thelma Spelta were on hand to assist with selling tickets.

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Generous donors support patients 1/08/2018

GENEROUS benefactors are helping patients in Mareeba at a time when their health hits crisis point.
Long-term locals Leslie and Anne Mills donated $50,000 to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, to be used for the Hamilton T1 Ventilator – state of the art equipment for when critical patients need to be intubated.
Mareeba Hospital Director of Nursing and Midwifery Vickye Coffey said the new machine would provide excellent first aid ventilation of patients in emergency situations.
“This new machine is on the wish list of all emergency departments across the state and the Mareeba Emergency Department is fortunate enough to have been gifted one through a generous donation from the Mills family,” Ms Coffey said.
“Staff are very excited to have this ventilation machine to use and it will further enhance patient safety for the Mareeba community.
“This is especially the case for those critically ill patients who need full or partial ventilation during transportation to the Cairns Hospital.”
Mrs Mills said she and Leslie were pleased to support their local hospital.
“The Mareeba Hospital staff were just wonderful when Leslie injured his fingers a few years ago, so that was when we decided to start supporting them as well as the broader Far North Queensland region,” Mrs Mills said.
“Sometimes when we hand over a piece of equipment we’ve bought for them, the staff just get so excited, you’d think it was Christmas,” she said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the latest donation brings the Mills family contribution to health care in FNQ to more than $343,000.  More than $210,000 of that money has gone directly to the Mareeba Hospital.
“This family’s ongoing support of health care in our region is a great example of the difference individuals can make and we really look to them as great examples of local philanthropy,” Mr Franz said.

Photo: Anne and Leslie Mills look over the new ventilator with Mareeba Hospital Emergency Nurse Unit Manager Rose Vallier.

 

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Low and slow lamb 1/08/2018

What you need
2kg lamb shoulder, garlic paste, 1garlic head, large, 8 sprigs of rosemary, 2 tbspn cumin, 2 tspn salt, juice and zest of 1 lemon, olive oil.  Blitz until a smooth paste
200ml wine or stock, sea salt, black pepper, freshly ground, 3-4 carrots cut into quarters, 2 peeled large onions cut into quarters, 200ml white wine or chicken stock.
Gravy, 2 tbsp flour, 2 cups/500ml chicken stock (or 1 cup red wine + 1 cup stock), salt and pepper
Method
1.Preheat the oven at 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Slash lamb all over with sharp knife, season with black pepper, rub garlic paste mixture all over the lamb, making sure to get into all the right places. Place onions and carrots on a large deep roasting tray. Pour in 200ml of wine or stock. Place the lamb shoulder on top and roast for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the tray from the oven and cover tightly with a double layer of tin foil, then return to the oven, turn the heat down to 160ºC/315ºF/gas 2½, and cook for 4 hours, or until the meat pulls easily away from the bone.
Remove the shoulder to a platter, cover loosely with the foil and leave to rest.
2. Tilt the pan and use a spoon to remove all but around 2 tbsp of fat (try to avoid scooping out any juices). Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir to mix in with the fat. Cook for 30 seconds.
3. Add the stock gradually and stir to combine. Use a potato masher to mash the onion and carrots.
4. Allow it to simmer for one to two minutes until it is just before your desired consistency (it will thicken a bit as it cools), then remove from the stove. Season to taste with salt and pepper, strain into bowl then transfer into gravy jug.
5. Shred up the lamb and serve up with the gravy. Delicious served with steamed seasonal greens or with warm naan bread and a green salad.
It should be a touch sticky - don’t worry if it still seems a little soft as it will firm up on cooling.
6. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack and allow to go cold in the tin.
7. Using baking paper tails, ease from the tin and cut into 16 squares.

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Family's incredible gift 24/07/2018

A LEGACY of improved health care is the gift from one local family to other Cairns families.
For Joyce Swinton, the gifts she has provided to the local community through the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, are her way of paying forward the money her daughter bequeathed her.
"My daughter Linda and her husband Harry Harris had a business in Gordonvale, and before she died she told me she wanted some of the money to go towards improving health in our local region," Mrs Swinton said.
She donated $250,000, which enabled the Foundation to buy an ultrasound simulator and this week she was present for the item's handover. It is believed this piece of equipment is the only one in northern Australia.
The simulator adds to the gift Mrs Swinton already has provided of $150,000 towards the second cardiac catheter laboratory and $150,000 towards the Liz Plummer Cancer Care Centre.
The ultrasound simulator will be used to educate and upgrade the training of hundreds of local doctors in conducting ultrasounds to diagnose trauma, obstetrics, lung and heart conditions. The simulator can "pretend" to be a patient with a particular medical condition – meaning the operator will know what to look for when they ultrasound real patients.
Cairns Hospital staff specialist emergency physician Dr Katrina Starmer said Mrs Swinton's gift was an incredibly generous donation.  
"We are very grateful for this, because it will not only benefit doctors here in Cairns, but it will benefit rural GPs and small hospital doctors. It means the little places and patients from the bush are not left out," Dr Starmer said.
"Simulation-based training is very effective in medical education as it provides an environment for doctors to develop new skills without exposing patients to unnecessary risk. Having such a state-of-the-art piece of equipment as the Vimedix Ultraound Simulator will provide a foundation for improving staff skills and safety for patients and establish the position that the Cairns Hospital is becoming a leader in innovation and education," she said.
Mrs Swinton, whose granddaughter Emma died in her sleep aged 12, and who lost her husband and daughter to cancer, knows first-hand the pain of losing someone special.
"I've had heart treatment as well, that I had to go to Townsville for. It was very important to my daughter and therefore to me, that this money go towards helping local people, so I can rest easy now, knowing that's what I've done. I'm hoping that by telling my story, other people might think of their local health service if they have the ability to make a donation."
Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said Mrs Swinton's donations were incredibly generous and a wonderful example of what could be achieved when the community worked together.
"We are ecstatic today that we can show Mrs Swinton this piece of equipment and she can see and hear the difference it will make to physicians and therefore to patients in our region," Dr Chapman said.

Photo: Mrs Swinton receives a kiss of appreciation from Dr Chapman and Dr Starmer.

 

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Family driven to ride 19/07/2018

WHEN Fred Blakey’s cardiologist picked up a heart valve problem due to a rheumatic heart condition more than 30 years ago, he knew he was facing some serious work on his heart over the coming years.
“Dad had several heart related procedures over the years, his first aortic valve replacement was done over 30 years ago in Brisbane.  The second was done in Townsville and then a large abdominal aneurysm was repaired in 2013 in Cairns Hospital," his daughter Allison Sciani said. This motivated his bike crazy family to don their helmets and jump on their bikes for the annual Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge.  We love that through the fundraising done by the participants of the Cardiac Challenge less people will have to leave their loved ones and the district in order to have certain procedures.  
“I always love a challenge, so after completing a Get Out and Get Active course for ladies and bikes earlier this year, I decided it was time to do the Cardiac Challenge," Ms Sciani said.  "David, one of my boys was in on the idea and then Nathan decided he’d jump back on the bike after a serious break to his femur in a bike accident last year.  Not to be outdone by her brothers, Katia decided that she would join the team after we had the loss of Dad – our father and grandfather – on June 4 this year. As our support crew, we have my husband and their father Henry, making sure we are looked after along the way.  The boys' wives will most likely be registered as volunteers and so we have the entire family throwing their weight behind this Challenge.  Excited great grandchildren also will be waiting in Cooktown ready to cheer on the family when they roll in on the last day.
“Mum always accompanied Dad for the treatment as we were all very busy with our work and young families, however it was always hard on her as there was no support for her.  I did accompany her on the second valve replacement that Dad required, which she really appreciated but family support is the key to a good recovery with this big stuff. Dad did know that we were doing the Cardiac Challenge and was very appreciative that we were able to give back to the hospital that had given him so much in treatment over the years, on his behalf.”
The Sciani family is part of the Mareeba team “Are We There Yet”.  So far this year, the team has raised $4775 and is confident of more to come over the coming weeks.
The Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge will be held for the 12th time this September and is an annual journey from Cairns to Cooktown, hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Instigated by heart patient Pete McNally, the event has raised more than $3.6 million for cardiac services in the Far North and this year will be funding a new Vivid Echocardiogram machine.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said every year the community rallied behind its heart patients, through the Cardiac Challenge. “This family is like so so many here who have been affected by heart conditions – my own included. But the great thing about the Cardiac Challenge, aside from the camaraderie and friends formed, is that all the money stays local and every cent goes towards its intended cause,” Ms Duncombe said.

To register, click HERE.

 

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Help our hospital 16/07/2018

LESS limbs will be amputated in Far North Queensland, if the community can help provide the latest technology vascular operating microscope.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation has launched an appeal for the community to support the $409,000 piece of equipment, through which our four Cairns Hospital microsurgeons can see blood flowing into transplanted tissue.
Cairns Hospital plastics and microsurgeon Dr Jaeme Zwart said the microscope could be used on patients ranging from children through to the elderly – from trauma through to reconnection procedures.
“There are times we operate on children and some of their vessels are only just visible to the naked eye, but with the new technology we can see it incredibly clearly on a high resolution screen and we can see whether the blood is flowing, in real time,” Dr Zwart said.
“We do have a microscope for these procedures but it won’t show whether the blood is flowing through transplanted tissue, which really is vital to ensuring the procedure is a success,” he said.
“It will lead to better outcomes for patients and ultimately less amputations,” he said. “It also will mean hand function will be improved in delicate hand trauma, including replacing fingers.”
Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said if the public appeal was successful, he believed Cairns Hospital would be the first outside South East Queensland, to be home to one of the new microscopes.
“We understand the Sunshine Coast University Hospital has just taken delivery of one for plastic cases and hospitals in Brisbane are using the technology for neurosurgery,” Dr Chapman said.
“We are passionate about this region having the best equipment and the best medical outcomes for patients – why shouldn’t we have the same level of equipment and service as our city cousins in the south east?”
The Foundation is confident the community will support the initiative – following the overwhelming success of the second cardiac catheter laboratory campaign, in which donors provided $435,000 towards the project in just five weeks.
The equipment purchase would be another step towards the Cairns Hospital becoming a tertiary hospital.
To read more visit HERE. To donate visit HERE.

Photo: Dr Jaeme Zwart explains to Dr Ken Chapman, the need for the surgical microscope.

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New wheels a surprise win 26/06/2018

A SINGLE dad who is an apprentice mechanic will today be driving away in a new Audi A1 that he won for the cost of two $2 raffle tickets.
Kurtis Tahu, 25, was the lucky winner of the prestige vehicle that was raffled to help drive fundraising in the inaugural Audi Arrow Experience.
Hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the Audi Arrow Experience on June 17 was a fundraising walk of all four arrow trails of Mt Whitfield.
Foundation fundraising and event co-ordinator Gaby Thomasz said it was nice to see the car go to a young person who was starting out in life.
“The event overall raised more than $61,000 which will go towards buying some specialised xray equipment for Cairns Hospital’s emergency department,” Ms Thomasz said.
Kurtis received the phone call at 9am on the Sunday of the event from Ms Thomasz and Audi Cairns owner Alan Ren.
But later he said the phone call was so unexpected, he double checked with Audi.
“I bought two raffle tickets when the car was at one of the shopping centres but I’ve never won anything before, so I certainly didn’t expect to win it,” Mr Tahu said.
“It’s a really good cause – I’ve had family members use the Emergency Department and I’ve got a five-year-old daughter so you never know when you might need them,” he said.
Mr Ren said he was delighted Mr Tahu won the prize and thrilled with the success of the event.
“For a first-time event, I think the Foundation did a great job in pulling it all together and everyone on the day had an amazing time. I look forward to continuing our involvement into the future,” Mr Ren said.

Photo: Alan Ren, Kurtis Tahu and Foundation fundraising and event co-ordinator Gaby Thomasz.

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Ride driven by loss 22/06/2018

MORE than six months after his mother died of a massive heart attack, Nick Lyngcoln finds it hard to control his emotions.
“We knew she was unwell and in hospital but we just didn’t expect to lose her like we did,” Mr Lyngcoln said.
He and his brothers Daniel and Peter had gone to Bali to celebrate the life of a friend but suddenly received a phone call from their mother Anne, aged 64, in her hospital bed.
“We thought she was recovering but she rang and said to us that she didn’t think she was going to survive the day so we did everything we could to get home but she passed away before we got on the plane,” Mr Lyngcoln said.
The three Lyngcoln brothers, along with their father Peter, are channelling their grief and earlier this year formed Annie’s Army, with the aim of raising $10,000 each year to help ensure other families do not go through what they did.
Nick has already taken part in a charity fight night and has just returned from trekking Kokoda as a fundraiser with brother Daniel.
And he’s signed up to take part in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge this year.
“I know it’s going to be hard, but nothing is as hard as losing our mother,” he said.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said it was extremely sad to hear stories like Nick’s, but amazing that his family was channelling their grief into such a worthy cause.
“We know there are many people who do this bike ride, who are motivated by a personal loss of knowledge of a loved one with heart disease,” Ms Duncombe said.
“Not all of us can be cardiologists but this is a real and tangible way that people can ride their bike or trek Kokoda to make a difference to local families dealing with heart conditions,” she said.
Funds raised this year will go towards a Vivid Echocardiogram ultrasound system for the cardiac department.

Photos

Top: Nick and Daniel Lyncoln in PNG.

Above: Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe with Nick Lyncoln.

 

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Arrow walkers donate to cause 18/06/2018

WHAT does 60 volunteers, 200 walkers and one Audi A1 add up to?
A $60,000 donation towards specialised xray equipment at Cairns Hospital.
The inaugural Audi Arrow Experience on Sunday was a roaring success, with great walking conditions enjoyed by all participants.
The event is a fundraising initiative of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, raising funds for the Emergency Department of Cairns Hospital. Participants chose to walk two or four of the arrows of Mt Whitfield and could fundraise in traditional ways or by selling raffle tickets in an Audi A1.
Foundation fundraising and event co-ordinator Gaby Thomasz said most participants opted to do the long course and many said they had not previously done all four at the one time.
“The atmosphere on the day was positive and very family-friendly. Everyone knew they were there for the right reason to support a great cause,” Ms Thomasz said.
The raffle of the Audi A1 was drawn and local man Kurtis Tahu was announced the lucky winner, after buying two $2 tickets at a shopping centre.
Top fundraising teams The Big D and Double D  from Dawsons Engineering and For Eyes from Michael Chu Optometry will each receive prizes from Sunlover Reef Cruises.
Genesis Fitness Cairns have donated prizes to top individual fundraising men Eddie Strivens, Lambros Halkidis and Pete McNally, and top individual fundraising women Heather Rogers, Jharna Hogan and Michelle Dorner.
“We have still been receiving donations over the weekend and people can still make donations via the website – to the cause or to individuals or teams, at any time they like,” Ms Thomasz said.

 

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Motivated fundraisers 15/06/2018

THEY might call themselves the Hinchy Halfwits but this group of motivated trekkers are bright sparks when it comes to fundraising.
The team of four motivated women are among the top fundraising teams for this weekend’s Audi Arrow Experience.
The event is a fundraising initiative of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, raising funds for the Emergency Department of Cairns Hospital. Participants choose to walk two or four of the arrows of Mt Whitfield and can fundraise in traditional ways or by selling raffle tickets in an Audi A1.
The Foundation hopes to raise enough money to buy some specialised xray equipment for the department and so far is up to $45,825.
Yvonne Spenceley, Catherine Dennis, Stephanie De Zilva and Kerry Vickers have been taking on a number of exercising fundraising adventures in the past few years.
Comprised of nurses, a chef and a dietitian, none of the group have yet undertaken all four Arrows in one day.
“We’re really excited about it actually. We trekked on Hinchinbrook Island in 2017 and now we’re excited to take part in this as well,” Ms Vickers said. “We all like to keep fit and have fun in the great outdoors. We did the Cardiac Challenge a few years ago and really enjoyed that. Then we saw this opportunity and thought ‘why not?” she said.
“We call ourselves halfwits but we’ve survived salty water porridge, emergency chopper beach raids, crossed tidal rivers using tide times that make no sense, one team member endured an unexpected stabbing in the buttocks from a misplaced sharp knife, we’ve learned how to avoid mosquito attack while sitting on a drop toilet and we’ve discovered that one mighty strong Cath can carry litres of red wine and plenty of chocolate to keep team morale up,” she said.
“And we’re really excited that the funds raised are going to the Emergency Department of Cairns Hospital. We know that’s a really busy department so it’s important those staff and patients are supported.”
Foundation fundraising and event coordinator Gaby Thomasz said 52 teams and 188 individuals were registered. “They’ve paid a very modest registration fee and committed to fundraise a minimum of $100 each or $400 per team, and we have great prizes for top fundraising teams and individuals, provided by sponsors,” Ms Thomasz said.

Photo: Yvonne Spenceley, Catherine Dennis and Kerry Vickers from the Hinchy Halfwits are excited about this Sunday's event.

 

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Seals soothe patients 14/06/2018

ROBOTIC, pet-like seals to help soothe dementia patients, have been provided for older patients at Cairns Hospital.
Two seals, at a cost of $7400 each, were bought by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation after a donation was received from the Scope Club of Cairns for one of them.
Older Persons Evaluation and Assessment Unit (OPERA) nurse unit manager Jane Jordan was ecstatic to receive the seals, which behave like a pet – moving and making sounds, in a manner that has been proven to relax dementia patients.
“Patients can stroke and cuddle the seals, which has been found to reduce patient stress, stimulate positive interaction between patients and caregivers and improve socialisation of patients,” Ms Jordan said.
“They are a Japanese invention and have been in use there and in Europe since 2003. They behave as if they are alive, moving their head and legs, making sounds and showing preferred behaviour,” she said.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said she was thrilled that the seals could be provided and that they would make such a difference to people in our community.
“Unfortunately dementia is becoming increasingly common in society and if this is a way to help those living with it, to be calmer, and reduce reliance on medication, then it’s wonderful. We were very pleased to be able to facilitate this donation,” Ms Duncombe said.
Scope Club of Cairns president Carolyn Luxton said members were very happy the seals had arrived.
“We are sure they will be well received by patients in the OPERA Unit of Cairns Hospital. Although Scope (an Australian Women’s Club) is a relatively small group of members, we enjoy and work hard to fund local projects,” Mrs Luxton said.

Photo: Cairns Hospital patient Jack Fourie with his grandmother, patient Mary Francis and one of the seals.

Scope Club of Cairns member Fran Lindsay.

 

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Cooper challenges councils 13/06/2018

WELL known Cairns business woman and councillor Linda Cooper has thrown her support behind local cancer patients.
Cr Cooper today issued a challenge to other councillors and staff within Cairns Regional Council, as well as regional councils in the area, to help fundraise for Dry July.
“I'm aiming to have 50 councillors and staff from Cairns Regional Council take part in Dry July with me, and I'm calling for other councils in the region to do the same,” Cr Cooper said.
People who register to take part in Dry July and nominate the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation as their beneficiary, will be helping cancer patients in outlying centres.
Dry July is an international fundraising initiative where participants sign up to “Go Dry” and not drink alcohol for the month of July. Through the financial support they receive from friends, family and colleagues, the Dry July Foundation funds wellness programs, comfort items, transport services, accommodation projects, hospital furnishings and entertainment items.
Foundation fundraising and event co-ordinator Gaby Thomasz said outlying hospitals Mossman, Atherton, Mareeba and Atherton would be the beneficiaries of this year's fundraising efforts.
“We know that health outcomes for people in regional areas, are not as good as for those in our major centres, which was why we decided to help improve cancer facilities in these outlying facilities,” she said.
Last year, the Foundation received almost $40,000 which was used by the Liz Plummer Cancer Care Centre to buy treatment chairs and a PhysioTouch massage therapy device.
Since 2013, Dry July has raised more than $145,000 to help cancer patients in the Far North. The money has bought medical equipment such as chemotherapy pumps which deliver medication while allowing a patient to be mobile.
To sign up for Dry July with the Foundation as the beneficiary, click HERE.

 

 

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Ride supports rural patients 12/06/2018

POTENTIALLY lifesaving equipment has been provided to remote hospitals at Georgetown and Croydon, through the RnR MTB Adventure.
The mountain bike fundraising bike ride was held in May this year, as an initiative of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
The Foundation was excited this week to hand over $9000 worth of equipment to Damian Orrell, director of nursing at Croydon Hospital.
The equipment is comprised of special splints and tourniquets that will be used to improve patient outcomes, should they be involved in an accident in a remote area.
Highest fundraiser from the event Trisha Sexton was also present for the handover, which was ironic as her mother was born at the Croydon Hospital, and worked there as a young woman.
“I’m from the bush so to see this equipment handed over is really exciting – I know the difference this will make to people and visitors in remote areas because my family are from there,” Mrs Sexton said.
The fundraising event raised $17,000, with more funds still to be spent in coming months.
Mrs Sexton and her husband Peter are long term supporters of the Foundation, and she was the highest fundraiser on the event, generating $2050 in sponsorship and donations.
Mr Orrell was delighted to meet Mrs Sexton and said the bike ride was vital to his community.
“I look after a community that is spread about 37,500 sq km and we have a diverse range of incidents that we look after – from people coming in to the clinic for general health checkups, to people suffering traumatic accidents on the road or on cattle properties," Mr Orrell said.
“My community and I are really grateful for this support that is making a real and tangible difference," he said.

Photo: Damian Orrell and Trisha Sexton with some of the equipment bought for Georgetown and Croydon Hospitals.

 

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Team dons sneakers for the day 28/05/2018

A GROUP of optometrist staff are putting aside their special equipment for the day on June 17, to take part in the inaugural Audi Arrow Experience.
The group of four staff from Michael Chu Optometrists have been training and fundraising hard and are excited about the upcoming event.
Practice manager Leanne Lehmann said the “For Eyes” team of Michael Chu, Melissa Moore, Karen Rowe and herself felt it was a worthy cause for the community.
“I’ve been an active user of the Arrow walking tracks for many years and we believe it’s a great time of year to enjoy the unique Arrow walking tracks,” Ms Lehmann said.
“For us, it will not be a race, we’ll just take our time to get to the finishing line and enjoy the walk while we’re there,” she said.
The team is currently at the top of the fundraising team tally, at $595 raised, but other teams are not far behind.
The Audi Arrow Experience is an initiative of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, as a fundraiser for the Emergency Department of Cairns Hospital.
Foundation fundraising and event co-ordinator Gaby Thomasz said the event was a great opportunity to fundraise for the local health service, that everyone will need at some point.
“In the last year, the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department saw 68,634 patients so we think it’s really important to support these vital health workers,” Ms Thomasz said.
“Most of our participants are choosing to walk all four arrow trails, but we do have some doing the shorter two-trail course as well. Fundraising is going really well – we’ve hit $30,000 but we would really like to raise $100,000,” she said.
Participants are fundraising through donations and raffle ticket sales in a beautiful Audi A1, supplied by Audi Centre Cairns.
It is hoped funds raised will go towards special xray equipment to use when transporting critically unwell monitored patients in a timely manner, as well as improved medical imaging monitors.

For further information, click HERE

 

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Donation saves lives 23/05/2018

NEXT time you have a heart attack in Cairns, it may well be a defibrillator bought through Cardiac Challenge donations, that shocks you back to life.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation bought four defibrillators for the Emergency Department, as well as a defibrillator for the orthopaedic ward, at Cairns Hospital.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the items were life-saving cardiac equipment to save anyone’s life in the Far North.
Cairns Hospital emergency department director Dr Richard Stone said the new equipment was newer and using the latest technology. “The new defibrillators also mean we have more available should they be needed by multiple patients at the same time,” Dr Stone said.
“They also provide better cardiac monitoring in case a patient is transferred to another unit within the hospital,” he said. “The software bought by the Foundation allows ECGs (heart tracings) to be captured at the bedside from existing patient monitors and transferred directly into the patient’s medical record. This improvement reduces the time taken by nursing staff to capture an ECG and makes the ECG available to medical staff much sooner. It is a small step on the journey to provide a fully digital health record. All of the emergency department staff are very grateful to everyone who rides a bike and donates to the Cardiac Challenge, which provided this equipment that will certainly benefit the whole Far North community.”
“All of the emergency department staff are very grateful to everyone who rides a bike and donates to the Cardiac Challenge, which provided this equipment that will certainly benefit the whole Far North community.”
The man who instigated Cardiac Challenge 12 years ago, Pete McNally, was thrilled to see the equipment that so many people had worked towards achieving. Since inception, the event has raised more than $3 million for cardiac services in the Far North, including the $1.4 million second cardiac catheter laboratory.
Mr McNally, was born with a congenital heart condition and still requires ongoing cardiac care, said he knew what a difference the equipment would make to patient lives. He has personally been cardioverted 12 times and has undergone numerous procedures over the years.
“We’re taking registrations now for this year’s event – everyone who registers and donates can be confident the money really does stay local and go where it is intended,” Mr McNally said.
Funds raised this year will go towards a Vivid Echocardiogram ultrasound system for the cardiac department.
To register for, or donate to Cardiac Challenge, click HERE.

 

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Mareeba gift makes a difference 16/05/2018

PARENTS of sick children in Mareeba Hospital will be able to rest a little easier, thanks to Savannah Lifestyle Resorts.
The over 50s lifestyle resort initiated the $15,500 donation of four parent beds, through the Mareeba Friends of the Foundation.
Mareeba Friends chair Ida Portella said she was thrilled when local management of Savannah Lifestyle Resorts approached her.
“This is essentially a local business supporting the local community and we’re thrilled that they recognise the benefit of supporting their local hospital,” Ms Portella said.
“In Mareeba, the business community is very, very generous towards the local hospital and for this we are eternally grateful,” she said.
On hand to witness the donation, were nationally-recognised celebrities Ray Martin and Warren Mundine.
The pair are part of Savannah Lifestyle Resorts official Clubhouse opening, and kindly donated their time to the worthy cause by presenting the cheque on behalf of Savannah Lifestyle Resorts.
Savannah Lifestyle Resorts general manager Lisa Hohns said she knew the Mareeba Hospital was in need of the Washington-style beds for the children’s ward.
“As we are part of the Mareeba community, we want to keep our donations local,” Ms Hohns said.
Mareeba Hospital Director of Nursing and Midwifery Vickye Coffey said it was a wonderful gift and a very generous donation.
“We are extremely grateful for such generosity. This is such a luxury, having the donated four single chairs that convert to sofa portable beds. It enables the parents of sick children to stay at the bedside to provide comfort and stability overnight and during the day,” Ms Coffey said.
“The lounge chairs are roomy and comfortable, so this guarantees a parent can get a good nights’s sleep and be involved in all aspects of care and decision making, as they can be beside their child 24/7,” she said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said he was delighted with the generous donation from Savannah Lifestyle Resorts, which would go a long way towards improving the quality of health care at Mareeba Hospital.

Photos: Ray Martin checks the pulse of Warren Mundine, watched on by staff of Mareeba Hospital, Savannah Lifestyle Resorts, and the Mareeba Friends of the Foundation.
Above: Warren Mundine, Ray Martin and Mareeba Hospital staff chat with Kay-Ellen Jones regarding her new son Braxton Brunjes.

 

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R'n'R riders saddle up 9/05/2018

MORE than 28 cyclists are about to hit the dirt to fundraise for rural health services.

The R’n’R MTB Adventure, hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, departs from Mareeba this Saturday, arriving in Forsayth the following Wednesday.

Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the riders would travel along rail trails, irrigation channels and bush tracks to Almaden, the next day onto a private cattle property, then Mt Surprise, Einasleigh and Forsayth.

Some of the cyclists are returning to the coast via the world-famous Savannahlander train.

“Last year was the first time we have done this ride and this year the participants have raised more already, and we know there is more money still to come in,” Ms Duncombe said.

“This year we have cyclists, many of whom have done the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge, coming from all over the country to do this one, which is really quite special,” she said.

It was hoped funds raised could be put towards some of the rural health services in the region.

“The Hospital Foundation services as far west as Georgetown, as far south as Cardwell and the islands of the Torres Strait and because this is a rural ride, we’d like to direct the funds to some of the rural health services,” she said.

She was confident that at least $15,000 would be raised by the time the event concludes.

To make a donation to the cause, visit www.rnrmtbadventure.org.au.

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Good Friday Fundraiser 28/03/2018

THE strong Victorian ex-patriate community in Port Douglas is hoping to emulate the success of that state’s Good Friday Appeal.
Port Douglas AFL president Chris Bradsworth said the league had come up with the initiative of supporting the Mossman Hospital Friends of the Foundation, similar to the Good Friday Footy in Victoria.
“The idea originated from two years of thinking and talking about what happens in Victoria, and we want to support our local community,” Mr Bradsworth said. “In Victoria, where Good Friday AFL Football is prominent, the Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal raises millions of dollars, so we thought we would donate a percentage of our gate takings to our local hospital,” he said.
“We think the whole Far North Community will come forward to support this and we see it becoming an annual event supporting the Mossman Hospital.”
Spectators will also get to witness the unfurling of two premiership flags from last season, being both the Seniors and Reserves football sides, which will once again be brought to the grounds by sponsors GBR Helicopters, and also escorted by S & S Trike & Harley Tours.
Mossman Hospital Director of Nursing Peter Le Griffon said the Mossman Hospital Friends of the Foundation were extremely excited about the initiative. “We are part of this community and we know it is extremely supportive of what we’re doing, so we’re very excited about this opportunity to further support our community,” Mr Le Griffon said.
“We know our community is passionate about Health Service and we’d love to see some locals join our Community Advisory Network and the Mossman and Douglas Friends of the Foundation Committee,” he said. The hospital has a long history in the community – with the original hospital built in Port Douglas in 1878. The service was relocated to Mossman in 1930.
One particular focus of the hospital is its aged care provision, as well as emergency care for locals and visitors alike.
*The game will be at the Port Douglas Sporting Complex on Good Friday, March 30 from midday. The Port Douglas Crocs will play the South Cairns Cutters. The seconds hit the ground at 12noon with seniors at 2pm. A local musician, Shannon, will be live from the club at 7pm.
 

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Arrow event launched 26/03/2018

WALKING through the rainforest with your friends while fundraising for life saving equipment, is the latest initiative of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
The Audi Arrow Experience will be launched today, with Cairns Hospital director of emergency Dr Richard Stone, Cairns Regional councillor Richie Bates; as well as Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe and Audi Cairns owner Alan Ren.
"The idea for the Arrow Experience actually came about during a discussion with a supporter so we've been working on it for a few months now and we're really excited to let the public know to save the date," Ms Duncombe said.
The event will be held on June 17, 2018 with participants given the option of a long or short course and the potential to fundraise selling raffle tickets in a new Audi A1.
"In the first year, numbers will be limited to 300 but we think it's going to be a really popular event," Ms Duncombe said.
Fundraising will go towards the Emergency Department of Cairns Hospital.
"We're actually one of the busiest Emergency Departments in the state so every extra piece of equipment we can buy, can mean we can save more lives more quickly," Dr Stone said. Brunch will be available after the event with barbecues, food and drinks provided by fundraising teams.
"We also are excited to announce that Audi have come on board as the naming rights sponsor, enabling us to call this event the Audi Arrow Experience,"
Ms Duncombe said.
"The event will be fully supported - there will be volunteers and medics at intervals along the way, and at the end of the activity, we'll draw the winner of the Audi," she said.
The new owner of Audi Cairns, Alan Ren, who lives nearby, said he was excited to be involved with both the event and the Foundation.
"We were actually researching the Foundation before we moved up from Sydney and we're really excited to be aligned with this local charity that is keeping funds raised local. With a young family ourselves, we hope we don't need to, but we know the day may well come that we need the local health service," Mr Ren said.
"I have been inspired by the passionate team at the Foundation and look forward to working with them over the coming years to support the Cairns community," he said.
Registrations are open at www.arrowexperience.org.au

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Roses for a Hearty Cause 16/03/2018

ONE year and one day ago, Geoff Choveaux’s life hung in the balance.
The “jumper leads” were put on his chest eight times, re-starting his heart when it stopped beating numerous times.
Today, the Yungaburra rose farmer has provided 50 bunches of roses for sale, with funds raised going towards “Team McGuinness”, a husband and wife duo riding in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
While Mary, a midwife at Cairns Hospital, was not available to help sell roses, her colleague Melissa Marshall put her salesperson skills to the test.
Ms Marshall met Mr Choveaux’s partner at a Tableland markets recently, started chatting about the anniversary of his medical condition and offered the roses as a fundraiser.
“I don’t ride a bike,” Ms Marshall said, “But this is my way of helping out.”
Mr Choveaux was in Atherton delivering roses when he started to “feel a bit funny”.
“I was going to drive home to Yungaburra, but then I thought I’d drive to the doctor and then I thought ‘No, I think I’ll just drive straight to hospital’.”
Which he did, but then found he could not get out of the car as he was too weak and giddy, so he telephoned his partner Eve-Lyn McGrath, who called the hospital directly and staff raced out to help him. This happened around noon.
“They put the jumper leads (defibrillator) on me seven times in Atherton and another time in Cairns, and the helicopter flew me down to Cairns, where they cleared out the blockage and put a stent in. I’m very lucky,” Mr Choveaux said.
He was resting comfortably in the ward by the time his partner arrived at the Cairns Hospital at 5pm.
“This is our little way of saying thank you to all the staff who looked after us and maybe helping provide equipment to help someone else,” he said.
Registrations are open for the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge, an annual fundraising bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown in September. Visit HERE for more information.

 

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Lucky escape leads to gift 2/03/2018

ONE man’s near-death experience at Cairns Hospital has led to the donation of a vital piece of equipment.
Rob Sattler spent nine days in the Intensive Care Unit at Cairns Hospital in 2017 and is now so grateful to have his life back, that he is actively fundraising for the department.
During his stay in hospital, Rob and wife Lucy decided they wanted to make a difference to the staff who had made such a difference in their lives.
They spoke with Lucy’s mother Terina Sylvester, a member of the Rotary Club of Cairns Trinity, who took their request for help to her fellow Rotarians.
“The Rotarians thought the i-Stat Analyzer was a very worthy purchase when they heard the machine would provide much faster results for very sick babies as the machine could be used at the bedside,” Ms Sylvester said.
“It would also mean less blood was needed for the test as the machine was especially for testing babies and infants.  Previously the ICU had to use a blood gas machine designed for adults, this meant the blood collection was an adult quantity, and the test couldn’t be conducted at the bedside, another problem that the new machine could remedy.”
The Rotarians decided to donate the full $9900 needed for the purchase, using funds that had been collected for The Dream Flight Trust – a special trust fund under the management of the Rotary Club of Cairns Trinity. The Trust holds funds specially allocated for children and the Rotarians thought the i-stat Analyser perfectly fitted the aims of the Trust.
Cairns Hospital ICU Nurse Unit Manager Trish Smith said the iSTAT was a valuable clinical tool that enables critical biochemistry of seriously ill children to be measured with minute amounts of blood.
“This is beneficial to both the child and the health care team as it results in reduced pain and discomfort for the child, and a smaller sample is needed to be obtained to get an accurate result.
The iSTAT also is used to accurately measure low levels of calcium, which is a requirement in providing advanced critical care dialytic therapy for adult and paediatric patients in the ICU. We are grateful to have members of our local community provide such a useful piece of equipment for the ICU,” Ms Smith said.
The donation was made via the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation. CEO Tony Franz said it was rewarding to see the community recognising a need in local health care, and rallying together to make it happen. “We're seeing that more and more now, that people are recognising they can make a real difference to health outcomes in their community – in recognition of something they or a loved one have been through.”

Rob’s Story:
 Rob's normally a healthy 38-year-old local dad and business owner. In August 2017, he caught the flu, and by the middle of September he was in a coma.
 The flu weakened his immune system and allowed pneumonia to take hold. And because they are busy people who tend to 'soldier on', it turned into sepsis before they knew about it.
 Pneumonia didn't look like you'd expect it to. Rob had a light cough that wouldn't go away, and was pretty tired, but otherwise not much different to normal. In fact, he thought he was still just recovering from the nasty flu. Which is how everything got so out of hand.
Rob walked into Cairns Hospital on Saturday, September 16 at 9.30am. By 3pm, he was in an induced coma. He stayed in the coma on life support until the following Thursday, and all up spent 9 days in the ICU and 19 days in hospital.
 Without the care, experience and support of the team at Cairns ICU, Rob wouldn't be here. He was just about as sick as you can be, and survive. If he'd been 20 years older, or smoked or was overweight, he wouldn't be here. If his heart had failed, he wouldn't be here.
 Rob's now working to raise awareness for sepsis through his Instagram account, Rob's Hike Back To Life, and would like to raise funds to improve the conditions for patients and their loved ones in the ICU.

Photos: Below: Lyn Jensen, President of the Rotary Club of Cairns Trinity; Graham Reveleigh, Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Cairns Trinity, and Trustee of the Dream Flight Trust; Terina Sylvester, member of Rotary Club of Cairns Trinity; Rob Sattler, previous patient of ICU and Lucy Sattler.

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Beautiful beetroot brownies 26/02/2018

What you need
250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), 100g butter, 250g cooked beetroot, drained; three eggs, 250g light brown sugar, 2 tbspn cocoa powder, 1 tbspn vanilla extract, 150g ground almonds, 1 tbspn baking powder, 1 tbspn cayenne pepper powder (optional).
Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare a 23cm square baking tin by greasing with a little butter. Line with a wide strip of baking paper, leaving two “tails” at either side to help lift the cooked brownie out of the tin.
2. Break chocolate into squares and put into a heatproof bowl with the butter. Set over a pan of barely simmering water and allow to gently melt, stirring to mix together as it does so.
3. Tip beetroot into a food processor and process to a puree, pausing the motor to scrape down sides if necessary.
4. Add melted chocolate, butter and eggs and whizz until combined. Scrape sides down, add sugar, almonds, cocoa, baking powder and chilli powder (if using) and process until smooth.
5. Pour into prepared baking tin and bake for about 30 minutes until the top is set and brownie is starting to pull a little away from sides of the tin. A skewer inserted in the centre will come out fairly clean but still a touch sticky - don’t worry if it still seems a little soft as it will firm up on cooling.
6. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack and allow to go cold in the tin. 7. Using baking paper tails, ease from the tin and cut into 16 squares.

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Friends dedicated to hospital 26/02/2018

THE Mareeba Friends of the Foundation recently handed over about $30,000 towards equipment at Mareeba Hospital, the latest in a long line of donations.
The community organisation has been operating for more than 10 years, and in that time has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and items to the hospital, including televisions and the recently completed $100,000 children’s playground.
The latest donation was for a portable ultrasound device improving the recognition of abdominal trauma, heart conditions and the early detection of bone trauma for example after a fall or accident when an x-ray will be delayed.
The probes also allow for quick look obstetrics ultrasounds.
“The Mareeba Friends is a great way for the community to connect with the hospital and they know we’re there to support them,” said chairperson for the group Ida Portella.
“Whatever they need, they come to us and let us know and if we’re happy with it and if we feel it’s going to improve patient services, then we say let’s do it,” Ms Portella said.
A lot of the group’s funds come from private donations, Rotary and Bendigo Bank but each year the Mareeba District Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association hold a fundraising dinner with all proceeds going to the Foundation. In 2017 they raised more than $18,500.
They currently have two chairs for the palliative care rooms to make life comfortable for those sitting with dying loved ones,  on order. They also are waiting for a cuddle cot sleeping system which allows parents to stay with their babies a little longer after they have passed away.
“In the last six months we’ve spent well over $160,000 at the hospital,” Ms Portella said.
“Queensland Health know we are here and we do care about our hospital and by giving to our hospital it’s great for our community. We’re all going to benefit from it.”
The Mareeba Friends of the Foundation is currently looking for a new project and considering buying some dialysis units, refurbishing the chapel or buying an outdoor kitchen.
“We’re working with the hospital at the moment looking at a range of things,” Ms Portella said. “These are all things that enhance the patient services. If there’s more that we can do, we will do it,” she said.

Photo: Mareeba Friends of the Foundation chair Ida Portella checks out the ultrasound probes with Acting Medical Superintendent at mareeba Hospital Toby Hopton and Senior Medical Officer Brian Treanor.

 

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Friends groups get together 26/02/2018

WE recently caught up with these fabulous ladies, who are "Friends of the Foundation" in Gordonvale, Innisfail and Mareeba for a workshop on their fundraising activities.
Fundraising groups in each of these communities are tireless workers to improve equipment available to patients and staff in those areas.
Thanks so much to Dr Sean McManus, who gave a fascinating presentation about ICU, as well as our chairman Dr Ken Chapman and Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service chairman Clive Skarott AM for joining us for a productive day.

 

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Funds put to good use 26/02/2018

WE love to spend the money that is generously donated to us and we've been putting it to good use recently.
Triple M Cairns raised $13,067 during their 2017 Give Me 5 for Kids campaign and we bought quilts, lamps and rocking chairs for the parent rooms in Special Care Nursery at Cairns Hospital.
Kim Berman-Hardman from paediatric speech pathology told us she treats babies and children with communication and feeding difficulties due to their complex medical conditions.
"Thanks to GM54K Ii was able to purchase lots of toys and resources to improve the outcomes of my patients. I would really like to thank GM54K and Triple M for their generous donation. I know its going to improve my therapy."

 

 

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Volunteers get front row seat 26/02/2018

DO you want a front row seat to the best show in town?
Volunteers are needed to help the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation help the world's top ironment and women compete in the Cairns Ironman events.
Be part of the atmosphere by being involved in an official capacity.
You might be a local wanting to support your community, an avid triathlete, a veteran volunteer, a student wanting to gain experience at world class event, or simply a lover of sport.
This will be a spectacular event, and the enthusiasm of our volunteer army will be crucial to its success.
To get involved, contact Foundation volunteer manager Anne Chirio on Ph: 4225 8993 or email volunteers@fnqhf.org.au

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Outback ride a family affair 21/02/2018

IT was while riding in one fundraising bike ride that Rebecca Buldo’s interest in another fundraising ride was piqued.
The Cooktown nurse said the R’n’R MTB Adventure would be a family affair – with her husband Paul volunteering and brother-in-law Mick also riding.
The R’n’R MTB Adventure is a cycling initiative of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, following the overwhelming success of the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge. Cyclists in the R’n’R MTB Adventure will travel from Mareeba to Forsayth in May, with the option of returning on the world famous Savannahlander train.
 “My passion came about from my good friends in Cooktown who encouraged me to join them in riding socially, which soon led to more serious training for the Cardiac Challenge. For some, they have never missed a year since its inception.   It was during my second Cardiac Challenge last year during one of the many chats you have with the cyclists in your pack, that one of the riders was promoting the R’n’R,” Ms Buldo said.
“I mentioned this to my brother-in-law who lives interstate and he leapt at the idea.  How could I say no? Clearly, this was going to be a fantastic opportunity.   Living in Cooktown, working at the hospital and knowing its physical distance to a tertiary facility, reminds me daily of the importance of having equitable access to specialist medical treatment.
“Events such as these contribute greatly in providing much needed funding and I feel proud that I can contribute.  I am getting serious with my training now and as this is my first R’n’R, I am thrilled about having a more relaxed ride and being able to enjoy the countryside and what it has to offer.   The itinerary looks very interesting.  I believe this will is a great opportunity and I am pleased to be able to share this with my family.”
Mick Buldo, who works in the defence force in Canberra, has been a commuter cyclist for 20 years and did the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge for the first time in 2016 and again in 2017.
“For me, it was an opportunity to get motivated for a great cause – the professional connection to Rebecca’s nursing work, and also a great reason to catch up with family,” Mr Buldo said. And he’s planning to ride the R’n’R MTB Adventure on his fat bike – a normal bicycle but with oversize tyres to allow riding on soft terrain such as snow or sand. “I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into the R’n’R with Rebecca and my big brother providing support crew. Just as I’m looking forward to Cardiac 2018 to be Cooktown bound for the third year in a row.”
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said potential cyclists only have until February 28 to register for an amazing event taking in some stunning countryside. “It’s really quite spectacular countryside – it’s a smaller group of just 35 riders, and we camp and get to know each other, in outback Queensland.”

Photos:
TOP: Brendan Buldo, Rebecca Buldo and Mick Buldo taking part in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge in 2017.
ABOVE: Mick on his “fat” bike in Canberra on a “zero-degrees” day.

 

 

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Cardiac goal reached 2/02/2018

THE Cairns community has reached its goal, and fundraised $1.4 million for a second cardiac catheter laboratory at Cairns Hospital.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said he was blown away by the generosity of individuals and groups, who answered the call for help.
“We already had some money in the bank from the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge but the community answered the call and we received significant donations towards this project in a short space of time, totalling $423,000,” Dr Chapman said. The final donation of $50,000 came from a woman who saw that’s how much was needed to reach the total, and she was glad to be able to get the appeal over the line.
In addition, funds from the Car for Cardiac, Christmas Wrap and The Power of Pallets went towards the $1.4 million total.
Cairns Hospital director of cardiology Dr Greg Starmer said he could not be more grateful for the Foundation’s work in bringing the community together for the common goal.
Work is well underway, with applicants for the cardiology electrophysiologist position soon to be interviewed.
“As well, we are training more cardiac catheter laboratory nurses and we’re are about to start recruiting a new echocardiology sonographer,” Dr Starmer said.
“We are awaiting final architectural drawings but these have begun.
“What this means for the entire Far North community, is that patients all the way to the outer Torres Strait Islands will benefit, and the contribution from the community to enable this to occur is both unique and greatly appreciated,” he said. The two cardiac catheter laboratories will run side-by-side in a new location in D Block at Cairns Hospital.
“We will be able to do all the work we already are, such as angioplasties and other coronary procedures. But the second lab means we will be able to perform ablations of abnormal heart rhythms rather than send those patients to Townsville or Brisbane. We also will be able to implant life-saving implantable defibrillators into who people who need them – also saving them having to go to Townsville or Brisbane,” he said.
Dr Starmer is confident the second cath lab facility will be operational by the end of the year.

 

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Many hands make light work 31/01/2018

MANY hands make light work and that was certainly the case for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s annual Christmas wrap last month.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said 130 volunteers wrapped to their hearts content, filling 429 shifts and working about 1716 hours.
The Foundation received $21,062.30 through shoppers having their gifts wrapped for a gold coin donation per gift.
More than 135 volunteers, spent 1624 hours, over 406 shifts, wrapping more than 10,000 gifts during the Christmas season at Cairns Central.
Cairns Central centre manager Christie-Lee Jackson said it was delightful that Cairns shoppers again supported their local charity. “We know these lovely volunteers were very busy throughout the month, and this is our little way of thanking them for their hard work,” she said.
To thank the volunteers for their hard work and dedication to the health services of the Far North, Cairns Central hosted a morning tea at Coffee Club on Wednesday, January 31.
Ms Duncombe said funds raised from this year’s Christmas Wrap, would go directly towards the second cardiac catheter laboratory at Cairns Hospital.
“Every cent we receive through donations stays local and every cent goes to its intended cause because all our administrative costs are covered by our commercial operations,” Ms Duncombe said.
“Since the Foundation’s inception 20 years ago, we have now contributed more than $15 million to improving health care in the Far North, and events such as this really do make a difference to patient outcomes,” Ms Duncombe said.

 

 

 

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Oh what a feeling! 30/01/2018

A LOCAL builder with a long history of supporting the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, is the surprise winner of a Toyota Yaris car raffle.
Max Bryant, owner of Bryant Constructions, was somewhat surprised when he received the phone call last week. He also won $1000 worth of fuel from Mobil Trinity Petroleum.
“Well you don’t buy raffle tickets to win things, do you. You do it to support the charity,” Mr Bryant said.
“We support the Foundation by donating to the Cardiac Challenge and my wife and I regularly donate for particular events so we do what we can,” he said.
His winning ticket was one of 25 he bought online after receiving an email about the raffle.
The Foundation sold 3084 tickets online, and 19,647 paper tickets.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe was very surprised when Mr Bryant’s name was randomly drawn by computer.
“I’ve known Max for a really long time and I know he’s been a Rotarian for a long time so it’s nice to see it go to someone who supports the community so much,” Ms Duncombe said.
The Car for Cardiac initiative raised just over $35,000 for the Foundation, with funds raised going to the second cardiac catheter laboratory project.
“This is a really important project for people in Far North Queensland and will prevent many heart patients having to travel away for treatment,” she said.
“We’re really grateful for the support not only from all the people who bought a ticket, but also from the volunteers who sold the ticket and the shopping centres who supported it by having the car in centre at various times.”

 


Photo: Glenys Duncombe with Pacific Toyota dealer principal Shannon Marshall.

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Family helps other families 17/01/2018

A GENEROUS Cairns family touched by heart disease has come forward to help other heart patients in the Far North.
The family, who did not wish to be identified, have pledged $100,000 to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s cardiac catheter laboratory project.
The commitment brings the total raised by the Foundation to $1.3 million – leaving just $100,000 still to be raised.
They met with the Foundation and Cairns Hospital director of cardiology Dr Greg Starmer just before Christmas, and confirmed their commitment to support the project.
The siblings are acting on behalf of a family trust, set up by their father, a well known local cane farmer and business man.
“Dad had his first heart attack aged 60 and five years later he had a quintuple bypass in Brisbane,” the family said.
“We had another 23 wonderful years with our Dad, he died 10 years ago of an unrelated matter and so when we saw that the Foundation was fundraising for something that would help other heart patients, it seemed fitting that we do this in his honour,” the sister said.
Just before Christmas, the pair met with Cairns Hospital director of cardiology Dr Greg Starmer, who explained how their money would make a difference.
Ironically, Dr Starmer and the man are both “Saints boys”, albeit a few years apart.
“We love that the money stays here and that we can see exactly what it's going to. We're with you,” the brother said to Dr Starmer.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said she was simply blown away by the community's commitment to making the second cath lab a reality.
“We've now received significant donations of $423,000 and a pledge of $100,000 towards this project in just a couple of months and we're so grateful to these generous people,” Ms Duncombe said.
“We've still got the money to be tallied from Christmas Wrap and the Car for Cardiac which concludes on January 24, 2018, so I think we'll only have $50,000 to go then,” she said.
People can contribute by making a tax deductible donation directly via www.fnqhf.org.au or buying tickets in the “Car for Cardiac” - also on the website or at Cairns Central until January 2, 2018 and then at Stockland Earlville until January 23, 2018.

Photo: Cairns Hospital director of cardiology Dr Greg Starmer, with the Foundation's Glenys Duncombe at the launch of the "Car for Cardiac".

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Donation a new record 17/01/2018

IT’s not every day that someone walks into a charity office in Far North Queensland, with a cheque for $300,000.
But that’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago to experienced fundraiser Glenys Duncombe of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
“I sat the donor and her friend down in our boardroom and she handed over the cheque – I couldn’t believe it,” Ms Duncombe said.
She quickly fetched Foundation CEO Tony Franz who also was stunned at the donation – the single largest in the Foundation’s history.
The money is to be split equally between the cardiac catheter laboratory project and the Liz Plummer Cancer Care Unit.
At her request, the donor is remaining anonymous, but was happy to talk about her story.
Aged 87, the woman has endured terrible heartache – losing her husband, daughter and grandaughter, as well as undergoing significant medical issues herself.
Born locally at Herries Hospital, in 2008 the woman underwent major heart procedures in Townsville.
“I just think locals should support locals and that’s what I’ve done with this donation. My family has been hit by both heart conditions and cancer, so I wanted to support both causes,” she said.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we all did something like this – what a difference we could make. I want to give back to future generations.”
Her donation brings the tally to $1.2 million for the $1.4 million project, leaving $200,000 remaining to be raised.

Photo: Cairns Hospital interventional cardiologists Dr Greg Starmer and Dr Anthony Brazzale.

 

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Staff grateful for ventilator 21/12/2017

A PORTABLE ventilator will help keep Mossman patients in their community, rather than having to travel away to Cairns.
Mossman Hospital Emergency Department clinical nurse Kath Anich said the device, which performs invasive ventilation, non-invasive ventilation and hi-flow nasal oxygen, could be used on babies, children and adults when they come into hospital.
“For people who have breathing difficulties, sometimes there is a narrow window, where if you can get them onto a device like this, it will help them more than normal oxygen,” Ms Anich said.
“It might even prevent them deteriorating to the point they stop breathing or need more invasive intervention,” she said.
“This is usually a device that larger emergency departments have, but for us to have it will mean we can better stabilise critically ill patients before they are helicoptered out to Cairns, or even that they won’t have to be transferred out to Cairns at all,” she said.
At a cost of $44,000, the ventilator was bought by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
“We’re really thankful to the Foundation for providing this to us – we wouldn’t have had it otherwise and we know it will make a big difference to many of our patients,” Ms Anich said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said it was a pleasure to provide equipment that would make such an immediate difference to patient outcomes.
“We can see that this will have a positive impact on patients and the community overall because there is obviously a cost and it becomes more emotionally difficult when loved ones are in hospital some distance away from home,” Mr Franz said.
The item was funded through donations as well as profits from the Foundation’s cafes and carpark.
PHOTO: L to R – Senior Medical Officer (SMO) Dr Adam Pritchard, SMO Dr Anna Gough, Clinical Nurse Kath Anich, Registered Nurse Jess Shapter & Clinical Nurse Reggie Knight.

 

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Minister matches funds raised 21/12/2017

The addition of a second $2.8 million cardiac catheterisation laboratory will increase capacity at Cairns Hospital by up to 1400 extra cardiac patients.
During his first visit to Cairns Hospital in his new role as Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Mr Steven Miles announced the new laboratory which is due to open late in 2018.
The State Government has matched the $1.4 million dollars raised through the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation for the project.
“Demand for cardiac services in the far north is ever-increasing due to a growing and ageing population,” Mr Miles said.
“The $2.8 million dollars will fund the fit out, construction and the latest equipment for the new cardiac catheterisation lab.
“This commitment will significantly expand the Cairns Hospital’s ability to respond to increasing demand for this service and provide the highest quality patient care.”
“The second cardiac catheter lab will be adjacent to the Cardiac Unit and Cardiac Investigations Unit in Block D creating an integrated cardiac service all on one level.”
Cairns Hospital’s Clinical Director of Cardiology Dr Greg Starmer said as well as increasing capacity, the range of cardiac services will also be expanded once the facility is completed.
“Currently, people who need Electrophysiological services (EPS) need to travel outside the Cairns region, usually to Townsville but it will become available in the new cardiac catheterisation lab, meaning more far north Queensland patients can be treated closer to home,” Dr Starmer said.
“This expansion represents a major advancement in the delivery of comprehensive, high quality cardiac services to the far north region.”
Patient activity at the cath lab has almost doubled since 2013, according to the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service.
The 11-year-old lab became a 24/7 service only two years ago. CHHHS has submitted a business case for capital funding for a new cath lab with recurrent costs already approved in principle by its new board.
Dr Starmer said public patients currently needing the service are placed on a long waiting list and ultimately sent to Townsville.

PHOTO: Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman, CHHHS chairman Clive Skarott AM, Cairns Hospital Director of Cardiology Dr Greg Starmer, Health Minister Steven Miles, Member for Cairns Michael Healy.

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Fishos leave legacy of health 20/12/2017

GAME fishing fanatics from around the world are leaving a legacy of improved health care for heart patients in Far North Queensland.
Leftover funds from a life-size marlin sculpture unveiled on the Cairns waterfront last year, have been donated to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, for the second cardiac catheter laboratory project.
The large, bronzed black marlin statue was commissioned to recognise the significant contribution the game fishing industry had had on Cairns tourism and the general economy.
Cheryl Campbell - a member of the Cairns Game Fishing Commemorative Association, which was established to raise funding for the project - said support for the “lasting legacy” of the Cairns game fishing industry had gained widespread national and international support, above and beyond what the association had originally anticipated.
“We received some significant donations for the sculpture from overseas, Australia and the local Far Northern community and it was the committee’s view that we should donate the leftover funds to a worthy local cause. And, the Foundation certainly fits the bill,” Mrs Campbell said.
She is a long-standing supporter of Cairns Hospital and was one of the original board members of the  Foundation when it was established in 1997.
She said most members of the Commemorative Association had been touched by the work of the Foundation in some way, whether personally or through friends or family. “When we sat down to decide where the extra funding should go, the Foundation seemed a natural choice and the cardiac catheter laboratory will benefit so many members of the Cairns community over many years to come,” she said.
Association president Capt Dennis “Brazzaka” Wallace agreed the Foundation was a deserving recipient. “Cairns is of size and the community is going to need these (cardiac) procedures more and more, so it makes sense to help bring these services closer to home so we don’t have to travel away,” Mr Wallace said. “Similar to the marlin sculpture being a lasting legacy for the game fishing industry, we believe the cardiac catheter lab will leave an important legacy of its own on the Cairns community.”
Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said the $123,000 donation from the Association was a very welcome and generous gift. “Gifts like this really make a difference to this important project,” Dr Chapman said.
“We are edging closer all the time to our goal of $1.4 million so we are calling on the community to support us in the work we are doing to support heart patients in FNQ,” he said.

 

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Rapt about wrapping 14/12/2017

TAKE the stress out of Christmas this year and hand over your trolley of presents to be wrapped by volunteers for charity.
More than 130 Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation volunteers are giving up hours of their time this Christmas, to help cardiac patients.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the community was incredibly generous last year, donating $22,695 to the volunteer wrappers at Cairns Central’s Christmas Wrap.
“Funds raised from this annual event, will this year be going towards the second cardiac catheter lab project at Cairns Hospital,” Mr Franz said. “Of course all the funds that are donated to us, stay local to benefit local people.”
The project will mean less people have to travel to Townsville or Brisbane for heart treatment, and more heart patients can stay local.
“We actually have the highest rate of hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction in Queensland, at 905 per 100,000, which is 3.5 times higher than the national average.”
Last year more than 135 volunteers, spent 1624 hours, over 406 shifts, wrapping more than 10,000 gifts during the Christmas season at Cairns Central.
“Customers donate a gold coin for each gift to be wrapped, so that means the Hospital volunteers were very busy this year,” Mr Franz said.
Some volunteers use the event as a team-building exercise in their workplace, others volunteer with their family and some have moved away, but every year when they come “home” for Christmas they always volunteer at Christmas Wrap.
Funds raised from events such as Christmas Wrap have previously contributed towards the brainlab orthopaedic surgery equipment, paediatric playground, education, training and research grants and interactive patient stations.
“Every cent we receive through donations stays local and every cent goes to its intended cause because all our administrative costs are covered by our commercial operations,” he said. “Since the Foundation’s inception 20 years ago, we have contributed more than $14 million to improving health care in the Far North, and events such as this really do make a difference to patient outcomes,” Mr Franz said.
Cairns Central is delighted to continue to partner with the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation for the annual charity Christmas gift wrap, which has been going for more than 15 years. We are truly overwhelmed by the generosity of the community, giving up their own time to help such a worthy local fundraiser,” Cairns Central Centre Manager Christie-Lee Jackson said.

 

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Grilled peaches with ricotta 6/12/2017


Australian peaches are available between October and April. Rich in vitamins A, C and E and a great source of dietary fibre and potassium, Australian peaches are some of the world’s best eating fruit. Our warm climate and hot, dry summers promote sweeter, juicier summer stone fruit. Peaches bruise easily so look for smooth, unblemished fruit and handle with care. They generally arrive in the shops in a firm condition and will have flesh that crunches when eaten. This is a simple and easy dish perfect for Christmas. Enjoy.
Grilled peaches with ricotta
What you need
4 just-ripe peaches, halved, stone removed; 1 orange zested and retain ½ the juice; 200g fresh ricotta cheese; 1tbspn icing sugar; pinch ground cinnamon; 100g toasted muesli - slightly crushed or crushed ginger nut biscuits; 4 tbspn warm runny honey to serve.
Method
1. Preheat grill on medium-high heat. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the peaches, cut side up, on the tray.
2. Place ricotta, cinnamon, icing sugar, orange juice and zest in a bowl and stir until well combined. Spoon mixture into peach cavities. Sprinkle over toasted muesli or ginger nut biscuits. Grill peaches for 4 to 5 minutes or until crumbs start to brown.
3. Spoon peach halves onto plates. Drizzle with honey and serve. Add a good quality vanilla ice cream.

 

 

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Improving patient outcomes 29/11/2017

A $300,000 community investment is improving patient outcomes at Cairns Hospital.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation contributed the money through donations from the community, towards the overall $1.5 million budget of the vital signs monitors.
Cairns Hospital ieMR clinical leader Cam Stewart said 100 vital signs monitors were bought, as well as software to upgrade a further 100 devices that were already in place.
The monitors use WiFi to transfer a patient’s vital signs or “observations” – temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturations into the patient electronic observation chart.
“The vital signs monitors automatically upload that information into a patient’s electronic medical record – rather than a nurse having to write it down on a chart, or a scrap of paper, or type them manually into the computer,” Mr Stewart said.
“The biggest outcomes are less transcribing mistakes, significant time savings for nurses and we can better identify and track if a patient is deteriorating so we can act more quickly to address that,” he said.
“Already in just three months we’re seeing time savings of up to 2 minutes per set of observations most nurse do 10-12 sets of vital signs a shift, so if you extrapolate that across the whole hospital, there is a lot of time invested back into quality care.”
And a survey of staff who have used the technology indicate almost 90 per cent of them, found it easy to use and more than 70 per cent said they found it saved time.
“At the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane where this has been running for 2.5 years, they found in some areas earlier response and recognition of clinical deterioration and we’re very confident that Cairns Hospital will follow that trend.”
The vital signs monitors are being used in most wards of the hospital, with a couple of wards yet to “go live”.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said it was incredibly heart warming to know that community donations were going to improving patient outcomes.
“This technology is incredible to watch in action and we are confident it will save nurses time, save potential errors and mean better patient care in the long term,” Mr Franz said.

Photo: Cairns Hospital nurse India Talbot and ieMR clinical leader Cam Stewart demonstrate the vital signs technology to Foundation CEO Tony Franz.

 

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Marmalade sandwiches ready 24/11/2017

BEARS like Paddington are very rare. And a good thing too, if you ask me, or it would cost us a small fortune in marmalade.
Fans of the famous Paddington Bear have been invited to an exclusive advance screening of Paddington 2, the follow-up to the 2014 smash hit family film, in Cairns on December 3.
Sick children in Far North Queensland will benefit from ticket sales to the event at three city cinemas.
Thanks to a partnership between Event Hospitality and Entertainment (EVENT) and film distributor StudioCanal, the proceeds from every ticket sold in Cairns will be donated directly to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, to help give sick and injured kids access to the best possible paediatric care.
Foundation fundraising and events co-ordinator Lindsay McDonnell said since 2015, Event (including local Rydges hotels) had provided more than $40,000 to the Foundation. “This has come about through payroll deductions, staff fundraising functions, gold coin donations and the company matching donations,” Ms McDonnell said.
Event Cinemas Regional Queensland Marketing Manager Deanne Clark said the company was thrilled to be supporting such a meaningful initiative.
“This year will mark the seventh annual charity screening which has seen over $580,000 raised from this initiative alone around! In addition, our food and beverage team have confirmed they will donate $2 from every Paddington 2 Combo sold on the day, to add to the fundraising,” Ms Clark said.
The much-anticipated sequel looks every bit as charming and whimsical as the first film, and finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes.
While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, he spots a unique pop-up book in Mr Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the culprit. Ben Whishaw is again voicing the titular mischief-maker, with Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson joining the cast.
Tickets for this exclusive advance charity screening of PADDINGTON 2 will cost $12* each and can be bought online at eventcinemas.com.au or at cinema box offices.
StudioCanal’s PADDINGTON 2 releases in theatres nationwide on December 26, 2016
Buy tickets HERE

Photo: Flynn Clark cannot wait for the Paddington 2 charity screening.

 

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Sitting on top of the world 24/11/2017

PATIENTS, staff and volunteers of Cairns Hospital are sitting on top of the world lip syncing and dancing to one of Australian singing sensation Delta Goodrem’s singles.
The video, released today, brings awareness to helping improve health outcomes in the Far North.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said the song was an inspirational example of the close partnership between the Foundation, Cairns Hospital staff, volunteers and patients.
“It really is an amazingly heart-warming snapshot of the incredible people we work with every day, and what can be achieved,” Dr Chapman said.
“We hope that people will see this, be inspired, share it and we can help even more patients in the Far North ‘sit on top of the world’,” he said.
 “The project is something the team had wanted to create for a long time, but it was a chance meeting with a connection with the Sony Foundation that really sparked the fire,” Dr Chapman said.
Videographer Norbert von der Heidt and director Brad Newton donated 2.5 days to filming the project, and the Foundation had incredible support from staff, volunteers and patients. The whole video actually was produced by 92 amazing local people.
“We know some of the hospital staff said to us they found it to be a great team-building project and it’s really wonderful for people to be having fun, and supporting a great cause.”
Patient Skye Vass, mum of three, said the video was exciting to be involved in.
“After the twins arrived I was in hospital for a little while and used a piece of equipment the Foundation had bought, so it really brought home to me how important it was to be involved and make a difference,” she said.
“I always feel like I receive really amazing care at the Cairns Hospital. Everything is really focussed on the patient, which is wonderful.”

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Volunteers put heart into event 17/11/2017

HUNDREDS of volunteer hours have gone into prepping food for party-goers intent on fundraising for a good cause.
Acclaimed chef Catherine Pacey has been working behind the scenes for months on menu planning and sourcing volunteer hospitality workers for The Power of Pallets this Friday night.
“I have always enjoyed event co-ordination and food plays such an important part when bringing people together,” Ms Pacey said.
Former executive chef at Thala Beach Lodge and currently chef and owner of Cairns Cooking School, Ms Pacey said the Hospital Foundation supports the whole community so she felt the whole community should support it in return.
“I’ve actually been involved with The Power of Pallets since it began four years ago and I just love it.”
She has sourced 25 hospitality workers to donate their time for the lead-up and the big night.
“I’ve really been overwhelmed by the response not only of the volunteer staff but also of the suppliers,” she said.
Total Food Network has supplied all the fruit and vegetables for the event, and ISP Seafood has supplied $1000 worth of product.
Volunteers will be cooking 10kg of Arborio rice, prepping more than 200 desserts, as well as 60kg of tomatoes, as an example of the work being done.
“The menu is going to be amazing, we’re really excited.”
This year’s The Power of Pallets presented by The Property Shop, will contribute towards a second cardiac catheter laboratory at Cairns Hospital.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and event co-ordinator Lindsay McDonnell said the Foundation was fundraising $1.4 million for the second cath lab project.
“This is important because some of the cardiac issues in the Far North are the worst in the country,” Ms McDonnell said. “Hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction are the highest in
Queensland at 905 per 100,000. This is 3.5 times higher than the national average,” she said. “The Power of Pallets is an amazing event and we are looking forward to working together to raise as much as we can for this important project.”

 

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New board welcomed 13/11/2017

NEW board members have been welcomed to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Chairman Dr Ken Chapman welcomed Ali Davenport, Dr Edward Strivens, Jodi Peters and Clive Skarott AM at its November meeting.
They join fellow members Professor John McBride, John Andrejic, Pat Bailey, Steve Russell, Clare Douglas and Desley Boyle.
“We’re very pleased about the new board members and the skills they bring to our already accomplished board,” Dr Chapman said.
Previously the board farewelled long-time supporters Charlie Marino and Mario Calanna as well as Anita Veivers.

PHOTO: Back, left to right: Ali Davenport, Steve Russell, Prof John McBride, Dr Edward Strivens, Jodi Peters. Front left to right: Clare Douglas, Dr Ken Chapman, Clive Skarrott, Desley Boyle. Absent: Pat Bailey, John Andrejic.

 

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"I was a walking timebomb" 2/11/2017

BUYING tickets in a gala ball and buying fabulous furniture made out of disused timber pallets, will help keep cardiac patients in FNQ.
This year’s The Power of Pallets presented by The Property Shop, will contribute towards a second cardiac catheter laboratory at Cairns Hospital.
The Power of Pallets founder Kate Fern and heart patient Richard Hawes (pictured) inspected some of the pieces that have been made, ahead of the exhibition opening this Friday, November 3.
Mr Hawes, 65, had his aortic valve and part of his aorta replaced, and a pacemaker implanted in May this year, after suffering some breathlessness.
“My wife finally got me to go to the doctor and they discovered a murmur so I was sent to Townsville Hospital where they did all this work on me and I was in ICU for 17 days and I’m so grateful,” Mr Hawes said.
Since then he has undergone Cairns Hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation program, with great results.
“I’m back to work now doing quite physical work and I’ve got four grandchildren including one who lives with us, so I can look forward to watching them grow up and get married,” he said.
“Anything we can do to help keep heart patients close to home and having procedures at Cairns, then I think we should do our utmost to do it.”
Meeting Mr Hawes was an inspiration for Ms Fern.
She instigated the event four years ago as a way to do something tangible and productive for the community with items that would otherwise go to landfill.
 “We move the funds around different areas of the hospital that needs it and this year as the cardiac catheter lab is the Foundation’s major fundraising push, that’s what we’re going to put the funds towards,” she said.
International gardening guru Jamie Durie is returning for this year’s auction and gala dinner on November 17 at The Tanks.
The exhibition of pieces being auctioned, will be at Tank 4 at The Tanks Gallery from this Friday, November 3, and the gala ball and auction will be on November 17.
For further information about The Power of Pallets and to buy tickets, click HERE.

 

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Research assists youth at risk 25/10/2017

HELPING young people learn skills to deal with crisis, reduce damaging behaviour and improve relationships is the aim of a research project funded by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
The $17,000 grant will enable an audit of a long-running youth mental health program that aims to prevent self-harm and suicide.
Dr Richard Lakeman, Adolescent Mental Health Nurse Navigator at Cairns Hospital, said in 12 months, 170 adolescents who had self-harmed presented three or more times to Cairns Hospital Emergency Department. Since the program started in May 2017, 30 individuals have progressed to assessment, 20 being engaged in either weekly pre-commitment therapy or the full program (of individual therapy, skills group attendance and telephone coaching) and two weekly skills groups being run in tandem.
He won the grant after explaining the importance of the Youth Empowerment Towards Independence (YETI) program.
Dr Lakeman said the Youth Empowerment Towards Independence (YETI) program has been running for eight years and the grant would enable researchers to verify what they already suspect – that it is making a difference to the lives of young people. “This research grant will also enable them to continue the program and evaluate its effectiveness,” Dr Lakeman said.
Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said the mental health of young people was of vital concern to everyone in the community.
“Anecdotal evidence indicates this program is working, but this research will hopefully verify that, with the aim of continuing its good work,” Dr Chapman said.
“The Foundation is working to help move Cairns Hospital towards becoming a tertiary hospital and we are pleased to announce that in future we will be doubling our research grant budget each year,” he said.
“From next year, the Foundation will offer two research grants of $25,000 and a number of small grants to a total of $150,000 each year. We know it is important to keep research happening in the tropics and we can provide a conduit for some life-saving research to occur,” Dr Chapman said.
Foundation board member and JCU Professor in Medicine, Prof John McBride said since 2009 the Foundation has provided more than $213,000 to research in the Far North. “That includes last year’s box jellyfish venom project, and smaller grants for gestational diabetes, evacuation response, quantifying cannabis use in Indigenous people and exploring how facial information is processed by young people,” Prof McBride said.
 

Photo: Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman, board member Professor John McBride, YETI psychologist Stacey Anderson and Dr Richard Lakeman.

 

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Students put heart into upcycling 20/10/2017

A GROUP of high school students have put their hard work and creativity into helping improve health services.
Year 11 manual arts students from Trinity Bay High School have produced a number of pallet pieces to be auctioned at this year’s The Power of Pallets fundraiser for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
School Design and Technology teacher Rob Wales said this was the third year the school’s students had participated, and they all got a kick out of knowing they were making a difference.
“It really is wonderful for them to put their new skills to good use for the community,” Mr Wales said. “We find this project is great motivation for the students to try to create their best work, knowing it is going to such a good cause,” he said.
“What they love too is afterwards, finding out how much their piece sold for at auction,” he said.
The Power of Pallets founder Kate Fern inspected some of the pieces produced this week and was astounded with the quality of workmanship.
“These students do such a great job with their pieces and it’s quite inspirational to see how motivated they are to make a difference in their community,” Ms Fern said.
She instigated the event four years ago as a way to do something tangible and productive for the community with items that would otherwise go to landfill.
This year’s The Power of Pallets presented by The Property Shop, will contribute towards a second cardiac catheter laboratory at Cairns Hospital.
“We move the funds around different areas of the hospital that needs it and this year as the cardiac catheter lab is the Foundation’s major fundraising push, that’s what we’re going to put the funds towards,” she said.
International gardening guru Jamie Durie is returning for this year’s auction and gala dinner on November 17 at The Tanks.
“Jamie’s really excited and he had some input into the changes we instigated this year – we do have a few tickets left but people should jump onto the website and grab them before they all go,” Ms Fern said.
For further information about The Power of Pallets and to buy tickets, click HERE.

Photo: The Power of Pallets founder Kate Fern and Trinity Bay High School teacher Rob Wales look over some of the students' work with Dreaki Lui, Andrew Pilot, Gohven Wong and Garry Exton.

 

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Generous community gives back 6/10/2017

NO ONE likes to think of kids in hospital, but a new playground open at the Mareeba Hospital will make their stay a little easier to bear.
Funded through the Mareeba Friends of the Foundation, the playground officially opens this week, much to the delight of staff, patients and the broader community. The Mareeba Friends of the Foundation is a branch of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, fundraising specifically for the Mareeba Hospital.
Mareeba Friends of the Foundation chair Ida Portella said the $140,000 playground came about through a grant from the Mareeba and Dimbulah Bendigo Community Bank, Mareeba Rotary and the Mareeba and District Fruit and Vegetable Growers, in kind donations from local businesses and the entire community.
“The Mareeba Friends have worked on this project for more than four years and it is evident that we continue to receive overwhelming support.   Our purpose is to raise funds to provide additional equipment which improves services for patients and staff at the Mareeba Hospital,” Ms Portella said.
Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service Board chairman Clive Skarott AM said that he was proud to see new facilities added to help improve the experience of the hospital’s patients, both young and old.
“The new playground will provide an appropriate place for children who are either visiting the Mareeba Hospital or who are inpatients to enjoy playing in its colourful and inviting surrounds.”
Mareeba Hospital facility manager and director of nursing and midwifery Vickye Coffey said she wanted to thank all who contributed to the development and construction. “This wonderful playground will benefit the inpatient children and families of the Mareeba community. It is a wonderful example of what a community can do to achieve excellent results,” Ms Coffey said.
Mareeba Hospital maternity nurse unit manager Michelle Bombardieri said the playground is ideally for children aged up to 5 and features garden beds (completed thanks to a Rotary working bee).
“Before, that area was quite run down and not really used for anything, but now it’s one of the best features of the hospital. We have one little boy with a broken leg at the moment, and he’s been loving going out there and getting mobile in a normal, child-friendly environment so it’s been great for his rehabilitation,” Ms Bombardieri said.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said the playground was a wonderful example of the community working together for a common goal. “This will be a wonderful space for Mareeba children – the Foundation now has achieved two childrens playgrounds in a short space of time and we know both of them are well used and help make the hospital experience a little easier to bear, for kids in hospital,” Dr Chapman said.
The Foundation completed and opened its $1.2 million playground adjacent to the children’s ward at Cairns Hospital, two years ago.

Photo: Mareeba local Izzy Price gives the new playground a test run.

 

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Ride brings goal closer 4/10/2017

HEART patients in the Far North are closer to gaining a second cardiac catheter lab, thanks to hundreds of cyclists and their supporters.
The annual Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge ride from Cairns to Cooktown, held on the first weekend of the September school holidays, raised more than $212,500.
Since inception in 2007 by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the event has now raised more than $3 million. The Foundation recently announced it would be fundraising $1.4 million towards a second cardiac catheter lab in Cairns, which will mean less people have to travel away for vital cardiac treatment.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the weekend went very smoothly with 240 cyclists ably assisted by 95 volunteers.
“The weekend went really well, the weather was kind to us, particularly on day 2 which was quite hot last year and the riders had an amazing time,” Ms Duncombe said.
Riders participated from around the country, some who had been travelling in -2 degrees in Canberra, but they really enjoyed the scenery and camaraderie
“We know that patients in Far North Queensland need a second cardiac catheter lab and we have a lot of community support to make it happen. These riders and their supporters have done an incredible job to help bring this project to fruition,” she said.
“Along the way we had incredible support and patience from the motoring public, particularly on the Kuranda Range one-lane closure. We actually were able to reopen the Range completely at 7.17am – fully 90 minutes earlier than scheduled.”
“A large contingent of off-duty staff from Cairns Hospital’s cardiac unit took part as both riders and volunteers on the event, showing they are doing what they can to support those who support them.
“The cardiac unit at Cairns Hospital have an amazing vision of health care and we are working really hard to help make it happen.”

 

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Sea of jerseys floods highways 14/09/2017

A SEA of pink and green cycling jerseys is about to flood the Kennedy and Mulligan highways, as more than 250 cyclists embark on the annual Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
Each pack of up to 25 cyclists has “pack leaders” front and rear, to help the less experienced participants and this year the pack leaders will be distinguishable by their “hot pink” outfits.
Pack leaders talk to each other via UHF radio and each pack also is escorted by escort vehicles front and rear.
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is an annual fundraising bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown, raising funds for cardiac services in the Far North. Since inception in 2007 by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the event has raised more than $2.8 million. The Foundation recently announced it would be fundraising $1.4 million towards a second cardiac catheter lab in Cairns, which will mean less people have to travel away for vital cardiac treatment.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the work of hundreds of volunteers was integral to making the ride a success.
“We have the pack leaders and escort vehicle drivers who do an outstanding job in keeping our riders safe on the road, we have SES volunteers also helping keep them safe on the road,” Ms Duncombe said.
“Police also escort the ride and manage any traffic issues and we have tremendous support from the motoring public as well,” she said.
All trucking companies and tourist operators have been advised that the ride is about to happen and particularly about the partial closure of Kuranda Range on Saturday morning.
“We’re pretty sure we’re going to raise at least $200,000 this year and every cent makes a difference,” Ms Duncombe said.
“We know that patients in Far North Queensland need a second cardiac cath lab and we have a lot of community support to make it happen. These riders and their supporters have done an incredible job to help bring this project to fruition,” she said.
“The cardiac unit at Cairns Hospital have an amazing vision of health care and we are working really hard to help make it happen.”
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge departs Cairns on Saturday, September 16 at 6am from Tjapukai.
For further information or to donate, visit HERE.

Photo: Tony Quinn, Trish Sexton, Michael Rumble, Judi Phillips and Gary Jackson model the pink pack leaders jerseys.

 

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Cardiac's deadly new cyclists 13/09/2017

A GROUP of nine indigenous teenagers have been cycling and fundraising hard to improve their own health and make a difference to the health outcomes of others.
The young men are founding members of the 2 Deadly Treadlys Indigenous Youth cycling group and have been training for almost four months under the guidance of local cycling experts. Attending Trinity Bay High School, the lads are supported by Clontarf Foundation – Trinity Bay Academy and also are part of a state government program – Making Tracks Investment Strategy via Closing The Gap. Cairns Hospital occupational therapist Lauren Sunner, who has been instrumental in bringing the program to fruition, said the lads had been working really hard. “We’ve had a lot of support from the community such as bike shops, as well as bikes supplied by Southside Rotary and the Queensland Police Service,” Ms Sunner said.
“Soon after they began their campaign, they set a goal to participate in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge which has been a wonderful opportunity for them,” she said. “In the past few months they’ve all made a huge effort to train before and after school, learned pack riding skills, carefully considered their lifestyle choices as well as their diet and exercise regimes to make positive changes,” she said.
Clontarf Foundation Trinity Bay Academy associate director Aidan Coate said the young men had committed to months of training and hard work.
“We’ve had early starts with the boys being picked up from home at 6am for training rides. It’s great to see the boys waiting out the front of their house in the morning ready to tackle the next hill or challenge. The program improves the self-esteem, health, resilience and leadership qualities of these young men who will carry these skills into their school and community,” Mr Coate said.
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is an annual fundraising bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown, raising funds for cardiac services in the Far North. Since inception in 2007 by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the event has raised more than $2.8 million. The Foundation recently announced it would be fundraising $1.4 million towards a second cardiac catheter lab in Cairns, which will mean less people have to travel away for vital cardiac treatment.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the boys’ achievements were truly admirable and showed what could be done when people put their minds to it. “This ride changes lives – not just in terms of the fundraising and what it does, but how it changes the participants’ lives and it’s really wonderful to watch the growth and development of these young men,” Ms Duncombe said.
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge departs Cairns on Saturday, September 16 at 6am from Tjapukai.
For further information or to donate, visit www.cardiacchallenge.com.au and to support their team specifically, search for 2 Deadly Treadlys.

 

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Moroccan vegetarian tagine 12/09/2017

THIS vegetarian tagine is full of healthy goodness and with all your daily recommended intake of vegies in one serve, is good for your hips and your hip pocket. Not only is it low-GI, low-fat and diabetes-friendly, it has a subtle blend of apricots and spice so it tastes great too! If you feel the need for meat just add stir fry cut beef, lamb or chicken in step 1 after the onion has softened.
Looking for a quick short cut for lunch tomorrow at work or home? That’s easy. Spoon the tagine in a wrap with a little rocket and a squeeze of lemon. Take a small container of yoghurt for dipping with you to work and hey presto an awesome lunch. Toast the wrap if you wish for a crispy bite.
We serve our very popular Moroccan lamb roti in both dcafé and Sea Breeze Café so feel free to let us make it for you.
What you need
1 tbspn oil, 1-½ finely chopped medium brown onions, 4 tspns Moroccan seasoning, 1 tspn cinnamon, 5cm piece grated fresh ginger, 5 crushed garlic cloves, 2 halved, thickly sliced medium carrots, 650g butternut pumpkin cut into 3cm cubes, 100gm dried apricots, 1-1/2 cups vegetable liquid stock (or water), 400g can crushed tomatoes, 1/2 (500g) cauliflower cut into small florets, 400g can chickpeas - drained, and rinsed, 1 medium zucchini - quartered and thickly sliced, 2 tbspns honey, ½ tspn chilli flakes (optional), fresh coriander sprigs, and a spoon of yoghurt to serve.
Method
1. Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion has softened. Add Moroccan seasoning, cinnamon, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. 2. Add carrot and pumpkin. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until combined. Add stock, apricots and tomato. Cover. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until vegetables start to soften. 3. Add cauliflower. Stir to combine. Cover. Cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables start to soften. Add chickpeas, zucchini and honey. Cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper. 4. Spoon on yoghurt and sprinkle with coriander sprigs. Serve with couscous.

 

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'Plumbing' puts paid to ride 11/09/2017

AN unexpected round of “plumbing” to his heart, meant Shane Craige (pictured) could not take part in his fourth Cardiac Challenge this year.
The 49-year-old Weipa resident has taken part in the event three times and was ready to register for this year’s event later this month, when a sudden heart attack put paid to his plans.
A rapid flight whisking him from Weipa to Cairns on the RFDS plane, meant he got to experience some of the equipment he has helped fundraise for in the past.
“I was always aware that there was a strong family history, so therefore I considered that heart disease was a possibility,” Mr Craige said.
“I woke up on the Sunday morning, I was about to go for a walk with my wife, but I had a bit of heaviness and I felt a bit clammy. We thought it was unusual so we went straight to (Weipa) Hospital,” he said.
It turned out he had a number of blockages in his heart, which required cardiac intervention.
Once he was on the road to recovery, Shane started making donations to a number of current riders, who he has ridden with in the past.
“The team at the hospitals in Cairns and Weipa were just awesome and I felt so at ease, knowing they were looking after me. At one point I was having an ECG and one of the staff pointed to the machine and said ‘Cardiac Challenge paid for this’, so that was a pretty good feeling,” he said.
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is in its 11th year, and will depart Cairns on Saturday, September 16 for its three-day pilgrimage to Cooktown.
Since inception in 2007 by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the event has raised more than $2.8 million. The Foundation recently announced it would be fundraising $1.4 million towards a second cardiac catheter lab in Cairns, which would mean less people have to travel away for vital cardiac treatment.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said it was unfortunate that Shane’s story was one she heard so many times.
“Shane and hundreds of others are really lucky we have such a great team and great equipment here, but we really do need the community’s support to help fix more hearts in Far North Queensland,” Ms Duncombe said.

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Foreign students tackle Challenge 2/09/2017

A DIVERSE group of young people from around the world are tackling one of the Far North’s most iconic adventures – the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.

Five teenagers who are in Australia as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange, will saddle up and ride in the fundraising bike ride to Cooktown, later this month.

Rotary Cairns Mulgrave Rotary spokesman Peter Sexton said the students are encouraged to experience as many of the host countries customs, traditions, events, natural attractions and education as possible. The Cardiac Challenge ticks off most of these items.

“The Cardiac Challenge gives them the opportunity to meet people they would not normally meet, experience the varying countryside during the ride, while being challenged mentally and physically over the three days,” Mr Sexton said.

Rotary Youth Exchange students have been taking part in the ride since 2014 and Rotary has been heavily involved since its inception. Students doing the event this year are from Japan, Belgium and Germany.

“They arrive in Australia one or two months before the ride as shy students. The ride gives them the opportunity to be fully immersed in the local culture during the training rides and for the three very hectic days during the ride. The achievement of riding 330km also gives them a huge boost of confidence in their ability to overcome the many new experiences in front of them over the coming 12 months,” he said.

The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is an annual fundraising bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown, raising funds for cardiac services in the Far North.

Since inception in 2007 by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the event has raised more than $2.8 million. The Foundation recently announced it would be fundraising $1.4 million towards a second cardiac catheter lab in Cairns, which would mean less people have to travel away for vital cardiac treatment.

Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said Rotary volunteers were vital part of the event – providing riders, escort drivers and many other volunteers.

“Without this community support, we could not get this event off the ground each year and we know it has a huge impact on the exchange students as well,” Ms Duncombe said.

 

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Father and son lucky to be alive 29/08/2017

PAUL Broomhall simply believes he and his son are lucky to be alive. In a bizarre twist of fate, they both had heart surgery within months of each other and it has been incredibly life changing for them both.
Although their heart conditions are seemingly unrelated, the family believes it would have to be more than a coincidence. “Jordan’s heart used to race, and mine slowed down to the point of stopping,” Mr Broomhall said. After believing for a quarter of his life that he had epilepsy, one last test to rule out a cardiac condition revealed, he did in fact have a heart condition.
“I was a police officer, had been for more than 27 years and every year or so, I would just collapse. I was on very heavy doses of medication but when I collapsed, I couldn’t carry a firearm and I couldn’t drive a car for a period of time,” Mr Broomhall said.
“It was extremely disruptive to my life – to my whole family’s life and of course to my workmates. But then I fell and hit my head late last year and my neurologist said ‘I don’t think it’s your heart, but let’s just do one last test to be 100 per cent sure’. So they put a loop recorder in just under the skin.”
Loop recorders are used to capture the heart’s activities during a blackout, with programming and data retrieval conducted remotely. Paul’s was implanted in Cairns Hospital. “Well one morning I woke up and I wasn’t feeling well so I rang the hospital and asked them to check my results and they said: your heart stopped for 15 seconds at 4am today, come in immediately,” Mr Broomhall said.
He did, a pacemaker was placed in his chest at the cardiac catheter lab in Cairns Hospital and he has never felt better. “I’m not upset or angry or bitter that we thought I had epilepsy for so long – I’m just so grateful to be alive.” Son Jordan, now aged 24, was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia when he was a teenager.
“He was booked for an ablation when he was 18, which is where they burn some nerves in the heart, but the prospect of a heart procedure at the age of 18 proved too overwhelming and Jordan opted to try and live with his condition. Unfortunately his symptoms continued, and in addition to having supraventricular tachycardia, Jordan was further diagnosed with premature atrial complex,” Mr Broomhall said.
“We got another chance to have it done in Townsville late last year. And his life has improved out of sight ever since. It can be up to a 10 hour surgery, but he was done in five hours. “Jordan’s condition resulted in him becoming unemployed and post procedure he’s working again.”
If Cairns Hospital had a second cardiac catheter laboratory open at the time, he could have had the procedure in Cairns.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation board has recently approved $1.4 million towards a second cardiac catheter laboratory to be installed at Cairns Hospital, which in the future could enable electrophysiology to be conducted in Cairns. This would be mean procedures such as Jordan’s could be conducted locally.
Mr Broomhall, formerly Sergeant Broomhall, a training officer with the Queensland Police Service, resigned just months after his surgery. “I just wanted a less stressful life after what we’ve been through.”
While the pair might not quite be ready to ride in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge, they are passionate supporters of the event and health services in the Far North. “I love the public hospital and I’m so grateful to be here, so I think people should do everything they can to help heart services in Far North,” Mr Broomhall said.
Donate to the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge HERE.

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Lions step in to help 24/08/2017

WHERE there is a need, there is a Lion, and nowhere is that more true than at Tully and Mission Beach.
The Tully and Mission Beach Lions Clubs have once again put their fundraising might to good use, and provided two electric lift recliners for the Tully Hospital.
The two chairs were provided at a cost of $5475 for the 12 bed Tully Hospital.
Tully Club secretary Irene Braddick said the Club has previously provided furniture for the hospital’s mental health unit, quilts to new mothers at the hospital.
“This is our local hospital and where there is a need, there is a Lion,” Ms Braddick said.
Fundraising occurs via selling tickets at the goose club on Friday nights for meat trays, a stall at the Tully Show, and their annual Christmas Raffle.
 “We along with our colleagues at Mission Beach, also donated 10 High Back Day Chairs to Tully Hospital a couple of years ago at a cost of more than $3000,” she said.
Mission Beach Lions Club spokesman Des Roberts said their fundraising efforts include collecting aluminium cans and old car batteries, as well as raffles, barbecues, sausage sizzles and an annual charity golf day.
“Once the decision was made to purchase by Mission Beach Lions Club, we contacted our colleagues at Tully Lions Club who readily agreed to split  the funding 50/50,” Mr Roberts said.
“The  reason for buying  the chairs was made after consultation with the therapy department at Tully Hospital as to what equipment they needed to make life better for their patients, along the lines of our philosophy of  serving our community (The Lions Motto is  “We Serve”),” he said.
Tully Hospital acting director of nursing Sue Williams said some patients have difficulty/discomfort spending all night in bed it is so good to offer them a comfortable option.
“We like to encourage people to get up and sit out of bed, it is important for their recovery and now it will be much better with a comfortable option. We have nothing similar so it is a huge benefit to our clients,” Ms Williams said.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said it was very pleasing to see two Lions Clubs join forces to support the improvement of health care in their local community and their combined donation to the Foundation was very much appreciated.

Photo: Back left to right: Des Roberts of Mission Beach Lions Club, occupational therapist Alison Salleras, Tully Lions Club’s Martin Braddick.
Seated: physiotherapist Karen Hawkins, Tully Lions Club’s Irene Braddick

 

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Help build a second cardiac lab 21/08/2017

A MAJOR fundraising drive to help keep cardiac patients at home in the Far North, is underway in Cairns.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s board has committed to raise $1.4 million towards a second cardiac catheter laboratory at Cairns Hospital.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said a second cardiac catheter laboratory would enable electrophysiology procedures to happen in Cairns and prevent hundreds of people having to travel away for those procedures.
“Recent research has shown that our region is among the worst in the country for heart disease and we have also been hearing that our population and tourist numbers are growing quite rapidly,” Ms Duncombe said.
“This is our first major fundraising drive since the paediatric playground project was completed and we really do need the public’s help to get us across the line,” she said.
Fundraising from the 2017 Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge will go towards the second catheter laboratory, as well as a car raffle that began at the hospital this week.
“People have the chance to win a great Toyota Yaris – and all they have to spend is $2,” she said.
Cairns Hospital director of cardiology, Dr Greg Starmer said staff and patients from the cardiac ward were eternally grateful for the support provided by the Foundation.
“Staff and patients of the cardiology department at Cairns Hospital are, as always, grateful for the support from the Hospital Foundation and Far North community and will continue with efforts to provide high quality cardiac care and sustainability close to home,” Dr Starmer said.

Photo: Cairns Hospital director of cardiology Dr Greg Starmer and Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe with the "Car for Cardiac".

 

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Couple's lasting gifts 16/08/2017

MORE than $60,000 worth of medical equipment for Mareeba Hospital will be a significant parting gift for a local couple.
Leslie and Anne Mills are soon to leave their Tablelands home to move closer to family in Cairns but said they wanted to make one last significant donation to their local hospital of the past 38 years.
Since 2012, they have donated $160,000 worth of equipment to Mareeba Hospital.
Funded through the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the equipment includes an i-STAT machine for theatre/maternity, two vital signs monitors, a hoist to help lift frail elderly people, a bladder scanner and a hoverjack for bariatric patients.
Mareeba Hospital director of nursing and midwifery Vickye Coffee said staff and patients were very grateful for the purchases.
“Donations such as these help us continue to provide exceptional care to the Mareeba community,” Mrs Coffee said.
“This equipment uses the latest technology on a number of levels – the vital signs monitor provides accurate, up-to-date and efficient patient data to ensure ongoing patient safety when observations are taken. This helps us make timely decisions about patient care changes when needed. Having the latest technology provides on-the-spot information so that decision-making supports best practice care,” she said.
“Having a new bladder scanner ensures patient comfort, supports bladder health and helps prevent bladder damage.
“The hoist and lifter ensure patient comfort and adds to the pleasure of being able to care for patients with the latest equipment,” she said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said it was rewarding to see community-spirited donations like this, making a real difference to patient outcomes.
“And it’s important to show that the Foundation not only supports the Cairns Hospital, but also the outlying centres. These purchases can mean less people have to be transported to Cairns in critical conditions – they can stay in their home community surrounded by loved ones for longer, and it’s less physical stress on the staff as well. We are eternally grateful to Mr and Mrs Mills for their generosity to their community,” Mr Franz said.

PHOTO: Mareeba Shire Council's Angela Toppin, Mareeba Hospital's Michelle Bombardieri, Robyn George, Leslie and Anne Mills, and Mareeba Hospital's Vickye Coffey.

 

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What are the odds? 14/08/2017

WHAT are the odds of one ticket bought in a Harley-Davidson art union drawn on your birthday, and your name being called out?
For Guillaume Vanthournout, the odds were one in 18,664, as that is how many tickets were sold.
Receiving a phone call from a mob of burly motorcyclists singing “Happy Birthday” was not how he imagined spending his 31st birthday.
He won the Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster art union – on his birthday.
“I bought the ticket in July when I saw that it was being drawn on my birthday and then when I got the phone call, I just could not believe it,” Mr Vanthournout said.
Originally from France, he has worked in the mining industry in New Caledonia for the past five years and is currently travelling around Australia.
He plans to keep the bike for his travels around Australia, that he started just a month ago.
“When I saw it in the shopping centre – I realised it was drawn on my birthday and that the money was going to a good cause,” he said.
He only bought one ticket while the art union was at Cairns Central shopping centre.
This year’s Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster raised more than $61,077, with funds going towards theatre equipment at Cairns Hospital.
The event is in its 16th year and has raised more than $700,000 in that time.
Hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation in conjunction with Wayne and Rhonda Leonard, the fundraising event this year travelled to Mission Beach.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said riders and volunteers did a tremendous job raising so much money for the hospital.
“We all hope it won’t be us, but it’s a fact of life that we might some day need this equipment so it’s reassuring to know that we are helping to provide the latest technology and equipment for our medical and nursing staff,” Mr Franz said.

PHOTO: Wayne and Rhonda Leonard with Guillaume Vanthournout and Foundation CEO Tony Franz.

 

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$60,000 raised on motorbike event 7/08/2017

MORE than $60,000 has been raised to help provide drills and saws for the theatre department of Cairns Hospital.
The funds were raised through the annual Wayne Leonard's Motorcycle Muster on the weekend, with tickets in a Harley-Davidson art union, the main contributor.
Co-ordinated by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the event, in its 16th year, resulted in more than 40 motorcycle riders, pillion passengers and car drivers travelling to Mission Beach for the final component of the fundraising event.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said a great group of community-minded motorcyclists had a wonderful weekend.
“We travelled from Cairns to Mission Beach via the Atherton Tableland where we received great community support, particularly from the Millaa Millaa Lions group which donated a fabulous morning tea to the rdiers,” Ms Duncombe said.
A very surprised man received the telephone call on Saturday night that he had won the Harley-Davidson blackiron art union, telling organisers he had bought one ticket as a birthday present to himself.
The top fundraiser of the event was long-time participant Bob Ison, who raised more than $6000 on his own.
“We still need to collate the final tally of funds raised, but it's over $60,000 for sure and we know this will buy at least two drills or saws for the theatre department,” Ms Duncombe said.

Photo: Geoff and Jan Nielson with some of the motorcycles at Mission Beach.

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Tony's intent on giving back 3/08/2017

Twenty-five years ago, Tony Peace didn’t know whether he was going to live or die.
He suffered a major health condition which resulted in significant surgery in Brisbane and follow-up surgery and treatment in Cairns.
“I really didn’t know whether I was going to make it, to be honest, it was a pretty intense time for me,” Mr Peace said.
That experience stayed with him, and his ongoing volunteering and fundraising is his way of saying thanks.
He has been participating in Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster since 2011 and in that time has raised more than $30,000. This year he is the top fundraiser so far.
“I just enjoy the ride, they’re a great bunch of guys with similar interests and the money stays local,” Mr Peace said.
Mr Peace also volunteers at other Foundation fundraising events such as Cairns Airport Adventure Festival, Christmas Wrap and Color Run.
Fundraising from this year’s Muster is going towards extra drill and saw kits at Cairns Hospital theatre department. Each kit costs $25,000 and so far $35,000 has been raised.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz, who also participates in the Muster, said stalwart participants and volunteers like Mr Peace, were simply invaluable.
“The volunteers are the heart and soul of what the Foundation achieves – working their shifts around the hospital, as well as at our fundraising events, we could not do, what we do without them,” Mr Franz said.
•    Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster departs Cairns Hospital at 9am Saturday, August 5, heading to Mission Beach via the Atherton Tableland. Riders will return to Cairns on Sunday afternoon.
For further information, to donate or volunteer visit HERE.

 

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Thanks for special blankets 31/07/2017

NONE of us like to think about death and dying, but for a special group of people at the Cairns Hospital, it is part of their daily work.
Mortuary Attendants Kerrie Cameron and Lucille Craig often prepare loved ones, who have died, for their families to view, as part of their regular daily duties.
"We do set up for a lot of viewings here at the Hospital and up until now only had standard Hospital quilts to utilize. We just wanted to be able to present people as nicely as possible for their families." Ms Cameron said.
"No one likes to come down to the Mortuary, but we try and make it as nice an environment for them as we can. We had an idea to improve the appearance of our viewing beds and thought the fantastic craft ladies, who work with the Hospital Foundation, may be interested in our idea." Ms Craig said
So contact was made with the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation volunteer manager Anne Chirio. Ms Chirio in turn asked regular "craft lady" volunteer Betty Rodney if she would like to make some quilts for Mortuary viewings.
Mrs Rodney said she has been making quilts for at least 20 years, including for the past 16 years for the Foundation.
"I was quite honoured actually and I was very surprised by how appreciative the staff were of them. My mother lost several children and I know she would have been proud of me," Mrs Rodney said.
Ms Chirio said the Foundation has a group of wonderful volunteers who make memory blankets for birth suite at Cairns Hospital. "These new bereavement blankets are made on a similar basis as the quilts, but very small so parents can wrap their baby in it after a baby has passed away. Some parents bury their little one in the blanket, others keep it as a keepsake," Ms Chirio said.
"Not everyone felt comfortable with the process of the blankets being used in the mortuary, but I personally felt it was a real honour for the Foundation to be asked if we could help.
"Betty makes the most beautiful children's clothes for our weekly craft stall and when I asked her if she may be interested in helping, I knew I had struck gold," Ms Chirio said.
Photo: Foundation volunteer Betty Rodney is thanked by mortuary attendants Kerrie Cameron and Lucille Craig.

 

 

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Smile helps sick kids 27/07/2017

THE smile of a child in hospital has inspired donations to help other sick children in hospital.
Sam Breckenridge, was just four months old when a doctor discovered he was weeks away from blindness.
His story, shared through the Woolworths Token campaign in 2016, helped generate almost $42,000 for other sick kids in the Far North.
This year the funds, distributed through the Children’s Hospital Foundation, bought paediatric colonoscopy equipment for Innisfail Hospital.
Sam had a cataract in his eye and required urgent surgery. “Being told your perfect four-month-old baby had a cataract was shocking – I thought only older people got cataracts, not my baby,” Sam’s mother Sonia said. “The doctor said we needed to be in Brisbane immediately, and before we knew it, we were flying to Brisbane for an operation.” Sam was soon in the operating theatre, and had a hard plastic cover over his eye. The procedure went well, and Sam’s family returned home to Cairns. “The doctor was relieved – Sam may have been blind within three to four weeks, had he not had the surgery.” Sam’s family had a long and winding road ahead, with patching and incorporating a hard contact lens into his life. “Sam was very patient and understood what we had to do to make him better – thanks to his determination, his check-ups are now very minimal and we can go back to living a normal life.”
Sam now aged 10, enjoys school, kicking a football around in AFL training and playing with his friends on X-Box.
Innisfail Hospital Theatre Nurse Unit Manager Donna Low said the extra paediatric colonoscope, which also could be used for adults, would enable local patients to receive a continuous service.
“This will prevent the need to cancel a patient’s procedure when a scope needs to be sent away for servicing, as this reduces the number of scopes available for several weeks. This equipment will allow us to provide a service to our local community without interruptions,” Ms Low said.
Cassowary Coast has a population of 30,000, and 9200 of whom are 18 and under, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Innisfail Hospital is now home to two of these colonoscopes, thanks also to fundraising by the local community through the Innisfail Friends of the Foundation.

Photos: TOP: Sam Breckenridge.

ABOVE: Woolworths Innisfail staff Cassie Tanti, Tricia Biancotti, Riley Harrison, Ritu Saini and Innisfail Hospital Theatre Nurse Unit Manager Donna Low.

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Loss motivates family 25/07/2017

A FAMILY who lost their beloved husband and father to a second heart attack in April, are motivated by their loss to ride their bikes in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
The Nicolaou family of Karen and children Jake and Paige were devastated to lose husband and father Steven in April to a massive heart attack. Steven was 47 years old.
“We lived in Cooktown when he died and we had often seen the Cardiac Challenge riders come into town so we just thought now was the time to do it,” Mrs Nicolaou said.
“To be honest it’s probably diverted my attention a bit from losing Steven, but it’s a healthy positive thing to do and we’re making a difference,” she said.
Sadly, Steven’s family has been plagued with heart issues – his brother had a quadruple bypass at age 39, his eldest brother had a heart attack in the same week and their father had six bypasses and their sister also has a heart condition.
On the day Steven died, he woke with back and shoulder pain that just did not settle, he had a shower, a massage and finally asked for an ambulance.
Despite valiant attempts to keep him alive, Steven died at the Cooktown Hospital.
“The positive thing is that the children in the family are now being tested for heart issues, and we’re taking part in this bike ride to make a difference,” Mrs Nicolaou said.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said there were many stories of participants whose lives had been touched by heart conditions.
“Unfortunately we see it so much, but it’s really a big reason why people take part – they’re motivated because they want to make a difference,” Mr Franz said.
“United together everyone who takes part makes a massive difference to health outcomes in the Far North.”
Registrations for the 11th Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge close on July 31.

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Power-ful boost for volunteers 18/07/2017

THEY’RE known as Cairns Hospital’s “purple angels” and now they have the power of Ergon Energy behind them - literally.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s volunteers have been given a boost with an increased sponsorship agreement and important recognition of the relationship.
Ergon Energy’s sponsorship funds go directly towards providing the volunteer shirts for the Foundation, which are worn throughout Cairns Hospital and the community.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said up to 100 individuals give up almost 25,000 hours of their time around the hospital each year.
In addition, hundreds more volunteers lend their support to fundraising events and art unions throughout the year.
“We could not do the work that we do, without our invaluable volunteers and so to have the support of Ergon Energy supporting them when they support is, is of enormous benefit,” Mr Franz said.
“We’ve had this agreement now in place for 11 years, but with the increased sponsorship, over three years, we decided to give Ergon Energy a boost in return and came up with a revised design for the background with their logo and the words: ‘This volunteer is powered by Ergon Energy’,” Mr Franz said.
Ergon Energy has an extensive community partnership program, which plays a valuable role in supporting the regional communities it serves. Ergon Customer Delivery Manager Charlie Casa said the Foundation was an important part of that program.
“Ergon has depots with administrative and field staff right across the Far North and into the Torres Strait,” Mr Casa said.
“It makes sense to support these community based organisations as our staff live and work there and are actively involved in their communities. So our involvement is not just about keeping the power on – it goes much deeper than that. It’s about engaging and supporting our communities. And the Hospital Foundation is an important way that we can do that,” he said.

Photo: Ergon Energy staffers Justin Pitts (left) and Leon Allan (right) with Hospital Foundation volunteers Maddeilene Kyaw and Brian Lines.

 

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Memory lives on in Mossman 11/07/2017

ROGER Gibbons met the love of his life relatively late in life and lost her after three short years.
But her memory will live on forever in a little hospital in Far North Queensland due to the care, compassion and empathy she received from the staff there. Dallas, Texas citizen Marie LeCroy was undergoing cancer treatment through doctors in Dallas, America and the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane but the care she received at Mossman Hospital, north of Cairns had a huge impact.
So much so, that after she died, Mr Gibbons set up a fundraising tribute in her honour, which is finalised this week with the opening of the Mossman Hospital OPG machine.
“We were in Port Douglas for a few days on holidays when Marie became ill and we came to the Mossman Hospital for treatment,” Mr Gibbons said. She had had a special stent installed in her brain to enable methotrexate to be delivered and keep cancer at bay for as long as possible.
But it was while they were in Port Douglas that fluid started leaking from the stent and so the help of Mossman Hospital was sought. “We rang Marie’s doctors in Dallas because of the time difference and they were able to help the Mossman Hospital staff do what they needed to do,” Mr Gibbons said. “Those staff were so caring and compassionate and had so much empathy for what we were going through,” he said.
Sadly Marie died in Brisbane aged 55 just a few weeks later, but Mr Gibbons wanted to give something back to the Mossman community that had so much impact on them both. Fundraising was launched through the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation website in March 2016 and by July enough had been raised for the OPG machine – a special facial and dental xray device, at Mossman Hospital. “Really without the 53 individual donors, this would not have happened – no matter how much they donated, their gift was extremely generous. Marie’s hairdresser made a donation, her family made donations and even people from local businesses in Port Douglas contributed as well,” Mr Gibbons said.
“Marie’s memory will live there forever and the patients there will benefit forever and because this machine will generate revenue for the hospital, it will help that hospital improve over time as well,” Mr Gibbons said.
“I was incredibly lucky to meet the love of my life at a relatively late stage of life but we had three beautiful years together,” he said.
Mossman Hospital Multi-Purpose Health Service Director of Nursing Peter LeGriffon said when Mr Gibbons approached him for a fundraising idea, he thought he had maybe a couple of thousand dollars in mind. “Roger said to me he was thinking more along the lines of $50,000 and I nearly fell off my chair. The great thing about this OPG machine is that it will save people having to go down to Cairns for this test and it will create a revenue stream for the hospital so we can continue to grow and improve our services,” Mr LeGriffon said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said he was grateful Mr Gibbons had chosen the Hospital Foundation to assist with the fundraising resulting in this wonderful state-of-the-art piece of equipment being provided to improve the quality of health care in Far North Queensland.    

Photo 1: Roger Gibbons with some of the staff who cared for his wife Marie in Mossman Hospital - Dr Darryl d'Souza, Kath Anich and Susan Meldrum.

Photo 2: Roger and Marie in happier times.

Photo 3: Roger and Dr d'Souza.

Photo 4: The new OPG machine at Mossman Hospital.

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Fix hearts in Far North Queensland 6/07/2017

A YOUNG boy travels with his grandfather, who only speaks Italian with some broken English, from the family tobacco farm in Mareeba, 1800km to Brisbane.
The journey happens regularly for little Anthony Brazzale and his grandfather Guido Brazzale as Anthony’s parents cannot leave the farm, but Guido needs to visit his electrophysiologist in Brisbane and needs help communicating with his doctors.
It was a time in his life that made such an imprint on young Anthony’s mind, that it set his course for life – he set out to, and became, a cardiologist, inspired by his grandfather. “All he wanted was to see me graduate and I did that in 2008 – he died shortly thereafter,” Dr Brazzale says.
Dr Brazzale’s medical studies were conducted through JCU Cairns and Townsville, before he travelled to Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Melbourne to further his education. “My wish is to add to what’s here, we have a fabulous cardiology team and my aim is to work with this incredible team to grow what we have and bring world-class services here,” Dr Brazzale said.
It is ironic that his colleague, Cairns Hospital director of cardiology Dr Greg Starmer, also hails from the Mareeba tobacco industry. His father worked for the tobacco growers organisation for most of his working life but Greg’s interest in medicine came about through typical boyhood injuries. As a child, Anthony competed against Greg’s “little” brother Alex in athletics and often went away together. The pair were fierce rivals and very good friends, and still are.
“I did all the usual things that boys do, ended up in hospital, and the doctors would patch me up,” Dr Starmer said. “I always planned to go back to the Tablelands as a rural GP, but I met my wife in Brisbane and while she was furthering her studies, the director of cardiology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital suggested I might have a future in interventional cardiology,” he said.
Ironically, Dr Starmer’s grandfather also died of a heart attack. “Well before the technology that we have today. I was only young but it certainly stuck with me.” “The biggest thing for me when I went away to study 20 years ago, was seeing the standard of health care in Brisbane compared to what I knew we had in Far North Queensland,” he said.
Dr Starmer and many of the cardiac unit always fundraise for and take part in the annual Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge, a fundraiser for cardiac services in the Far North. He plans to take Dr Brazzale and another new cardiologist shopping for bicycles in the next few weeks.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the event made a real difference not only in terms of the equipment it had brought to the region, but also to the lives of participants. “We have many people taking part, who we can see it’s changed their life. They’re healthier and fitter and leading a more active lifestyle and that’s a big part of cardiac health too,” Ms Duncombe said.
Registrations close for the 11th Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge on July 31. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Photo: Anthony Brazzale aged 16 with his grandfather Guido Brazzale.

Photo: Cairns Hospital interventional cardiologists Dr Greg Starmer and Dr Anthony Brazzale both hail from Mareeba.

 

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Beef & Pasta Ragout 4/07/2017

What you need
500g beef brisket or beef cheeks cut into six pieces, plain flour, t tbspn salt, 2 tbspn smoked paprika, 30ml extra virgin olive oil, 1 brown onion thickly sliced, 1 stick of chopped celery, 2 chopped carrots, 3 cloves garlic, 2 tbspn dried oregano, 125ml dry red wine, 250ml beef stock, 250ml water, 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes, 2 bay leaves, 2 tbspn tomato paste, 1 tbspn castor sugar, 200g rigatoni pasta, sea salt and cracked black pepper, half cup basil leaves, finely grated parmesan.
Method
1.Preheat oven to 180ºC, Dust beef in flour, salt and paprika, shaking to remove excess. Heat 2 tbspns oil in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Cook beef for 2–3 minutes each side or until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Reduce heat to low, add remaining oil, onion, celery, carrot, garlic and oregano and cook for 6–8 minutes or until softened. Increase heat to high. Add wine and cook, scraping bottom of the pan, for 2–3 minutes or until liquid halves. Add stock, water, tomatoes, bay leaves, tomato paste and sugar. Return beef to pan, cover with a tight-fitting lid, transfer to the oven and roast for two hours.
3. Remove lid and roast for a further 30 minutes. Remove beef from the pan and shred meat using 2 forks, discarding any fat. Return meat to the sauce and mix to combine.
4. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 10–12 minutes or until al dente. Drain, return to pan with the beef sauce, salt, pepper and toss to combine. Top with basil and sprinkle with parmesan to serve. Serves 4–6.

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Booze free for a good cause 23/06/2017

REBECCA Johnson and her team know more than most, the benefit that fundraising has on cancer treatment.
She is the acting Nurse Unit Manager of the Oncology Day Unit at Cairns Hospital and every day she uses equipment that members of the public have fundraised for.
It’s for this reason that she and some of her colleagues have signed up for Dry July 2017, raising funds for cancer equipment in the Far North.
“Our patients are the lucky recipients of the equipment that people fundraise for and we see firsthand the difference some of that equipment makes,” Ms Johnson said.
Not only that, all four who have signed up for Dry July – two nurses, a medical oncologist and a physiotherapist, have all been personally affected by cancer in some way.
“Everyone in the community is affected by cancer in some way. Yes, not having a drink for a month will be hard, but it’s a very small sacrifice for us to make, compared to what many people going through treatment endure,” Ms Johnson said.
This year, fundraising from Dry July will go towards a PhysioTouch device to help manage oncology patients with lymphoedema, post-surgical scars and post-radiation fibrosis and pain.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and events co-ordinator Lindsay McDonnell said she was delighted that the Cairns Hospital staff had decided to participate in Dry July.
“They really are a pro-active and positive team here in Oncology. By giving up alcohol for a month, Rebecca and her team are really going to make a big difference to our local cancer patients,” Mrs McDonnell said.
Since 2013, Dry July has raised more than $105,000 to help cancer patients at Cairns Hospital. This money has bought vital medical equipment such as chemotherapy pumps, which deliver medication while allowing a patient to be mobile, and other items that are essential to our patients’ comfort, like the chemotherapy chairs used for day oncology.
For further information, to donate or volunteer for the Foundation visit www.fnqhf.org.au and to sign up to Dry July click HERE.

Photo: Cairns Hospital oncology day unit staff Rebecca Johnson, Rikki Holzhauser, Harriet Fergusson and Megan Lyle surround cancer patient Tom Meharg.

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Revved up to raise funds 7/06/2017

DECEMBER 11, 2016 is the day the Nielson family’s life changed forever.
Geoff was hurt in a motorcycle accident on that day, losing his lower left leg and suffering multiple other injuries that he is still contending with.
But he and his close family are simply glad he is alive.
“You know we’ve been doing the Motorcycle Muster for years, but never in a million years thought that we would have cause to use the hospital in this way,” Geoff said.
The 70-year-old was on a leisurely motorcycle ride with some mates, when the accident occurred.
While he is not able to discuss circumstances of the accident as the investigation is continuing, he did say he has been blown away by the care he has received in the hospital.
“My Harley was written off but I do plan to get back on a Harley one of these days – my left shoulder is still a problem, but I’ll get there,” Mr Nielson said.
Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster has been an annual motorcycle pilgrimage for 16 years, originating in 2002 when Wayne and Rhonda Leonard got together with the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, to fundraise for a paediatric transport cot.
Since 30 motorcycle riders revved their engines and set off on the first Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster, the annual event has raised more than $732,729 for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Based in the Far North, all funds raised by the Foundation are spent improving health care services for people who live in this region.
As one of the charity’s premier fundraising events, Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster has generated enough money to contribute about $100,000 towards the $1.2 million Paediatric Playground Project, which created a state-of-the-art playground for young patients in Cairns Hospital in 2015.
The Muster also has enabled the Hospital Foundation to buy a range of vital health equipment for Cairns Hospital, including equipment for the Emergency Department, Special Care Nursery, and this year funds are going towards the Theatre Department.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said this year participants were aiming to raise $70,000, with $15,000 already raised. “We’re looking at buying some special equipment for theatre, that would help patients like Geoffro in the future,” Mr Franz said.
This year’s Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster will travel on August 5 to Mission Beach, via a scenic trip through the Atherton Tablelands. It is anticipated more than 40 motorcycles will take part.
For more information visit Motorcycle Muster.

Photo: Foundation CEO Tony Franz, Geoff Nielson and Rhonda Leonard.

 

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Coffee helps buy equipment 2/06/2017

CUPS of coffee and carparking at Cairns Hospital have helped fund more than $101,000 worth of equipment that has been handed over this week.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the equipment was bought partially through donations and partially through the Foundation’s commercial operations. “All the profit from our carpark and two cafes goes towards improving patient outcomes. All our costs are covered by our commercial operations which means we can provide more than $1 million each year to improve patient outcomes,” Mr Franz said.
The equipment includes an ultrasound for anaesthetics valued at $74,800, physiotherapy equipment worth $9693, a spirometer for paediatrics worth $2530 and a nasal pharangeal scope for thoracics worth $14,363.
Cairns Hospital senior staff specialist anaesthetist Dr Andy Potter said ultrasound technology at the bedside helps anaesthetists perform many important bedside tests and procedures.  “These procedures may include local anaesthetic injections being placed accurately around specific nerves to improve pain relief and comfort during and following surgery, the placement of drips especially in children, and detailed monitoring of the patient’s heart and lung function,” Dr Potter said.
“The anaesthetists at Cairns Hospital are extremely grateful to the Hospital Foundation and all in the community who have donated and contributed to the work of the Foundation for providing us with the latest ultrasound technology.”
Cairns Hospital Rehabilitation Physiotherapy acting Director Kere Donald said the Easystand was used on patients with neurological injuries such as stroke, head injury and spinal cord injury of any age. “The Easystand standing frame will enable patients who are more dependant, achieve standing earlier in their recovery and maintain standing for long periods of time,” Ms Donald said.
Cairns Hospital clinical director of paediatrics Dr Neil Archer said his department was “exceptionally grateful” for the community and Foundation’s support in buying the spirometer.
“It is of great importance for us in helping to manage children with chronic respiratory problems such as chronic asthma, bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis where there may be changes to those volumes of air and obstruction to the flow. As such we can monitor their progress and assess the impact of interventions or any new treatments. The program includes some visual animation ‘incentives’ such as blowing out candles (or my favourite of a monkey trying to swing on a vine to grab some bananas) that helps children learn and maintain their technique as well as a database to keep a long term record of their results,” Dr Archer said.
Respiratory physician Dr Stephen Vincent said the nasal laryngeal portable fibrescope was invaluable for evaluating people with unexplained coughing and breathlessness. The equipment, worth more than $14,000, also was important for assessing vocal cords. “From a respiratory point of view, this will probably be used daily – it will help reduce waiting lists and make for more efficient diagnosis of unexplained respiratory conditions,” Dr Vincent said.

 

Main Photo: Cairns Hospital Respiratory physician Dr Stephen Vincent demonstrates the nasal pharangeal scope on Cairns Hospital senior staff specialist anaesthetist Dr Andy Potter.

Bottom Photo: Cairns Hospital Rehabilitation Physiotherapy acting Director Kere Donald  demonstrates the Easystand to Foundation CEO Tony Franz.

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Donation a generous gift 1/06/2017

MONEY fundraised through crazy hat days and Valentine’s Day by staff from the Department of Human Services has gone towards providing equipment for the renal clinic at Cairns Hospital.
Nurse Unit Manager Janet Hole said the $600 donation was greatly appreciated.
“The Renal Team discussed how best these funds can be utilised by the department and it was agreed the money should be allocated to the purchase of a camera and information booklets from Kidney Health Australia,” Ms Hole said.
Funds were used to buy booklets about renal conditions, treatment and transplants to give to patients, as well as a camera to photograph patients.
“Dialysis clients are required to have a photo of themselves placed in their charts to provide a form of identification for hospital staff. The camera will be used to take the ID photo,” Ms Hole said.
The role of the Renal department is to support clients who are transitioning from early diagnosis of renal disease through to those requiring some form of dialysis treatment such as In-centre or satellite dialysis or a home base treatment which includes Peritoneal Dialysis and Home haemodialysis.
Renal Transplantation and supportive care also are options that are available.
The booklets are given to the Cairns Hospital renal clients and contain invaluable information to help guide and inform the client on the best treatment modality and option for them and help these clients make an informed decision in their care.
The team from the Department of Human Services, Remote Region, Northern Queensland raised the funds over several months through various fundraising activities.
Their teams that work in Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities have been fundraising hard to help those affected by health conditions in their region.

 Photo: Left to right: Foundation fundraising and event co-ordinator Lindsay McDonnell, Sally Cahill, Janet Hole and Keri Equinox.

 

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Cardiac 'has spirit of its own' 31/05/2017

“AS long as I've got legs, I'll be doing the Cardiac Challenge.”
So says Cairns mum, midwife and cyclist Mary McGuinness and her husband Sean agrees wholeheartedly.
“I first saw the arrival of the Cardiac Challenge cyclists in Cooktown five years ago when my brother-in-law rode it with Sean and I was waiting at Cooktown for them. Watching that massive crowd of cyclists riding in was just overwhelming. I had to be part of it.
“To me, it looked like 'All Creatures Great and Small'. There are all sorts of people on all sorts of bikes and it just brings so many people together,” Mrs McGuinness said. “Everyone is just delirious with happiness when they ride in, it's such a fabulous achievement and often it's something that many people never thought they could do.”
There was so much excitement among our neighbours there was even a street party the first time Sean rode the event with his friend Warwick, to “welcome the heroes home”.
“But this story is not unique to us, it's the Cardiac story. You meet amazing people who you might not otherwise. It's my favourite cycling event of the year. The whole weekend has a spirit of its own, it feels very special, the organisation is great, and everybody has a great time.”
Sean concurs. “It's an amazing event, raising money for fantastic services for the far north community, Many of my friends have come from this cycling community. Cardiac Challenge is almost a movement of its own.”
He acknowledges that both their families, albeit overseas, have cardiac history.
“It's actually an amazing hospital and it's made even better because of the community it's in.”
So dedicated are the pair, that they are now both pack leaders in the event. Sean has been a pack leader for several years, and Mary braved the role of pack leader last year for the first time.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe, who co-ordinates the event, says stories like Sean and Mary's were not unusual.
“We know this event changes lives, not just in the funds that it raises, but also in the fact it changes the lives of participants, supporters and volunteers,” Ms Duncombe said.
Many of the event organisers attend the Sea Breeze Café Sunday morning rides, all abilities welcome, including people who have not registered to do Cardiac Challenge.
*The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is held from September 16-18, riding from Cairns to Cooktown. Early bird registrations for the 2017 event close on June 14. Visit www.cardiacchallenge.org.au.

PHOTO: Mary and Sean McGuinness are thrilled to be saddling up for another Cardiac Challenge.

 

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Campaign makes a difference 29/05/2017

BUSINESS people sitting in wheelchairs have made a difference to the lives of sick children in Cairns Hospital.
The annual Give Me 5 For Kids campaign, held in conjunction with Southern Cross Austereo, last year provided almost $17,000 worth of equipment that has just been handed over.
An i-STAT blood analyser worth almost $11,000 and a sofa bed for parents worth almost $6000, will make a big difference to the stay of children in hospital in Cairns, children’s ward Nurse Unit Manager Caroline Witter said.
“The i-STAT machine performs blood analysis at the point of care. This means we can access results immediately in those acutely unwell patients, rather than send blood samples off to pathology for analysis,” Ms Witter said.
“This will allow nursing and medical staff to have immediate access to blood results, enabling specific treatments to start immediately,” she said. The parent bed is to allow for one parent/carer to stay overnight with their child, as the staff practice family-centred care on the ward.
“It is fantastic that we are able to offer these parents a comfortable bed to sleep on so that they can remain with their child overnight. The paediatric and adolescent ward is very appreciative of the community who are fantastic in providing these children and young people with equipment so we continue to provide the best possible care to them,” Ms Witter said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the community’s support of sick children in hospital was always heart-warming. “It’s a sad fact of life that we might all need the services of Cairns Hospital at some point, so it is wonderful to see the business community coming together to support others – you never know, one day it might be your child or grandchild in hospital and we can all make a difference,” Mr Franz said.
Cairns 99.5 Triple M general manager Gina Hogan said the station was passionate about its listeners, the local life and giving back to the community. “Our region is full of heart, we greatly appreciate everyone who participated in Give Me 5 For Kids events and those who made donations,” Ms Hogan said. “It’s a pleasure to work with the Foundation and assist in raising much needed funds for our local hospital as well as sick children and their families when they need it most,” she said.
Give Me 5 For Kids kicks off in Cairns in June with Cairns On A Fork  - from 3pm on Saturday, June 17 at West Barlow Park, a family fun day, from 10am, also on June 17 at Tobruk Pool, and the Premiere of Cars 3 at 2pm on Saturday, June 25 at Birch Carroll and Coyle Stockland Earlville.

Photo: Mark and Juanita and Gina Hogan from Cairns 99.5 Triple M, help Cairns Hospital paediatric ward Nurse Unit Manager Caroline Witter relax in the new parent bed.

 

 

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Pallet fundraiser saves lives 18/05/2017

THE humble timber pallet has morphed into a cancer diagnostic device.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz met with The Power of Pallets instigator Kate Fern this week to see how the flexible nasoendoscopes work.
Valued at almost $18,000, Cairns Hospital cancer services specialist radiation oncologist Dr Luke McGhee said the scopes are used to assess patients who are being monitored for head and neck cancers.
“They enable us to directly see the original site of the cancer and the rest of the internal aspect of the throat where these patients are at risk for second cancers also.  Currently using the scopes alone we are unable to take pictures of what we see.  Having access to these pictures will enable other doctors to be able to directly assess whether there have been any changes since they were seen by us,” Dr McGhee said.
“The ability to record any changes we see over time is hugely important in being able to detect any subtle changes that may be the early signs of cancer.  The monitor also gives us a superior view of the area than the scopes alone which again enhances our ability to detect any changes that may indicate recurrent cancer.
“This monitor is going to make the early detection of recurrent cancer or a second head and neck cancer in these high risk patients easier.  Early detection is important in giving these patients the best chance of cure.  Again we are very happy to be able to add this valuable equipment to our toolkit for caring for our patients, and we are very grateful to the Hospital Foundation for supplying this to us.  They continue to be a great support to our service making a big difference to our ability to give our patients the best care possible.”
Ms Fern said the number of people whose lives were impacted by cancer was simply staggering.
“At our event last year we had band members whose family members affected by cancer, two of our volunteers have lost husbands and fathers to cancer since the event, and a dear friend who was a great supporter of the event is fighting her own cancer battle, so it is great to see that the money raised this year will go to help fight this horrible disease,” Ms Fern said.
Mr Franz said it was always rewarding to directly see the impacts of fundraising on patient outcomes. “Every cent donated to us stays local and goes towards its intended cause and we always love these occasions when we can hand over a piece of equipment and hear from the medical and nursing staff about how they can make a difference and potentially save people’s lives,” Mr Franz said.

Photo: Cairns Hospital cancer services radiation oncologist Dr Luke McGhee, with Kate Fern, oncology pharmacist Jason Black and Foundation CEO Tony Franz.

 

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Pioneering cyclists raise funds 11/05/2017

WHAT do you get when you combine 20 cyclists with 560km of unusual terrain?
More than $11,000 raised for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation via the inaugural R'n'R MTB Adventure, which was held last week.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the event exceeded expectations.
“We had a lot of really valuable input into the unusual route that we took, including rail trails and irrigational channels and it seems everyone had an amazing time,” Ms Duncombe said.
“The cyclists thoroughly enjoyed themselves on a range of very diverse roads and unique locations many of them have never been to before,” she said.
Participants ranged in age from 41 to 71 with most tackling even the toughest parts, including the beautiful but physically challenging Newcastle Range, she said.
Over five days, riders travelled from Mareeba along rail trails, irrigation channels and bush tracks to Almaden, the next day on to Barwidgi Station, then Mt Surprise, Einasleigh and Forsayth.
Almost half the cyclists opted to return on the iconic Savannahlander train from Forsayth, which the ride conclusion was timed to coincide with.
“The local Forsayth police officer was awesome in that he led the group in from the outskirts of town, which was a beautiful way to end the ride,” Ms Duncombe said.
“We stopped at some locations that don't see this many people in one hit very often, so it's great that we can support those small communities, and also show people that there are some amazing places to visit that really are not that far away,” she said.
Funds raised from the event will go towards improving health services in the Far North.

 

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All aboard for charity ride 28/04/2017

THE bikes are serviced, the bags are packed and more than 20 cyclists are heading off into outback Queensland for a pioneering adventure.
The cyclists and a dedicated support crew will head off this Sunday (April 30) on the inaugural R’n’R MTB Adventure from Mareeba to Forsayth.
Organised by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, which also hosts the legendary Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge bike ride, the new adventure takes participants into country they may never have seen or heard of before.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said she had an incredible crew of volunteers who had helped plan and co-ordinate the adventure.
“It’s been a lot of hard work over many months but we’ve managed to pull it together and it’s going to be a fabulous adventure,” Ms Duncombe said.
“We know there is plenty of need for improved health services in the Far North and that’s what we’re aiming to do with this new adventure – improve facilities and improve health outcomes,” she said.
So far more than $8000 has been raised but we would like to reach at least $10,000,” she said.
“There are some medical conditions, where if people live in a regional area, they have less chance of survival than if they live in a big city so we’re trying to redress that imbalance.”
“Some of these small country towns that we’re travelling through are really struggling so bringing these riders through will boost their profile and their economy and hopefully we can get more people seeing their beauty,” she said.
Rider numbers have been deliberately kept small this year to enable organisers to refine the event, with a view to growing in future years.
Riders also have the opportunity of returning to the coast on the iconic Savannahlander train from Forsayth.
For further information about the new ride visit www.rnrmtbadventure.org.au.

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FNQ ride a great fundraiser 21/04/2017

RIDING her mountain bike through the backroads of Far North Queensland, is a perfect way for Jennifer McManus to support health services.
A born-and-bred local, Jennifer knows better than many the importance of providing additional equipment “over and above” what the government supplies.
“Well I was born at the hospital, the then brand new maternity unit, 44 years ago, I was a nurse at the hospital and I met my husband, who is a specialist in Intensive Care, there,” Mrs McManus said.
The mother, retailer, and anthropology graduate is excited to take part in the inaugural R’n’R MTB Adventure, the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s latest fundraising ride.
The ride is a five-day trip starting in Mareeba on April 30, travelling through Almaden, Mount Surprise, Einasleigh and finishing in Forsayth.
From there, riders can either make their own way back to the coast or as an optional extra, take the iconic Savannahlander train trip back.
“My family were early settlers in the north and they explored much of the countryside I'll be riding through. I've heard many stories over the years of its rugged beauty and can't wait to see for myself the changing landscapes from the vantage point of a bike,” Mrs McManus said.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the ride was a great way to see stunning and diverse countryside while fundraising for improved health services.
“We know there is plenty of need for improved health services in the Far North and that’s what we’re aiming to do with this new adventure – improve facilities and improve health outcomes,” Ms Duncombe said.
“There are some medical conditions, where if people live in a regional area, they have less chance of survival than if they live in a big city so we’re trying to redress that imbalance,” she said.
“Some of these small country towns that we’re travelling through are really struggling so bringing these riders through will boost their profile and their economy and hopefully we can get more people seeing their beauty,” she said.
Rider numbers have been deliberately kept small this year to enable organisers to refine the event, with a view to growing in future years.
For further information about the new ride visit www.rnrmtbadventure.org.au.

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FNQ charity seeks board members 9/04/2017

THE opportunity to support health services in the Far North has arisen with two positions available on the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation board.
Board chairman Dr Ken Chapman said the Foundation’s recent 20th birthday celebrations highlighted many achievements, including $14 million worth of equipment, education and training grants provided to improve health outcomes in the region.
“We’ve had a couple of vacancies come up on the Foundation’s board and it’s always sad to see these colleagues move on but it’s also an opportunity to obtain some fresh ideas and direction,” Dr Chapman said.
“The people we’re seeking are civic leaders in our community, who are passionate about health services and have something special to offer,” Dr Chapman said.
“We are particularly looking for leaders in the field of retail, commercial, legal and medical research,” he said.
The Foundation supports the geographical area from Cardwell to the Torres Strait and west to Croydon, including nine hospitals, two multi-purpose health services, 53 primary health centres and a population of about 270,000 people.
Foundation board positions are voluntary and members meet bi-monthly.
Applications via Expression of Interest can be submitted to ceo@fnqhf.org.au by Saturday, April 29, 2017.
 

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Fridges latest generous donation 6/04/2017

INDIVIDUAL fridges for premature babies’ milk at Cairns Hospital will keep a mothers’ breast milk at the correct temperature at the cot side ready for use thanks to a donation of 28 individual fridges from The Good Guys Cairns to Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Cairns Hospital Special Care Nursery Nurse Unit manager Jonelle Mayers, said the 28 individual fridges worth $5600, will be used for new mums staying in the unit to store their breastmilk. The fridges provide a new convenience for mums as they won’t have to leave their baby’s side to retrieve their milk.
“Each fridge is placed directly next to their baby’s cot so there is no chance of milk from one baby being given to another baby, inadvertently,” Mrs Mayers said. “Mothers can then participate in discussions regarding the available milk for their baby and take ownership of the supply, because it is so visible.
“Nurses prefer the individual fridges because we only keep the milk belonging to that baby, in the baby’s environment.  The individual fridges contribute towards best practice.”
Mum Sharon Thompson says the fridges have been invaluable for her baby Hugh. “He was born 10 weeks early and I express milk several times a day at home and also when I come in to feed him. He’s exclusively breastfed via a nasogastric tube at the moment but he’s doing really well. He’s amazing me with his progress,” Ms Thompson said.
The Good Guys Cairns Store Executive Manager, Michael Aw, said his team was honoured to support its local cause partner, Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, in a big way this year. “The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation goes to great lengths to support local residents and families, especially those welcoming a newborn into the world,” he said.
The Good Guys Cairns is committed to doing good and making a difference in the local community, and we hope this donation will keep local mums comfortable and well equipped for the duration of their stay with our friends at Far North Queensland Hospital.”
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said The Good Guys Cairns had been extremely supportive of the Foundation for a long time.
“We always hold a Christmas gift wrap at The Good Guys Cairns store and the team has been very generous in making donations, in both cash and kind, and providing special gifts to families in need, over the years. This latest donation brings The Good Guys Cairns’ donations to the Foundation to $100,000, which is very generous,” Ms Duncombe said.

Photo: Sharon Thompson and son Hugh, say thanks to Michael Aw for his generous donation of breast milk fridges.

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Cafes underpin success 5/04/2017


The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s commercial operations play an integral role in improving health care in the region.
The hospital carpark, dcafe, Sea Breeze Café, vending machines, ATM’s and patient interactive system all contribute to the Foundation’s bottom line.
Because of these commercial enterprises, all administrative costs are completely covered which means every cent donated goes to its intended cause, Foundation CEO Tony Franz said.
The Sea Breeze Café provides quality food and drinks, as well as a full range of gifts and toiletry items for patients, staff and visitors to the hospital.
Sea Breeze Café is on the ground floor of Block B, in a relaxed location overlooking the Cairns Esplanade. It has indoor and outdoor dining, and a view to rival any in Cairns.
The dcafe, on the ground floor of Block D at the northern end of Cairns Hospital, offers a wide range of nutritious food and drinks in a relaxed and modern setting.
Staff prepare a full selection of hot meals, wraps, rolls, salads, coffee, smoothies, juices and tea.
The Cairns Hospital car park, Block E, on the corner of Grove and Digger streets, provides a crucial service for hospital staff and the public. The provision of 667 undercover parking spaces provides a secure and comfortable environment and meets the large demand. The entry fee is a small investment for the security and ease of parking on site at the hospital. An all-weather sky bridge over Lake St, on level 2, allows easy access to Block D and the rest of the hospital.
The Foundation co-ordinates and manages a variety of vending services throughout the hospital that include fresh bean to cup coffee/tea machines as well as drink and snack machines. ATM’s are in the Block B information area and the Sea Breeze Café for the convenience of staff, patients and visitors to Cairns Hospital.


 

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Cyclists save many lives 5/04/2017

The annual Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is one of the biggest fundraising events in the Far North.
The event, a three-day bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown, is now in its 11th year and has produced some spectacular outcomes.
Not only has it changed the lives of thousands of participants in a myriad of ways, but it also changes the lives of cardiac patients.
Since inception, the event has raised more than $2.5 million, which has gone to a variety of cardiac services in the region.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager and Cardiac Challenge ride director Glenys Duncombe said 1614 cyclists have participated, riding a combined total of about 868,000km in the event.
Heart disease is a major health issue in Far North Queensland, which has a larger-than-state average percentage of both older and Indigenous residents, who are susceptible to developing cardiac problems.
The diagnosis and treatment of heart disease also can be challenging in the Far North, due to the number of remote communities that do not have ready access to specialised health services.
Even cardiac patients who live in the city of Cairns may find themselves compelled to leave home, family and friends, and travel to a hospital in Townsville or Brisbane to undergo a surgical procedure that Cairns Hospital is not currently equipped to handle.
But thanks to the Cardiac Challenge, things are changing.
Crucial medical equipment purchases and services funded by the Cardiac Challenge include:
Echocardiography (ultrasound) system for young heart patients: this updated equipment assists the paediatric cardiologist at Cairns Hospital, who treats youngsters ranging in age from premature babies (one in every 100 children is born with a heart problem) to 18-year-olds.
Portable echocardiography system for young heart patients: bought in 2011, this equipment enables the Cairns Hospital paediatric cardiologist to assess young patients in the field.
Two intra-aortic balloon pumps: both the first pump, bought in 2008, and a second portable model funded in 2013, were obtained for the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at Cairns Hospital, which handles patients with heart problems.
 

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Happy birthday to us! 22/03/2017

IMPRESSIVE figures and results are being celebrated by the Far North’s largest local charity as it celebrates its 20th birthday.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation has contributed more than $14 million to improving health services in that time.
Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman, who has been at the helm since the beginning, said he was thrilled with the achievements of volunteers, staff, sponsors and donors.
“This is really something worth celebrating – this community has contributed a massive amount to improving health services in the past 20 years,” Dr Chapman said.
The most public donation was the Paediatric Playground Project, at a cost of $1.3 million, as well as the Integrated Patient System at $1.6 million, $700,000 towards the PET-CT scanner and almost $400,000 for the brainlab spinal and trauma equipment in theatres.
The Foundation’s first major purchase was the paediatric transport cot cost $135,000 and was bought in 2003. Recently the cot was replaced by a newer model and donated by Cairns Hospital to Papua New Guinea.
Dr Chapman said the achievements were the result of hard work by volunteers, staff, sponsors and fundraisers.
“This is really a time when we say ‘Thank you’ to everyone who has worked so hard to achieve these outcomes,” Dr Chapman said.
The Foundation was established in March 1997 under the Hospitals Foundations Act 1982 and various Acts of Parliament.
It is a non-profit charity that supports Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service, or in geographical terms - from Cardwell to the Torres Strait and west to Croydon.
This area includes nine hospitals, two multi-purpose health services and 53 primary health centres and encompasses a population of about 270,000 people.
“Our hospital and health service primary care areas: womens, paediatric, indigenous, men’s, cardiac, thoracic and mental health, orthopaedics, general, emergency and tropical medicine, cancer care, medical research, rural and remote, health education including preventative lifestyle strategies,” Dr Chapman said.
“Our volunteers, sponsors, donors and staff all know they are making a difference in what they do, every day and we couldn’t do it without the community’s support,” he said.

Other impressive figures:
•    Annual Motorcycle Muster commences in 2002 and has raised $729,000 to date
o    About 1000 motorcyclist participants riding a combined half-a-million kilometres   
•    Annual Cardiac Challenge cycle ride to Cooktown starts in 2007 and has raised $2.5 million
o    1614 cyclist participants riding a combined total of approximately 868,000km
•    Annual Give Me 5 For Kids total of $330k
•    Jet-Ski event has raised a total of $167k
•    Annual Christmas wrapping has raised $165k  
o    Estimated 200,000 presents wrapped using about 100km of wrapping paper
Volunteer program
•    409,000 volunteer hours contributed to the Cairns Hospital which represents 103,500 shifts
•    Christmas wrapping 23,500 volunteer hours which represents 7300 shifts
•    We currently have 760 active volunteers
Other purchases:
•    2 x Intra-aortic balloon pumps
•    3 x Omnibeds
•    4 x BiPAP ventilators
•    5 x Vein illumination devices
•    5 x Pneumatic walker casts
•    6 x Bladder scanners
•    9 x Electric beds
•    10 x Dialysis machines
•    11 x Phototherapy units
•    12 x Breast pumps
•    15 x Wheelchairs
•    19 x Ultrasound machines
•    19 x Defibrillators
•    50 x Bassinet mattresses
•    53 x Pressure relieving mattresses
•    115 x monitoring devices
•    209 x specialist chairs.

 

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Jet skiers help cancer patients 17/03/2017

CANCER patients in Cairns Hospital will be more comfortable and have better treatment, thanks to jetski riders.
Some of the funds raised from the annual Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari jetski island hop on Australia Day, have gone towards a bladder scanner and special cooling fans in the Cancer Care Ward at Cairns Hospital.
The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari is a jetski powered island hop through the Great Barrier Reef’s iconic northern waters – between Yorkeys Knob and Port Douglas, on Australia Day each year.
Considered one of the most spectacular jet-ski routes in the world, the event raises money for the Cancer Care Ward at Cairns Hospital via donations to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation. The funds raised are used to enrich the lives of people undergoing treatment for cancer in Far North Queensland.
Sea-Fari is in memory of Cairns Hospital cancer patient Brian "Unit" Wilson whose vision for an aquatic fundraising event has generated more than $140,000 since its inception in 2011.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the $21,000 contribution would help make cancer treatment a little more comfortable.
“We all know cancer is a difficult diagnosis to contend with, but these items can go some way to making treatment a little more comfortable,” Mr Franz said.
Cancer Care Ward Nurse Unit Manager Danielle Peever said the bladder scanner would be used daily in the unit.
“What it does, is measures bladder volume non-invasively, helps prevent unnecessary catheterisation, improves efficiency and reduces unnecessary patient movement,” Ms Peever said.
“This is extremely beneficial to patients who may be debilitated due to increased pain and suffering due to their diagnosis or treatment,” she said.
The eight Dyson bladeless fans are particularly beneficial for cancer patients in hospital, as their temperature regulation can be affected by tumours.
“Some patients can suffer on a roller coaster of uncontrollable of hot and cold within minutes – shivering uncontrollably with cold and then within minutes feeling like they are in a volcano.  This can also be from the chemotherapy or due to infection. As much as the hospital is air conditioned, sometimes individual patients need more intense cooling which these fans provide,” Ms Peever said.

Photo: Cairns Hospital Cancer Care Ward staff Jazmin Yendall, Mat Greener, Dr Brian Bolbol, Jisha Ittiavirah, Samjhana Shrestha and Nurse Unit Manager Danielle Peever with the new Dyson fans and bladder scanner, funded by the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari.

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ALL things pregnancy and baby 8/03/2017

ALL things pregnancy and baby will be on the agenda at the second annual Cairns Pregnancy and Baby Expo, sponsored by Pakmag.
Event organiser Alison Cupitt said she had been stunned with the level of support for the fundraising event.
“Last year I started the expo as a crazy idea after I was asked if I was interested in exhibiting at one, which then fell through. The expo last year had 21 exhibitors from local small businesses and market stall holders, but by the end of the event I had another 26 businesses who wanted to attend, so this year it is double the size with another 15 on the waiting list,” Ms Cupitt said.
Last year, she was able to donate $1000, the proceeds of the raffle, to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
“Last year entry was free so this year it’s a gold coin donation which will add to the donation,” she said.
“Because it’s a pregnancy and baby expo, we decided to donate the funds to the Foundation, who can use it for equipment for the Special Care Nursery at the Cairns Hospital,” she said.
“Last year, we had 200 free goodie bags and they were gone in the first 1.5 hours. I don’t know how many people came through during the day but we had a constant stream of people all day. This year we are having 500 goodie bags. I have no idea how many people will attend but if it is like last year, we will have a fabulous turn out.”
Stallholders have all donated vouchers or gifts to the raffle.
Angel Babies Up North in FNQ will attend and anyone attending who would like to donate material, a gown or flannelette, is welcome to bring it along on the day, for it to be made for babies who are still born, die neonatally or through SIDS.
• The Cairns Pregnancy and Baby Expo will be held on March 12 at the Hilton Cairns, from 10am-3pm.
• For further information, visit: HERE or HERE.

Photo: Helen Du Cros with baby George Anderson, Alison Cupitt, and Melissa Atkinson with baby Tyler Atkinsons are excited about the Cairns Pregnancy and Baby Expo on the weekend.

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Jamaican jerk chicken 2/03/2017

What you need:
1 tablespoon allspice berries, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes, ½ tablespoon muscovado sugar, 2 tablespoons runny honey, a few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, a few sprigs fresh coriander, 2 Scotch bonnet or red Thai chillies, 1 clove garlic, olive oil, eight chicken thighs - skin on, beer, for drizzling, optional, one lime, 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped.
Method
Blitz the allspice berries, peppercorns and chilli flakes until fine, then mix in the sugar and honey herbs, chillies, garlic and ginger, add to the spice mixture and blitz again. Add the green parts of the spring onions and a good drizzle of oil and mix well. Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage it in – wear rubber gloves if you want as those chillies are hot! Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least one to two hours, but preferably overnight. Place the chicken, skin-side down, on the barbecue over a medium heat and cook for 40 to 50 minutes, turning often, or until the chicken is golden and cooked through. Drizzle over a little beer near the end of cooking for extra stickiness. You also could cook them in the oven at 200°C/400°F/gas 6 for 25 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Serve with your favourite coleslaw with the addition of freshly chopped pineapple matchsticks and a bunch of fresh mint chopped in. This will help to contrast the spicy chicken

 

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Tribute paid to volunteers 21/02/2017

INTERNATIONAL Volunteers Day was an apt occasion to share some shots of our hospital volunteers at our annual Christmas celebration and awards ceremony.

Special congratulations to Thelma Bryan and Maud Way, who celebrated 25 years of volunteering at the Cairns Hospital.

Thanks to our board chairman Dr Ken Chapman and board member Steve Russell for helping pay tribute to these special people.

You might also note our cheeky commercial operations manager Steve McGuinness photobombed a couple of shots! New Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service chief executive Clare Douglas also attended.

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Riding the roads less travelled 20/02/2017

THE Far North's newest fundraising bike ride will take participants to places they may never have heard of, let alone visited.
Hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the R'n'R MTB Adventure is a five-day trip starting in Mareeba, travelling through Almaden, Mount Surprise, Einasleigh and finishing in Forsayth in April.
From there, riders can either make their own way back to the coast or as an optional extra, take the iconic Savannahlander train trip back.
Keen cyclists Dean Clapp and Anja von Keyserlingk say the idea came about with a group of friends who like discovering new ride adventures.
The pair, owners of Crocodile Express Daintree River Cruises, have previously ridden from Cairns to Broome on a tandem bicycle, unsupported.
“I guess we've become cyclists over time – we do the Cardiac Challenge and love that. We love that cycling takes us places we wouldn't otherwise see and it keeps us fitter and healthier than we would be otherwise,” Mr Clapp said.
“We just went for a ride one day with a group of friends – we knew roughly where we were going but it's just a great adventure out there,” Ms von Keyserlingk said.
“It's a great adventure – there's not much traffic, it's off-road and it takes you places you've never seen before. Some of those outback country towns could really do with the boost,” she said.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the new ride, being held at the end of April, was a great way to see stunning and diverse countryside while fundraising for improved health services.
“We know there is plenty of need for improved health services in the Far North and that's what we're aiming to do with this new adventure – improve facilities and improve health outcomes,” Ms Duncombe said.
“There are some medical conditions where if people live in a regional area, they have less chance of survival than if they live in a big city so we're trying to redress that imbalance,” she said.
For further information about the new ride visit www.rnrmtbadventure.org.au.

Photo: Dean Clapp and Anja von Keyserlink are excited about the new fundraising bike ride.

 

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Home town treatment now offered 13/02/2017

DIABETES and skin cancer patients in the Far North can now have more treatment in their home town rather than having to travel away, thanks to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the charity bought almost $88,000 worth of equipment for Cooktown, Atherton and Innisfail Hospitals.
Diabetes equipment provided to each of Cooktown and Atherton hospitals will mean less need for patients to travel to Cairns for treatment they can have in their home town.
As well, a skin grafting machine for Innisfail Hospital, funded by the Innisfail Friends of the Foundation, will allow patients to have skin grafts there, rather than having to travel to a larger centre.
Mr Franz said the equipment, at a total value of $87,724, was a result of fundraising and commercial activities by the Foundation and its volunteers. “We’ve contributed $13 million to improving health services in the past 20 years and this is a great way we can improve outcomes for patients in the region.”
Cooktown Renal Service Nurse Unit Manager Karen Coad said the Sonosite Turbo had been an awesome addition to their unit. “This amazing little piece of machinery makes the lives of our patients a lot easier. When their veins become difficult to cannulate, our brand new Sonosite means we may be able to prevent unnecessary travel to Cairns for our patients. It is really good for us – I use it on up to four patients a day.”
Atherton Renal Satellites and Home Therapies acting Nurse Unit Manager Karen Brown said the equipment enables nurses to monitor veins on site, rather than the patient having to travel to Cairns for further investigation. “Patients with difficult cannulation often have to present to Cairns. With the aid of ultrasound guidance, the patient will be able to remain in Atherton. In short it will enable patients to remain in their centre of care and not have to travel or put a strain on the Cairns unit. It also prevents damage to fistula’s through improving success rates on needling and enables the nurse to identify problems that may interfere with dialysis before they become a problem. Early detection leads to less invasive treatments for the patient. We are feeling very lucky to have such amazing community support and are grateful for this amazing piece of equipment which will change the patient journey in such a positive way.”
Innisfail Hospital Theatre Nurse Unit Manager Donna Low said that due to public awareness of skin cancers, staff were seeing an increase in patient numbers who need surgery.
“Our new Zimmer Air Dermatome allows the surgeon to preform skin grafting to skin cancer with minimal disturbance therefore helping the healing process. Currently patients are often required to travel to a larger centre, to have their procedures performed, when we now are unable to provide a service locally,” Ms Low said.


Photo: Tolga patient Patricia Santacaterina receiving treatment with the new piece of equipment at Atherton Hospital.

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Grandad gives jetski to family 3/02/2017

SUPPORTING a cancer fundraiser has resulted in an unexpected surprise for retiree Ron Macey.
Mr Macey bought two tickets in the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari jetski art union, and was stunned when he received the phone call that he had won.
“I bought them when it was at Smithfield Shopping Centre – we always support cancer fundraisers because my wife’s had cancer twice,” Mr Macey said.
“I’ve never won anything in my life and then we got this phone call out of the blue last week to say that I’d won,” he said.
Mr Macey won a Sea-Doo GTI 130 jetski, including trailer and 12 months’ registration, donated by Trinity Powersports.
Trinity Powersports product manager Rowland Burns said they were honoured to provide the art union prize.
“We encourage other local businesses to get involved and help those who can benefit from the funds raised for much-needed equipment,” Mr Burns said.
The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari is a jetski-powered island hop through the Great Barrier Reef’s iconic northern waters – between Yorkeys Knob and Port Douglas, on Australia Day.
Considered one of the most spectacular jetski routes in the world, the event raises money for the Cancer Care Ward at Cairns Hospital, via donations to the Far North Queensland Hospital
Foundation.
Sea-Fari is in memory of Cairns Hospital cancer patient Brian “Unit” Wilson, whose vision for an aquatic fundraising event has generated more than $176,000 since its inception in 2011.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said everyone in the community was impacted by cancer.
“This year we had a record number of jetski’s registered at 35, and we raised more than $36,000 which was a great achievement,” Ms Duncombe said.
“It’s really lovely to see the jetski go to someone like Mr Macey and we are assured his grandchildren will make great use of it,” she said.

Photo: Glenys Duncombe and Rowland Burns congratulate Ron Macey and his grandson Luke.

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Volunteers thanked for hard work 31/01/2017

SHOPPING and fundraising really do go hand-in-hand, as was proved in Cairns at Christmas.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation received almost $27,000 from Cairns Central shoppers in December 2016.
More than 135 volunteers, spent 1624 hours, over 406 shifts, wrapping more than 10,000 gifts during the Christmas season at Cairns Central.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said $23,000 was received from the Christmas Wrap, and another $6000 from the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari Great Barrier Reef Island hop art union, which was hosted in the Centre in December.
Cairns Central centre manager Christie-Lee Jackson said she was thrilled that Cairns shoppers again dug deep for this worthy cause, “Customers donate a gold coin per gift to be wrapped, so that means the Hospital volunteers were very busy this year, wrapping over 10,000 gifts during the Christmas season at Cairns Central,” she said.
To thank the volunteers for their hard work and dedication to the health services of the Far North, Cairns Central hosted a morning tea at Tosca’s on Tuesday 31 January.
Ms Duncombe said funds raised from events such as Christmas Wrap, went to purchase items such as the brainlab orthopaedic surgery equipment, paediatric playground, education, training and research grants and interactive patient stations.
“Every cent that we receive through donations stays local and every cent goes to its intended cause because all our administrative costs are covered by our commercial operations,” Ms Duncombe said.
“Since the Foundation’s inception 20 years ago, we have contributed more than $13 million to improving health care in the Far North, and events such as this really do make a difference to patient outcomes,” Ms Duncombe said.
As well, more than $2506 was raised through gift wrapping at The Good Guys Cairns by 17 volunteers, working 253 hours over 76 shifts.

Photo: Cairns Central centre manager Christie-Lee Jackson hands over a giant cheque to Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe.

 

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Jim's reason to ride 24/01/2017

HE’S put his hand in his own pocket before to help patients in the Far North, and now Jim Bradley is jumping on a jetski for cancer patients.
Mr Bradley is excited to get his jetski ready for the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari Island Hop on Australia Day.
“I’ve given to the Hospital Foundation before and this is an event I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Mr Bradley said.
Funds raised from the event go towards enriching the lives of people undergoing cancer treatment in Far North Queensland.
“It’s just a good cause – it’s local, everything you donate goes to its intended cause. And really, everyone I know has been affected by cancer in some way,” Mr Bradley said.
He has previously supported the Foundation – donating ipad equipment to be raffled for the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
“We’ve got really close friends who are going through a tough time for cancer at the moment and this is something small that I can in their honour,” Mr Bradley said.
The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari is a jetski-powered island hop through the Great Barrier Reef’s iconic northern waters – between Yorkeys Knob and Port Douglas, on Australia Day each year.
Considered one of the most spectacular jetski routes in the world, the event raises money for the Cancer Care Ward at Cairns Hospital via donations to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Sea-Fari is in memory of Cairns Hospital cancer patient Brian “Unit” Wilson whose vision for an aquatic fundraising event has generated more than $140,000 since its inception in 2011.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the event has attracted more jetski’s than last year, as well as national motorsport commentator Greg Rust and national jetski promoter JetskiTV.
“This event has come a long way and the weather is looking beautiful for Thursday so we’re going to have a lot of fun while fundraising for cancer services,” Ms Duncombe said.
A flotilla of more than 35 jetskis plus support boats will depart Yorkeys Knob Boat Club at 9am Thursday, stopping at Double Island, Scout Hat Island and Low Island, before lunching at the Port Douglas Yacht Club and making their own way back to Cairns.
For further information or to make a donation visit Seafari.

Photo: Jim Bradley and Glenys Duncombe test out a pair of jetskis before the big day on Australia Day, 2017.

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