News

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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Garlic Parmesan Roasted Prawns 18/01/2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The easiest roasted shrimp cocktail ever made with just five minutes prep.
Yes, it’s just that easy! We like to use red spot or Endeavour Prawns for this dish. Leaving the heads on gives a great presentation and additional yumminess for the more adventurous foodie.
What you need
1kg large green prawns (red spot or Endeavour are best), peeled and deveined, 6tbspn olive oil, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 2 tspns dried oregano, 2 tspns dried basil, pinch dried chilli to taste (optional), 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, juice of 1 lemon, 6tbspns chopped parsley leaves, for garnish; 6tbspns chopped fresh basil leaves, for garnish.
Method
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Place prawns in a large bowl. Add olive oil, garlic, oregano, basil chilli and parmesan; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine.
3.Lay out in a single layer onto a prepared baking sheet.
4. Place into oven and roast just until pink, firm and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
5. Serve immediately, garnished

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Jet skiing for a good cause 16/01/2017

HE'S known as a world-renowned mountain bike course designer.
But Cairns local Glen Jacobs makes sure his year of travelling always includes the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari on Australia Day.
Mr Jacobs ironically bought the very first jetski in Cairns – back in 1979 from Wayne Leonard.
“I’m only on my fourth jetski now they have come such a long way and give you so much freedom,” Mr Jacobs said.
“Having a jetski and going out to the islands is like four wheel driving on water – you get to explore so many places that most people just don’t see. And there is nowhere in Australia like Cairns for jetskiing. You can’t do what we do in Sydney or Melbourne or the Gold Coast – we’ve got the Great Barrier Reef,” he said. “There are a lot of people who’ve never had their jetski in salt water so this is a great way to go for an adventure on the ocean in an organised way
Mr Jacobs said the event was awesome to support because not only was it a lot of fun, but it was great to support improving cancer services in the Far North.
“I’ve got quite a few close friends dealing with cancer at the moment so fundraising for cancer services in this way, is a way of helping them. All of us together can make a big difference,” Mr Jacobs 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 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 fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said participants were aiming to raise $50,000 this year, which would go towards improving services and equipment for cancer patients in the Far North.
“This is a really fun event which is a lovely way to celebrate Australia Day – by helping your fellow Australian who is dealing with cancer,” Ms Duncombe said.
To participate in Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari, buy a raffle ticket or donate, CLICK HERE.

Photo: Glen Jacobs knows how to have fun on a jetski!

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Event ticks all the boxes 11/01/2017

THE combination of supporting a charity while indulging his love of “boys’ toys” was a lure too strong for Chris Kingsbury.
A long-time supporter of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, Mr Kingsbury is thrilled to have joined the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari as a platinum sponsor.
The event, held on Australia Day 2017, raises funds for cancer services within the Far North.
“It was just a natural fit for me. I took part in the event last year and had a great time so I thought this time I would help this great organisation make a difference to people who are unwell with cancer,” Mr Kingsbury, of Totally Workwear Cairns, said.
“We provide the shirts for the Foundation volunteers, for cycling events and for the Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster. This will actually be my fourth jetski fundraising event for the Foundation and I can’t wait,” he said.
“I love getting out on my Harley for the Muster and it’s great fun getting out on the water for Sea-Fari as well. I’m a chronic boys’ toys fan,” Mr Kingsbury said.
“Cancer took my Mother in in 2001 and in recent years we have known many people whose families have been touched by cancer,” he said.  “When we look back at what the FNQ region has given us, we’re really very grateful. We love our home and this is one way that we can make a difference and help others,” he said.
Mr Kingsbury also recently initiated the Guinness World Record for the most people whistling at the same time, raising money for the Salvation Army. In addition, he has sponsored a drought-relief initiative, taking food and gifts to drought stricken farmers.
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, held 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.
Trinity Powersports 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.
Mr Kingsbury also recently initiated the Guinness World Record Attempt for the most people whistling at the same time, raising money for the Salvation Army. In addition, Totally Workwear Cairns and Townsville together are currently active Sponsors of NQ Drought Relief Care 2017, taking food and gifts to drought stricken farmers west of the Great Dividing Range, who have been feeling the pinch of five years’ drought conditions.
To participate in Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari, buy a raffle ticket or donate, visit www.seafari.org.au.

Photo: Chris Kingsbury loves the chance to get out on the water on his jetski.

 

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Dry July saves lives 6/01/2017

A MONTH off the booze for 65 Far North fundraisers will mean earlier diagnosis for some cancer patients in the region.
Not only that, but since the Liz Plummer Cancer Centre started using the CADD pumps that the Dry July fundraisers helped buy more of, they have saved more than 300 inpatient bed days and $240,000 in drug costs to the hospital.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation received $28,905 in funding from Dry July, enabling the purchase of a treatment chair for the oncology day unit, six chemotherapy pumps for administering chemotherapy at home and a moisture meter to measure swelling in some cancer patients.
Liz Plummer Cancer Centre advanced pharmacist Jason Black said CADD chemotherapy administration pumps make a huge difference to the patient experience.
“The use of these pumps allow patients to be treated at home rather than have to come into hospital for several days. I actually had no idea how big an impact they would have, until I had one patient who had booked in to see a psychologist and arranged to take anti-depressants because the hospital experience can be so intense. We administered his chemotherapy using the CADD pump and treated him as an outpatient. He told me his experience was vastly improved and didn’t require any of his psychology interventions anymore. They help allow the hospital to keep inpatient beds for patients who most need them.”
A moisture meter which also has been bought, allows staff to assess swelling in patients with breast and head/neck lymphoedema. Liz Plummer Cancer Care acting advanced oncology occupational therapist Caitlin Ryan said they had not previously been able to offer this service.
“The ability to obtain these measurements will allow our therapists to not only detect these conditions earlier for our clients, but provide more accurate assessment of their swelling over time and between therapists. This in turn will ensure any increases in swelling can be detected earlier and addressed promptly to ensure the best possible outcome for these clients. I would like to sincerely thank the Foundation and the local community who have worked so hard to raise the funds required to purchase this moisture meter for our clinic.”
In addition, another treatment chair has been bought for the oncology day unit.
Oncology Day Unit acting Nurse Unit Manager Rebecca Johnson said patients often spend long hours in the chairs receiving treatment, and it was important they feel comfortable during their stay. “The treatment chair is also extremely practical for staff, who are required to perform tasks at various heights, as the chair is fully automatic and allows the patient to recline in various positions.  The funding that was raised from the community during your Dry July campaign has certainly been put to good use,” Ms Johnson said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the Foundation had received more than $130,000 from Dry July since 2012, and it was rewarding to know it was going directly to help those who needed it.
“We've all been affected by cancer in some way but Dry July is an easy and fun way for people to fundraise with their friends to make a difference – potentially to their friends' lives,” Mr Franz said.

PHOTO: Acting Nurse Unit Manager Rebecca Johnson chats with leukaemia patient Jim Colbert while he rests in a treatment chair.

 

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Water adventures for a good cause 29/12/2016

A DAY out on his boat fishing with his son is a great day for Noel Rumble, but even better is knowing they are making a difference to cancer patients outcomes.
Noel and son Michael are strong supporters of the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari event, having volunteered their boat for a third time in January 2017.
Retiree Noel also has strong beliefs about building the Far Northern health system to improve outcomes for people who live in the north.
“One of the things I love about supporting the Hospital Foundation is that the fundraising that’s done here is supporting the people who live here,” Mr Rumble said.
“Last year the weather was good, we had a great day out on the water – ours was one of the support boats and the structure of the event now is really good,” he said.
Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari is a jetski-powered island hop from Yorkeys Knob to Port Douglas on Australia Day, raising funds for cancer services provided at Cairns Hospital.
And like most of us, it is a sad fact of life that Mr Rumble can easily think of close family and friends who have or are currently struggling with cancer.
“A close friend of ours is having a tough time with breast cancer, my cousin died almost two years ago from throat cancer, and our niece died some years ago from leukaemia,” Mr Rumble said.
Last year, the event raised the most ever, tipping in at $48,000 and organisers hope to better that tally this year.
Since inception, the event has raised more than $140,000 for cancer services.
Trinity Powersports and Sea-Doo donated a Sea-Doo GTI130 Jet Ski 2016 model including trailer and 12 months registration valued $17,118, which is being used as a raffle, that will be drawn
just before the event.
Tickets in the jetski art union can be bought from Cairns Central until January 2 and from then until January 23 at Stockland Earlville. People also can buy tickets in the art union at Seafari.
Participants can register at the same website until January 25, 2017.
According to the Cancer Council Queensland, 1379 people are diagnosed with cancer in Far North Queensland each year, and 461 people in the region die from cancer each year.
To participate, buy a raffle ticket or donate, visit Seafari.

PHOTO: Lauren and Ben Rumble enjoy a spin out on their grandfather Noel Rumble's boat, as he gets it ready to support the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari.
 

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One in 7 billion boy 21/12/2016

BROCK Bryant is a one in 7 billion boy.
There is no one else known on the planet with his health issues and this week the special 11-year-old received a gift that will help educate him.
Brock has three health conditions – auto-immune hepatitis, nephrotic syndrome and capillary leak syndrome.
His mum Katrina Bryant says the future is unclear but they make the most of each day as a family and work hard to keep each other’s spirits up.
This week his family received movie tickets from Event Hospitality and Entertainment, and a laptop computer from Michael Aw, The Good Guys.
When Mr Aw visited the children’s ward at Cairns Hospital, Brock and his brother Connor were walking the wards, selling raffle tickets to raise money for the ward.
Ms Bryant, who works in family day care, said Brock’s health conditions were hard on the whole family and every day was a roller coaster ride.
“None of us know what tomorrow will bring but we just try to deal with each day as it comes,” Ms Bryant said.
The Good Guys Cairns store executive manager Michael Aw said his team was overjoyed to be able to help Brock out this Christmas.
“It is so important to help those who truly need it most, especially at this time of year,” Mr Aw said. “We hope this donation will make this tough time a little less stressful for Brock and his family,” he said.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said while the hospital was sometimes the scene of sadness, it was also a place where selfless acts of giving occurred on a daily basis.
“Here we have a family who are dealing with a serious health condition and they have received what may seem to be a small gift, but sometimes the knowledge that someone out there is thinking of you and caring for you, means more than any gift,” Ms Duncombe said.

Photo: Cairns Hospital patient Brock Bryant gives a thumbs up to Michael Aw for his laptop gift in time for Christmas.

 

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Patients benefit from fundraiser 20/12/2016

SAMANTHA Slade was a regular mum of three, wife, working as a fitness trainer and breast-feeding her youngest child.
Then she found a lump in August 2009.
She underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation and has discovered a passion for helping others.
Now, Samantha Slade is a regular mum of three, wife and working in youth justice and as a fitness trainer.
“I had to have radiation in Townsville and I had to take my two-year-old with me because my husband was up here with our two older children so you can imagine how challenging that was,” Ms Slade said.
“These days women in Cairns can have that treatment here so the region has come a long way in its health services provision,” she said.
She has thrown her support behind cancer fundraising event, the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari – a jetski-powered island hop from Yorkeys Knob to Port Douglas on Australia Day.
Since inception, the event has raised more than $140,000 for cancer services and organisers this year hope to raise more than $50,000.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the event had grown in popularity and donations.
“We have an awesome Sea-Doo jetski that will be raffled just before the event and participants are already out there fundraising because they know this is a health concern that will affect most of us in some way, during our lifetime,” Ms Duncombe said.
According to the Cancer Council Queensland, 1379 people are diagnosed with cancer in Far North Queensland each year, and 461 people in the region die from cancer each year.
To participate, buy a raffle ticket or donate, visit Seafari.

Photo: Samantha Slade and daughter Phoebe check out the fun of a jetski at Tobruk Pool, where Sam has been a personal trainer.

 

 

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VIP charity sale 15/12/2016

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Empathy stems from childhood 14/12/2016

JOHN Heineman had possibly one of the toughest childhoods imaginable.
Spending 15 months in hospital with polio, including three weeks in an iron lung and being in the care of a stepmother who entertained foreign military personnel, was a tough way for a little boy to grow up.
During his hospital stay from age 11, his father and stepmother visited him once and he was forced to sleep on a steel crucifix frame due to a bad bedsore on his back. He also lost half his body weight while in hospital.
But he overcame that adversity, went on to become a hydro-geological engineer on the Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme and PNG, and have a family of his own.
For the past 13 years, John has been a volunteer at Cairns Hospital through the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, but at age 82, he recently retired.
Foundation volunteer manager Anne Chirio said it had been very rare for Mr Heineman to ever have a sick day and he was thought of very highly by his team.
 “I’ve been having prostate cancer treatment which has made me quite muscle-weak and I decided I wanted to spend some more time with my wife and family,” Mr Heineman said.
He came to volunteer when he was visiting the hospital cobbler for post polio syndrome, and a physio suggested his handy skills could help others. “I guess you could say I’ve been working one or two days a week helping with minor maintenance matters. Before I started, I had no knowledge at all of all these wonderful hospital volunteers,” Mr Heineman said. He also served on two health service committees – falls and pressure injuries.
A father of three and grandfather of seven, Mr Heineman said his childhood experiences possibly made him more compassionate and understanding. “There was one fellow who had had a stroke and I saw him in the gymnasium – we recognised each other but he couldn’t talk at that stage – he was a locksmith and I could see that his hands were so important to him and his work. So I made up a timber jig consisting of dowel sticks to put into holes and I think that little device helped him a lot. I still see him from time to time and I always go to him to get my keys cut.”
For John, retirement will mean spending more time with family and playing his beloved Sudoku.

 

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Wrap donation to a worthy cause 9/12/2016

FIVE thousand metres of wrapping paper, almost 500 volunteers working more than 470 shifts, and a TONNE of wrapped presents.
But the best number is the amount of money raised, which is almost $20,000.
That’s what the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s Christmas Wrap will hopefully raise for health services this Christmas.
Cairns Central centre manager Christie-lee Jackson said Christmas gift wrapping was an important part of the calendar at Cairns Central every year.
“It’s a time for giving, and giving back to the community and we are very grateful to our volunteers who wrap thousands of gifts each year raising money for the Foundation. Last year, the Cairns community generously donated over $20,000 towards the Foundation,” she said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz it was impossible to know how many presents were wrapped, but volunteers were often approached by people with whole trolleys filled with gifts to be wrapped.
“In the month leading up to Christmas we have 476 volunteers working hard wrapping thousands of presents for a gold coin donation to us,” Mr Franz said.
“We’ve had some volunteers doing this for 10 years or more – we even have one woman who has been doing it since high school, but she’s now in the workforce in Canberra and still returns to do the Christmas Wrap,” he said.
“We often have people give us a $50 donation which is lovely but all we ask for is a gold coin donation.
“We know it’s a really busy time of year for everyone and wrapping presents isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this is a way you can have your gifts beautifully wrapped and know that your contribution makes a difference.”
Last year, $19,209 was raised from wrapping at Cairns Central and $2614 from Michael Aw The Good Guys. “Our records go back to 2001 and since then we’ve raised more than $140,000 from gift wrapping, which has gone towards things such as the Paediatric Playground, PET-CT scanner, brainlab and patient televisions,” Mr Franz said.
“For some of the people who volunteer for this event, this is the only time of year we see them, but that’s fine because they’re giving the gift of their time,” he said.

Christmas Wrap is available at both Cairns Central and Michael Aw The Good Guys. Both are available until Christmas Eve.

Photo: Foundation volunteer Lynette Binder offers a happy smile while she wraps gifts in return for a donation to the Foundation.
 

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Santa's early Cairns visit 1/12/2016

SANTA Claus made a detour via Cairns Hospital’s paediatric ward this week, as a warm-up to his big night on December 24.
Mr Claus said it was a pleasure to visit the children, aged from babies up to 18-year-olds, to wish them Merry Christmas and a speedy recovery.
Cairns Hospital paediatric ward acting nurse unit manager Justine Cunningham said ward staff and patients were always grateful for the attention they receive from the community particularly at Christmas, but all throughout the year.
“Christmas is a difficult time for children to be in hospital so anything that we can do to make their visit here a little more cheerful and bright always helps their recovery,” Ms Cunningham said.
Mr Claus, who snuck away to visit the children’s ward from his official duties at Cairns Central, said it made his day to bring a smile to the little ones in hospital.
Cairns Central Centre Manager Christie-Lee Jackson said the team had a suspicion Mr Claus was sneaking out for a few hours, but turned a blind eye.
“Cairns Central is thrilled to bring a little Christmas magic to those kids who can’t come and visit Santa this year in centre. We hope Santa brings some joy to the patients and families at Cairns Hospital Children’s Ward,” Ms Jackson said.
Santa and his professional photographer visited the Ward with free Santa photos for all the kids.

 


 

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Improving health outcomes 29/11/2016

MORE than 25 health professionals in the Far North will be able to advance their skills and knowledge courtesy of grants provided by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz announced this week that this year’s education and training grants would total more than $35,000 and go to a variety of health professionals.
“We have nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, a dementia psychologist, an occupational therapist and a senior speech pathologist among the successful recipients this year,” Mr Franz said.
Staff from Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, and Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service, cover the fields of cancer, emergency, urology, tropical medicine, obstetrics, paediatrics, renal medicine, sexual health, pain management, bereavement support, online communication for GP’s, cancer, hepatitis C and developing the listening and language skills of children with hearing loss.
“We’re really pleased with the calibre and variety of applications this year and we can see that skills are advancing which is leading to greater health outcomes for the people of Far North Queensland,” Mr Franz said.
Successful applicants receive up to $1500 each which enables them to take part in online courses, conferences and other educational opportunities, he said.
To date, the Foundation has contributed more than $50,000 to improving the educational opportunities for health staff.
“We aim to contribute to improvement in the quality of health care in Far North Queensland through the funding of modern equipment, facilities, education, training and research and through the provision of support services,” Mr Franz said.
“The benefit of these grants is that we are assisting health professionals, in a whole range of fields, to improve their knowledge and skills,” he said.
The Foundation contributes about $1.3 million to improving health services through education, training and research grants, as well as purchasing equipment that is in addition to what is already provided by the health services.
Because profits from the Foundation’s commercial operations cover all administrative costs, every cent donated to us, goes to its intended cause.

PHOTO: Veronica Mashinge from the Cancer Care Ward at Cairns Hospital is thrilled with the new skills she has learnt in the field of therapeutic plasma exchange.

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Thelma's an inspiration 29/11/2016

IT simply does not occur to Thelma Bryan, not to help others.
While the 86-year-old might have plenty on her own plate to deal with, she mentally puts that to one side to support other people.
The feisty swimmer and volunteer donates her skills as a yoga teacher once a week at the Cairns Hospital mental health unit, to help patients.
Cairns Hospital Mental Health Unit therapy assistant Jo Abbatangelo said Thelma has the gift of encouraging patients to believe in themselves.
“We have had many patients give us feedback over the years on how invaluable their experience of yoga was while at the hospital. Thelma works tirelessly each week to bring a sense of deep relaxation and wellbeing to patients on the wards,” Ms Abbatangelo said.
“I just do it because it’s so rewarding. They know that I have some health issues but they just accept me as I am. People tell me, or give me cards telling me that I’ve helped them relax when they were at a time in their life that they were experiencing grief and stress, so it’s wonderful to know that I’ve helped someone,” Mrs Bryan said.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation volunteer manager Anne Chirio said she loves to see the volunteers come in every day when they sign in and out. “Thelma always spares some time to have a chat when she comes in and she is a very familiar sight on her tricycle around the hospital,” Ms Chirio said.
Not only does Mrs Bryan donate her time, she donates her money as well. She recently donated another $1500 to the Foundation – bringing her and husband’s Mike’s contribution to more than $20,000. “It’s not the only group that we support, but we like to make a donation, knowing that the money stays here and really does help people,” Mrs Bryan said. “We like to support organisations that help society.”
In January 2017, Mrs Bryan will celebrate her 26th year of volunteering at Cairns Hospital.
As well, Mrs Bryan is a famous masters swimmer. In the 85-89 years age group last year, her 400m individual medley was ranked first in the World Top Ten 50m pool list, and her 100m and 200m butterfly both world seconds. To walk, she is limited by problems resulting from three hip replacements on the left and two on the right. But the weightless sensation of swimming gives her free movement in the pool.
She also has been involved in swims to raise funds to support others with health conditions – a memorable one being her four kilometres last year for Motor Neurone Disease
Mrs Bryan is one of those super-inspiring people who might have their own issues in life to contend with, but she insists on getting on with the job.
She has a pacemaker, emphysema, and macular degeneration. She is the carer for her husband, who has a neurological condition.
“We didn’t have any children so we just look after each other,” she says.
Neither drive a car anymore, but both have nifty battery-operated tricycles for Thelma to get around and do their day-to-day jobs. However, Michael is no longer well enough to leave their retirement village.
She laughs when she recalls talking to her cardiologist just before her pacemaker was installed.
“Here I was, this little old lady with white hair peering at him from beneath the sheet and I asked him if I’d still be able to do butterfly after the surgery – that was what was important to me.”
In her working life, Mrs Bryan was a secondary school teacher for about 35 years – initially in England, then in Nigeria where she married Mike and spent more than 12 years’ at a residential boys’ secondary school, and then in Australia in 1972. Here in Cairns, she spent 16 years teaching at Cairns High School.

Photo: Thelma Bryan, taken in Townsville 2015 at the masters swimming state titles. Winning all her nine allowed events, she broke seven national age group records and nine Queensland records.

 

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Rapt in fundraising 29/11/2016

IT might be August, but volunteers are already getting excited about wrapping thousands of Christmas presents.

The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation is looking for volunteers to help wrap presents at Cairns Central and The Good Guys from November 28.

Foundation volunteer manager Anne Chirio said almost five kilometres of wrapping paper is used during the annual fundraiser.

“In the month leading up to Christmas, 476 volunteers work hard wrapping thousands of odd-shaped presents for a gold coin donation,” Ms Chirio said.

“We often have people give us a $50 donation which is always lovely, but all we ask for is a gold coin donation,” she said.

Last year $19,209 was raised from wrapping at Cairns Central and $2614 from Michael Aw The Good Guys. “Our records go back to 2001 and since then we’ve raised more than $140,000 which has gone towards things such as the Paediatric Playground, brainlab and patient televisions,” Ms Chirio said.

“For some of the people who volunteer for this event, this is the only time of year we see them, but that’s fine because they’re giving the gift of their time,” Ms Chirio said.

To volunteer for Christmas Wrap, the hospital or our events, telephone Ms Chirio on 42268993.

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Basket case like no other 29/11/2016

HAVE you ever wondered where the beautiful gift baskets at the Cairns Hospital cafes come from?
The hard-working hands of Darrylene Paterson, is your answer.
Darrylene has been a volunteer with the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation since 2010 in various roles.
Foundation volunteer manager Anne Chirio said staff soon realised Darrylene’s talents in making up gift packs for fundraising raffles.
“Foundation commercial manager Steve McGuiness felt her talents would be very useful for the café in making gift packs and Darrylene’s talents have skyrocketed. She also helps me with gift wrapping and the Christmas stocking.”
Darrylene makes about 300 baskets a year, which are always in hot demand from customers.
Her gift baskets are themed and hot sellers at both dcafé and Sea Breeze Café at Cairns Hospital.
Mr McGuiness said the gift packs were a clear winner for customers and have become a regular feature in both cafes that offer mini-gift shops.
The cafes feature quite a variety of gifts including toiletry packs complete with a toiletry bag, mini deoderants, tissues, soap, shavers, nail kits, face washers etc because not everyone knows they are about to go to hospital.
Special gifts for birthdays, newborn babies or sometimes a gift just to brighten someone’s day also are catered for. There are balloons, handmade greeting cards, flowers and fluffy toys and our baby gift packs have always been a popular choice.
“We are very lucky to have Darrylene as part of our volunteer team – she is very creative and her gifts bring a lot of joy to visitors and patients alike,” Mr McGuiness said.
The Foundation also is looking for volunteers to help with Christmas Wrap – contact Ms Chirio by phoning 4226 8993 or email volunteer@fnqhf.org.au.

 

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Grateful recipients 29/11/2016

THE increasingly popular Entertainment Book is a fabulous way to gain discounts on eateries and accommodation not only across the Far North, but around the nation.
Not only that, but it is a great fundraiser for local charities, and when you buy your annual copy of the Entertainment Book, you can do so through the Foundation, ensuring 20 per cent of the sale proceeds go to us.
In the past year, the Foundation received almost $1500. Every cent makes a difference to improving health services in Far North Queensland.
Help us achieve our goals by sharing this link with your friends and family.
CLICK HERE TO BUY.
Thanks for your support!

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Jump on a jetski 29/11/2016

TICKETS are selling and participants are registering in the 2017 Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari island hop.
The annual jetski-powered island hop is an aquatic adventure, perfectly timed to take place on Australia Day 2017.
This year’s event has drawn the attention of national motorsport commentator Greg Rust, who is donating his time to take part, as well as international film company JetskiTV.
Participants will have an aquatic adventure to remember forever while helping cancer patients and their families in Far North Queensland.
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 $130,000 since its inception in 2011.
Leaving from Yorkeys Knob, the event takes a coastal route to Double Island and Scout’s Hat Island off Palm Cove, then onto Wangetti Beach, Low Island and finally into Port Douglas for lunch.
The theme is "Be Iconic" and teams are encouraged to snap the most iconic group shots they can at each location then post them to Instagram or Facebook. The most "iconic" shots will go into the draw to win some great prizes.
Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari is a team event however individuals can still enter if they wish.
There are no restrictions on how many craft in a team however riders are restricted to the maximum number of seats available on the craft, usually 1-3.
Entrants are defined as riders and include the craft skipper and any pillion passengers. Entry fees are $80 per rider which includes lunch in Port Douglas. Entrants also must fundraise a minimum of $200 each to participate.
In order to raise the minimum required fundraising amount, teams are encouraged to work together in shifts to man the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s art union stand located in key Cairns shopping centres. Tickets are $2 each and the prize is a Sea-doo GTI 130 personal watercraft including trailer and twelve months registration, valued at $17,118. Ticket books also are available to sell privately to friends and family.
Visit HERE to register.

 

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Melbourne Cup FUN-draising 18/11/2016

MELBOURNE Cup was a massive day for our fundraising team - with two groups of volunteers and staff working hard at Nunu Restaurant Palm Cove, and the Reef Hotel Casino in the city.

Both functions were successful, with the Reef Hotel Casino function raising about $4000 and the famous horse race on the beach at Palm Cove generating more than 17,000.

This is the 13th year at Nunu Restaurant has support the Foundation through this event, and brings the restaurant's contribution to more than $100,000.

The fact the restaurant hosts possibly the only Melbourne Cup horse race on the beach in Australia, generated massive publicity, including national coverage courtesy of Sky News, this year.

Nunu Restaurant hosted 190 fun-lovers for their "diamonds and pearls" themed four-course tasting menu, fashions on the field, live horse race, sweeps, auctions and prizes.

At the Reef Hotel Casino function, prizes were awarded for best dressed male and female and the event was hosted by Dave and Inkie from Star 102.7FM.

Attendees received a glass of Mumm champagne on arrival, seafood buffet, door prizes and Foundation sweeps.

 

 

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Gifts in wills 16/11/2016


EVERY day, Far North Queensland residents benefit from health equipment and expertise funded by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
All funds raised by the Foundation are spent on providing better health care services for people who live in this region.
A bequest to the Foundation will help us to continue improving the health prospects of your community and other communities in the Far North.
Many people mistakenly believe only wealthy people leave money to a charity. In fact, most gifts in wills are made by ordinary Australians, who want to make a difference.
No matter how small, every sum donated to the Foundation is appreciated and put to good use. Every dollar counts.
The Foundation and its staff and volunteers work hard to improve health care facilities throughout the region,
When you are writing or updating your will, please consider leaving something to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.

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Thank you 16/11/2016

Thank you to those events and individuals who have made a donation over $2000 to us in the first quarter of this financial year.
$20,000 - Urban Properties Cairns
$8,168.00 - USM Events Noosa
$19,621.25 - Event Hospitality & Entertainment
$2000 - Enigma Business Products
$5000 - Cook Shire Council
$4917 - Community Grants - Commonwealth Bank of Australia
$4612.30 - Commonwealth Bank
$5000 - Cairns Property Shop
$2200 - St Stephen’s Catholic College
$5000 -Taisei Kanko Australia.

 

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Cardiac conquered 16/11/2016

A RECORD 350 cyclists took to the  Mulligan Highway in September to raise funds for cardiac services in Far North Queensland.
Celebrating its 10th year, the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge drew cyclists from around Australia and overseas for the epic bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the cyclists, supporters and volunteers travelled the 333km journey together, achieving a fundraising goal of $302,203.
“We’ve had great support from the police, especially when we closed the (Kuranda) range, as well as from the general motoring public who were very patient during the closure,” Ms Duncombe said.
The Foundation arranged for the up lane of the Kuranda Range to be closed for two hours on the Saturday morning, enabling 200 cyclists to ride the range. In fact, the range was able to be opened earlier than the permit required. “We expected to have it shut from 6am to 8.45am but we had it open again at 7.30am,” she said.
The top fundraising team was Cairns Hardware who raised almost $20,000, followed by SixPack and Cairns Regional Council Cruisers.
Top individual fundraiser was Matt Rippin who raised more than $9000, followed by Tony Nastasi and Bronwyn Reid.

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Italian Panzanella Salad 4/11/2016

A wonderful combination of fresh seasonal ingredients and flavours, this traditional Italian salad is a sure fire hit. Serve on its own or as a side dish this is a perfect accompaniment to any barbecue or meal.

What you need
200g stale ciabatta loaf, 600g ripe mixed tomatoes, roughly chopped, sea salt, ground black pepper, handful small capers, drained, small red onion, peeled and very finely sliced, 280g jar red peppers, drained and roughly chopped, 1 clove crushed garlic, eight anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely sliced (optional), teaspoon dried Italian herbs, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil.
Method
1. Set oven to 170 C. Tear ciabatta into 3cm pieces and toss in a sprinkle of olive oil and crushed garlic, oil, salt and black pepper. Lightly toast until golden. Set aside.
2. Place tomatoes in a bowl, (lightly squeeze as this will help with the dressing) and season with salt and pepper. Rinse the capers, squeezing out any excess liquid and add to the bowl, along with the onion, peppers, ciabatta and anchovies, if using. Toss the mixture together with your hands, then stir in 2 tbspns of vinegar and about three times as much extra virgin olive oil. Taste and add a little more salt, pepper, vinegar or oil, if needed.
3. Tear in the basil, stir together and serve. Delicious with barbecued meats or roast chicken.

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Pallets aid Cairns cancer cause 30/10/2016

Stunning pallet-based furniture and artworks will help the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation buy equipment for cancer patients.
SeaFM's The Power of Pallets Auction and Cocktail Party on Saturday night raised more than $20,000 in an action-filled night of fun, food, dancing, secret bids and celebrity star-power.
Event founder Kate Fern said she was thrilled that such a good outcome resulted from months of hard work by everyone involved.
“I  actually know quite a few people personally who are going through a cancer experience at the moment so this is really pertinent for us that the money is going to cancer services this year,” Ms Fern said.
Funds are still being tallied but this year's outcome definitely outshines the previous two events, she said.
“Jamie Durie and his local brother and his family had a great time and Jamie had a great time getting to know the locals, posing for thousands of selfies,” Ms Fern laughed.
The most expensive item bought on the night was the Game of Thrones chair made by the team from The Deckstore, which went to an anonymous buyer for about $2000. Other items on the night fetched up to $600 and $800 each, she said.
Prizes were awarded by Lords Insurance Services for the highest fundraiser (Game of Thrones chair) and Jamie Durie and Sue Cooper from LJ Hooker Yorkeys Knob announced the winners of the best items on the night as Eden and Wade (Business entry), Gordonvale High School (School), Babinda Men's Shed (Community Group) and Steven Hutchins (Individual).
Other highlights on the night were an opening dance by Tribal Pacific, book signings of Jamie Durie's new book Living Room and dancing to a live band after the auction.
Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson said the night was a great way for the community to come together and share their skills, have fun, while fundraising for a local cause.
“We all know someone who is affected by cancer and we at the Foundation are always working hard to bring equipment to this region that we wouldn't otherwise have here,” Ms Gibson said.
“The community holding events like this, help us make a difference to people's lives,” she said.

 

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Realising the power of pallets 28/10/2016

THE humble timber pallet has a lot of unrealised power – the power to save lives, the power to get unemployed people working, the power to reduce waste going into landfill and the power to create stunning furniture and artworks.
SeaFM's The Power of Pallets Auction and Cocktail Party is in its third year, with the aim of raising $30,000 for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Event instigator Kate Fern said this year there were more pallet creations, more ticket sales and a lot of interest around celebrity guest judge Jamie Durie's attendance.
“We managed to grab Jamie's attention through his brother Chris who lives here – they are both awesome guys and very supportive of what we're trying to achieve,” Ms Fern said.
“And through our revamped website we've been able to set up an online silent bidding system, so it's really exciting to see people bidding secretly online,” she said.
Furniture and artworks have been created by businesses, schools, individuals, mens sheds and jobseekers.
Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson said this year the event was aiming to raise funds for a wishlist for the day oncology unit at Cairns Hospital including treatment chairs, wheelchairs and cancer services – particularly telecam for radiation oncologists which enables patients to view images on a screen during consultations with their doctor.
“We're really excited to partner with SeaFM's The Power of Pallets Auction and Cocktail Party because it's an unusual event that gathers a lot of attention and does make a difference to patients lives,” Ms Gibson said.
Members of the public will be available to view the pieces on Saturday from 10am-3pm for a gold coin donation and Jamie Durie will be available to meet fans and sign his new book at the event from 7.15-8pm.
The event will be held on Saturday, October 29 from 6.30pm at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal.
For further information visit The Power of Pallets.

Photo: Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson and The Power of Pallets founder Kate Fern are excited to see the incredible standard of work at this year's SeaFM The Power of Pallets Auction and Cocktail Party.

 

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Cairns' Game of Thrones link 20/10/2016

The original Iron Throne might have been forged at the order of Aegon the Conqueror, but this version has been forged with hundreds of man and woman hours at the house of The Deckstore.
This incredible piece of workmanship was not forged by ironmongers or even carpenters – just a dedicated crew of marine suppliers and manufacturers working together for SeaFM’s The Power of Pallets Auction and Cocktail Party.
The Deckstore store manager Tom Hogben said the crew of about six worked on the standout replica iron throne from Game of Thrones made from pallets, over many weekends for about three months.
“We really did it as a team-building exercise, to be honest, but we are stoked with how well it’s come together,” Mr Hogben said.
“The girl in our team who came up with the idea is pretty into Game of Thrones as you can probably tell, but we’ve all gotten into it,” he said. Two staff in particular have put a huge amount of time into completing the project – Jardene Wiseman and Jodi Sharpe.
While the crew who put the piece together might not be ironmongers or carpenters, the workmanship in the piece is evident, including the fact they used dowel to bring individual pieces of timber together.
“We think it’s for a great cause so we’re really excited to be involved,” Mr Hogben said.
SeaFM’s The Power of Pallets Auction and Cocktail party on October 29 is a fundraiser for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson said the quality of workmanship and creativity in the Iron Chair replica was extraordinary.
“We are amazed to see how hard these individuals and teams are working together on making a difference to health outcomes in the Far North,” Ms Gibson said.
Funds raised from SeaFM’s The Power of Pallets Auction and Cocktail Party this year will be going towards cancer services in Far North Queensland. Every cent donated to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation stays local and goes to its intended cause.
To bid on this exciting piece of workmanship or for more information, visit The Power of Pallets.

Photo: The Deckstore staff have embraced the Game of Thrones theme of their pallet furniture contribution. Pictured are: Fiona Llenz, Gene Coburn and Jodi Sharpe.

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Cairns businesses support charity 13/10/2016

A FAMILY business with a long history of local philanthropy has introduced a small business networking group to the joys of giving back.
Lords Insurance Services, with a long and dedicated past of supporting local community groups, introduced BNI Rainforest members to The Power of Pallets – a pallet recycling initiative raising money for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
The group was introduced by member Sean Lord, who, together with his family company Lord’s Insurance Services, is sponsoring the event for the second consecutive year.
BNI Rainforest members have jointly sponsored SeaFM’s The Power of Pallets – a pallet recycling auction and cocktail party, raising money for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
“Myself and my parents have had some health issues over the years, so we know the work that the Foundation does is so important and we really enjoy being part of The Power of Pallets,” Mr Lord said.
“Our BNI Rainforest group got involved because I asked the founder to come along and tell the group about The Power of Pallets and everyone there recognised the value of what the event is about,” Mr Lord said. “Some of our members are even making items for the auction, so we’re all really excited to see how handy they are,” he said.
Sean's parents Chris and Jill have been in business for 40 years and sponsored hundreds of community groups in that time. Mr Lord Snr was a founding member of Cairns Mulgrave Rotary and the first elected president, and they are the major sponsors of North's Cricket Club. The business also has sponsored the Cairns Marlins for 15 years.
The BNI Rainforest Group features experts in the field of real estate, financial planning, building, accounting, car sales, pools, travel agent, legal, health care, plumbing, mortgage broking, insurance and floor coverings.
BNI Rainforest president Olivia White said the group was the second biggest in Queensland. “Our philosophy is ‘give and you gain’ and we thought that was a perfect fit with The Power of Pallets,” Ms White said. “We are all community focussed people and we felt that The Power of Pallets had the same ethos as us. We just thought the event was a fantastic opportunity for our businesses to network with other local like-minded people and we love the whole philosophy behind it,” she said.
SeaFM’s The Power of Pallets Auction and Cocktail Gala will be held on Saturday, October 29. To register to make an item or buy tickets to the event, visit The Power of Pallets.

Photo: BNI Rainforest group members are excited to be involved with SeaFM's The Power of Pallets on October. They were introduced to the charity event by Lords Insurance, represented by Adrian, Jill and Sean Lord (front).

 

 

 

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She's all about recycling 7/10/2016

SHARON Hine is one Cairns woman whose life is being turned around by the humble timber pallet.
Her life has gone from that of a financial adviser, to a talented pallet furniture and candle creator.
“I had a motorcycle accident nine years ago – it was pretty bad and it had a huge impact on me,” Ms Hine said.
“My leg was broken in half, my collarbone was broken in half, I broke my hand and my foot, I’ve had to have my Achilles tendon cut to lengthen my muscles,” she said.
She also believes she suffered a head injury as there are times she “goes blank” which is part of the reason she can’t go back to financial planning.
Years of rehabilitation and a complete change in life direction, led her to Kate Fern and The Power of Pallets.
“These days I volunteer for Sea FM’s The Power of Pallets and I love building furniture – it makes me really happy and I can see the end result of my work.
“The biggest thing for me is Kate. She’s such an inspiration. I’m in my 50s and she’s so encouraging and supportive of me. She’s a great friend and has been a great boss. She seems to have unlimited battery supply that lasts and lasts. I love supporting her and her journey and that’s become my journey as well,” Ms Hine said.
Sharon makes chairs, coffee tables and bedside tables and enjoys using her hands to make something that didn’t exist before. Her facebook page Love Lee Creations + Restorations proudly shows off her wares.
She also now has a part-time job with Cairns Community Administration Support but her mind is always thinking about pallets.
“I guess from the time I wake up, to when I go to bed, I’m thinking pallets and what we can do, I love the whole concept of The Power of Pallets – how it is recycling and giving back to help people in need,” Ms Hine said.
Sea FM’s The Power of Pallets Auction and Cocktail Party will be held on Saturday, October 29 at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal. Special guest judge Jamie Durie will be present on the night and selling his latest book “Living Design” at the event.
For further information about the event, to buy tickets or register to make something for the auction, visit The Power of Pallets.

Photo: The Power of Pallets instigator Kate Fern chats with pallet furniture creator Sharon Hine.

 

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Medics to the rescue 4/10/2016

THE right doctors and nurses were in the right place at the right time to save a woman’s life during the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
Event organisers were blown away during a medical situation on day two, to discover they had three cardiologists, an ICU intensivist, an Emergency Department doctor, two RFDS doctors, a Cooktown GP and another GP taking part.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said it appeared one of the participants had a previously undiagnosed medical condition, which meant she needed urgent intervention.
“But watching all those doctors and nurses and the team from First Response Australia’s Paramedical Service, was incredible to realise we had that calibre of medical expertise in such a small place as Lakeland that’s probably never seen so many experts in one place,” Ms Duncombe said.
 The patient has been receiving medical care with possible further treatment required but due to patient confidentiality we cannot reveal any other information.
Cairns Hospital ICU intensivist Dr Sean McManus was participating in the event but called on his years of medical experience to assist the patient. Dr McManus said he was extremely grateful to the other doctors, nurses and First Response Australia’s Paramedic for the expertise and equipment they provided.
"We have been fortunate to have First Response Australia provide to the Cardiac Challenge, for many years, a fully equipped ambulance, emergency medications and paramedic staff.  Along with the medical professionals engaged in the event, this service has provided the ability to deal with the variety of complex situations that may arise in these remote and difficult environments," Ms Duncombe said.
“That woman is really very lucky – what happened to her could have happened on a bike ride on her own, or lying in bed asleep but she was very lucky to be in such a place where there were so many people available to help. “We really set up a field hospital in the back of that First Response Australia’s ambulance and it was just a spontaneous formation of a team that doesn’t normally work together, but did so, and in an incredibly supportive way. I’m looking forward to catching up with the patient – I believe she has a 90 per cent chance of a full recovery. The Cardiac Challenge is an incredible event and it’s a tribute to the organisational skills of the co-ordinators that this woman received the high level of care that she did,” Dr McManus said.
Cairns Hospital director of cardiology Dr Greg Starmer said on behalf of the three cardiologists who participated, they were both amazed and grateful to have such an array of emergency doctors present. “I was incredibly impressed, and honestly feel that my family is lucky to be living in FNQ,” Dr Starmer said.
The State Emergency Service also was involved in clearing the Lakeland airstrip of kangaroos so the RFDS plane could land.

Fundraising for this year's event is sitting at $291,000.

Photo: Nurse Angie Sutcliffe, ICU intensivisit Dr Sean McManus and First Response Australia managing director Charlie Makray.

For more information, visit www.cardiacchallenge.com.au.

 

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Every pedal saves lives 15/09/2016

REAL estate agent, husband, dad, grandfather, master pizza maker, cyclist and philanthropist.
These are all words used to sum up Tony Nastasi, one of the most dedicated participants in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
“I’ve ridden it every year except one because I was injured, but I was still involved as an escort vehicle that year,” Mr Nastasi said. “I just love everything about the Cardiac Challenge – I love the people you meet, the scenery, the adventure – it’s an absolute life changer,” he said.
And he’s one of the most dedicated fundraisers too – often claiming the top fundraiser gong.
“I was a cyclist before Cardiac Challenge came along 10 years ago but I love it – it’s changed my life through meeting so many people and I know the difference it makes to cardiac services. The money all stays local and helps out the cardiology team. I reckon our cardiology team is leading the way now because of Cardiac Challenge,” he said.
He and wife Jane, whose father died of a heart attack aged 52, are keen cyclists, even when not training for the Cardiac Challenge.
“It’s just a life changer for so many people – I’ve got one friend doing it this year for the first time and she said to me ‘I can’t believe how much fun I’ve been missing out on’. The cycling community is just so supportive and encouraging of each other. There’s people now who were complete rookies in my pack and now they’re out-riding me and doing Ironman events,” he said.
He estimates he has raised more than $40,000 for cardiac services in the past 10 years and enjoys motivating others to improve their fundraising as well. Mr Nastasi, along with Sue Cooper of LJ Hooker Yorkeys Knob, also is a sponsor of The Power of Pallets fundraising event, to be held in October.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the efforts of Mr Nastasi, and all the other riders, sponsors and donors, were making a difference to patients’ lives in the Far North every day.
“We’re hearing some incredible stories about positive cardiac outcomes these days and we love knowing that this event changes lives for cyclists and the patients they are helping,” Ms Duncombe said.

Mr Nastasi's fundraising efforts have included pizza nights and tickets in a Thermomix raffle.
To donate to Mr Nastasi's fundraising efforts, click here.
The 10th anniversary Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge departs from Tjapukai from 6am on Saturday, September 17. The Foundation has a one-lane road closure of the Kennedy Highway (Kuranda Range) from 6am-8.45am on that date. All cyclists will be off the Range by 8am. All emergency vehicles will be able to traverse the Range in either direction if required during the closure.
For further information or to donate, visit Cardiac Challenge or www.facebook.com/cardiac.challenge

 

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New heart gives new life 15/09/2016

JOHN Nomoa will probably never take for granted the ability to run and play games with his mates.
That's because he knows what it's like to not be able to do the things normal healthy, active kids do.
The now 13-year-old had a heart transplant two years ago as a result of a genetic heart condition, diagnosed by Cairns Hospital paediatric cardiologist Dr Ben Reeves.
“He just suddenly came along with some breathlessness three years ago and after some examinations, we diagnosed cardio myopathy,” Dr Reeves said.
“He had to move to Brisbane for about 18 months so he could be within two hours of a transplant centre, which at that time was Melbourne,” he said.
John received a new heart 22 months ago and to say his life has changed, would be an understatement.
“I can run and play and do the things that everyone else does now,” John says.
“I just remember being woken up at 5 o'clock in the morning and told we had to go, that there was a heart for me,” the charismatic teenager says.
Sadly, John's 11-year-old sister is now in Melbourne awaiting a heart transplant for the same condition.
“I try to talk to her about what I went through – I couldn't really run before, I'd get short winded and now I can run really fast,” John says.
While he is on medication for life, John is looking forward to the future.
“I think I'll probably be a doctor so I can explain to other kids what I went through,” he says.
John was diagnosed using a piece of equipment funded by the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge which Dr Reeves says is an essential tool for his patients.
“We see every day how the fundraising undertaken by those incredible riders and their sponsors, makes a difference to people's lives so all I can say is to tell people to get behind them and support them as much as they can,” Dr Reeves said.
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is a fundraising bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown, raising funds for cardiac services in the Far North. 2016 is the event's 10th year and 350 cyclists are
registered.

Photograph: Dr Ben Reeves and John Nomoa are calling for donations in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.

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Simba helps cardiac patient 8/09/2016

TROY Thompson is a fully-fledged member of the “zipper club” and has been since he was a baby.
Now a strapping 21-year-old lad, Troy has been accompanied on his cardiac journey by Simba, given to him by his grandmother when he had his first heart operation at just six weeks old.
“I’ve had three heart surgeries now and each time Simba is there and Simba gets a wrist band too,” Troy explains.
This AFL playing auto-electrician is no sissy, but Simba always accompanies him to the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane for surgery.
His condition, known as aortic stenosis, is a narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart. It was widened at birth but then in 2012 at age 17 he had a pig valve implanted and now has had another put in in June this year. His aorta was replaced with a carbon fibre version during that surgery as well.
“I had the choice of a biological valve or a mechanical one, but the mechanical ones mean you are put on Warfarin for the rest of your life and it really limits your lifestyle so I didn’t want to do that yet,” Mr Thompson said.
Unfortunately during his most recent surgery there was so much scar tissue from his previous operations that his heart had stuck to the wall of his chest cavity.
He has not been able to play his beloved AFL or work since June and is itching to get back to his real life.
“It really sucks just sitting there watching – I can’t even be the runner while I’m recuperating,” he says.
His mum Helen Nash says there was no heart history in the family before Troy’s birth and it was a shock to be told at the then Cairns Base Hospital that he had a heart murmur.

For further information and to donate visit Cardiac Challenge.

 

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Yummy eggplant recipe 7/09/2016

The humble eggplant is used in the cuisines all over the world. In Indian cuisine it is often described as the "king of vegetables". It is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille, or deep fried as in the Italian parmigiana di melanzane, the Turkish karniyarik or Turkish and Greek moussaka.
This simple and inexpensive recipe is packed full of flavour and sure to please

Ingredients:
 2 medium eggplant, cut into 1cm thick slices, 2 teaspoons olive oil,  1 finely chopped medium brown onion, three crushed garlic cloves,  1/2 cup tomato paste, 2 x 400g cans diced Italian tomatoes with oregano and basil,  1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, olive oil for shallow frying,  125g finely grated parmesan cheese, fresh basil leaves to serve, three cups spinach.

Method:
Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan). Place eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle all over with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Drain. Pat dry with paper towel. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring for five minutes or until onion has softened. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, basil and half cup cold water. Stir well. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Add enough oil to a large frying pan to cover base. Heat over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant, in batches, adding extra oil to pan when necessary. Drain on paper towel. Spoon 1/2 cup tomato mixture over base of a 10 cup-capacity ovenproof dish. Arrange one-third eggplant over tomato. Sprinkle with one-third cheese and one cup spinach. Continue layering, finishing with cheese. Season. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted. Serve sprinkled with basil leaves.

 

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Hardware team rises to challenge 5/09/2016

WORKING together as a team is what motivates the Cairns Hardware Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge team.

The group of 21, most of whom work for the hardware business, are new to cycling, but very excited to take on the three-day cycling adventure to Cooktown later this month.

Team captain Michael Etherington said he and colleague Andrew Bell had ridden the event before and both felt their colleagues would get a lot out of training and fundraising for the event.

“We just asked if anyone was keen to do it, and suddenly it was bigger than Ben Hur,” Mr Etherington said. “Many of the team know someone or has a family member with a heart  condition so it’s a big motivation – most of them are not avid cyclists by nature,” he said.

The Cairns Hardware team is currently number four on the fundraising team ladder, sitting at just over $9000.

“Riding together on weekends has actually been awesome for us all – because we work in such diverse fields within the business that we’ve gained a great understanding of what we all do.

“Most of them are very new to cycling – some of them would have struggled to ride around the block before, but we ride every weekend together now, we motivate and help each other. We’ve seen people grow tremendously in confidence and skill since we first started.”

The group started off doing easy 20km or 30km rides but are now happy to do 60km or even 90km rides together.

“I think the majority of us will keep riding together after the event, we’re so excited about it now we can’t wait. We know it’s not a race, we just can’t wait to ride into Cooktown together.”

The group paid tribute to Barnacle Bill's Restaurant, The Chamber Room coffee shop and Irelands Group for their generous donations.

The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is in its 10th year in 2016. This year’s event is the biggest of those 10, with 350 riders registered, along with volunteers and supporters.

Cyclists depart Cairns on Saturday, September 17 with some opting to take advantage of a partial closure of Kuranda Range. The group arrives in Cooktown en masse about lunchtime on Monday, September 19.

The event has raised more than $2.2 million for cardiac services in the Far North since inception and organisers hope to raise $350,000 this year.

For further information or to donate, visit Cardiac Challenge.

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Recycling ticks all boxes 31/08/2016

The Power of Pallets charity fundraiser ticks all the boxes for the Durie family.
Brothers Chris and Jamie Durie are both taking part in the pallet recycling charity auction because of its core values.
“It's about recycling and making beautiful things and the end result goes to a great cause so the whole thing works for us,” Cairns-based Chris said this week.
It didn't take much for him to talk his landscape guru brother Jamie into taking part, after witnessing the event first-hand himself last year.
“I've spent some time in the Cairns Hospital over the past few years and the Hospital Foundation has helped me out. I had a fairly extensive back injury, but I'm still upright, so I'm lucky,” Chris said.
“I'm hoping to make a few items for this year's charity auction on October 29 and I'm really excited Jamie's coming up for the weekend because I know he's going to love it,” he said.
The Power of Pallets instigator Kate Fern said she was thrilled to have the brothers on board.
“We've also got some really great sponsors this year – some who loved it so much last year they have signed up again and others who are new to the event this year but recognise its overall value to the community,” Ms Fern said.
Since inception in 2014, the event has raised more than $34,000 for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation and Ms Fern hopes to increase that figure this year.
“These funds have gone towards some of our major projects such as our Paediatric Playground and the new Brainlab orthopaedic technology, so it really does make a difference to people in our community,” Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson said.
“This community has some fabulously creative people out there and we think they're going to produce some amazing items,” Ms Fern said.
For further information, visit The Power of Pallets.

 

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Cairns' Spencer Trifecta 24/08/2016

They're known as the Spencer Trifecta, Spencer 1, 2 and 3 or simply as Spencer.
Some might even call them the Three Amigos!
Regardless, Spencer Irvin, Spencer Grey and Spencer Hancock are all nurses within Cairns Hospital's cardiac unit and are all riding the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge this year.
While both Spencers Grey and Hancock have taken part in the fundraising event before, this will be Spencer Irvin's first time. “Everyone's been at me for a long time so I figured I'd better do it,” Spencer Irvin laughed.
Spencer Grey has been a medic on the event three times and ridden it once and Spencer Hancock took part for the first time last year.
Of the three, Spencer Grey is the most serious cyclist, having taken it up four years ago, but two years ago he became more serious about the athletic pursuit. “I would ride probably 100km a week and I'm always looking for more cycling events to take part in.” Six months ago he was diagnosed as a diabetic and now feels he wants to prove even more, how it doesn't have to stop people leading fit and active lifestyles.
Spencer Irvin and Grey both work in the cardiac catheter lab while Spencer Hancock works in the coronary care unit. “I love that we are doing something different every day and you can instantly see the positive impact that your work has on someone's life,” Spencer Grey said.
For Spencer Irvin, it is the immediacy of life and death. “One minute the patient is very unwell and the next minute you've had a positive impact on their health and outcome.”
Spencer Hancock says he enjoys working on the ward as he has the opportunity to follow a patient's progress through any and all procedures they have.
“They say that blokes are attracted to technical fields in nursing and I guess that's true of us. The work we are doing is really light years away from where it was 10 years ago. We are doing cutting-edge stuff and it's because of the equipment the Cardiac Challenge has given us.”
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager, and Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge co-ordinator Glenys Duncombe said the event, now in its 10th year, always had strong support from Cairns Hospital cardiac unit staff.
“They support Cardiac Challenge as medics and participants and fundraisers and they know the event makes a direct contribution to patient outcomes,” Ms Duncombe said. Cardiac Challenge will be held from September 17-19 and while registrations are now closed, training and fundraising are in full swing.
To donate to any of the Spencers or any other Cardiac Challenge riders, visit www.cardiacchallenge.org.au/donate and search for the person’s name.

Photo: Spencer Irvin, Spencer Grey and Spencer Hancock are excited about riding in the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge this year.

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Big man has big heart 27/07/2016

HENRY Williams is a big man and he has a big heart to match – so big that he is gearing up for his second Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
He is one of the founding members of the Wuchopperen Health Service Cardiac Challenge team and while he says the ride is a tough event, it is worthwhile not just for himself, but for the broader community. This year, Wuchopperen has a team of 11 participants, aiming to raise $5000 for cardiac services in the Far North, between them.
Wuchopperen Health Service medical director Dr Vlad Matic, who was the highest individual fundraiser in 2015, said the organisation was passionate about this because the high rates of rheumatic heart disease in the Indigenous community as a chronic condition require numerous interventions and cardiac specialists' input.
The Wuchopperen team is comprised of staff from the corporate, dental, diabetes education, social emotional counsellors, doctor, bus drivers and family and parenting workers. The group trains together three mornings a week and has undergone specialised cycling skills training.
“I believe it has built a better working relationship with the collegues at Wuchopperen , and it is an enjoyable, social way to improve fitness. Wuchopperen is a community based health service, and being involved in the wider community is great way to increase the stature of the service,” Dr Matic said.
“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who experience and die from cardiovascular disease at much higher rates than other Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, when compared with other Australians, are three times as likely to have cardiovascular disease; three times more likely to have a major coronary event, such as a heart attack; more than twice as likely to die in hospital from coronary heart disease; 19 times as likely to die from acute rheumatic fever and chronic rheumatic heart disease; more likely to smoke, have high blood pressure, be obese, have diabetes and have end-stage renal disease.”
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager and Cardiac Challenge co-ordinator Glenys Duncombe said the immense effort put in by the Wuchopperen team was a great example to the broader community of what could be achieved.
“We never say this is 'cardiac easy', it's a tough event, but it's worthwhile for individuals to prove to themselves what they can achieve, and it is building the cardiac services we have in the Far North,” Ms Duncombe said. “We actually have a few corporate teams involved this year, and it's great to see them recognising the benefits to their workplace of working together as a team for their community.”
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is an annual fundraising ride from Cairns to Cooktown in September.
For further information visit Cardiac Challenge.

Photo: Tony Pappas, Keith Elaisa, Sharee Webb, Doris Ahmat, Henry Williams, Melissa Ernst, Natalie Forbes, Fred Mills, Michelle Dougan.

 

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Cairns link to bike win 27/07/2016

IT was ironic that Paul Rosman's visit to see his ailing mother in Cairns, resulted in him winning a motorcycle raffle that benefits health services.
Mr Rosman, an airline pilot living in Victoria, bought two lots of tickets in the Wayne Leonard's Motorcycle Muster Harley-Davidson XL883N Iron motorcycle raffle, while visiting his mother earlier this year.
“Mum was in Gordonvale and we were up there for a few weeks so I actually bought two lots of tickets,” Mr Rosman said.
“She'd been in and out of hospital for a while and we saw that it was for the Hospital Foundation so we thought we'd buy a few tickets,” he explained.
He was simply stunned when he received a telephone call out of the blue on the night of the Muster in June, to say he had won the bike.
“I'd forgotten all about the tickets to be honest, I'd just put it out of my mind.”
He arranged to have the fabulous “cherished toy” trucked down to his home in Victoria but was pleased to be able to call into Wayne Leonard's Motorcycles this week while in town for a work trip, to thank all involved.
Mr Rosman is originally from the area, having grown up at Freshwater and attended Trinity Bay High School.
Wayne Leonard said this year's muster, the 15th in the event's history, was one of the best, with a fabulous weekend spent at Mission Beach.
“It's great to meet Paul in person and know the bike is going to someone who's going to enjoy it and treasure it,” Mr Leonard said.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said there were so many special components to this year's event – from the money raised for the Cairns Hospital Emergency
Department, to the fabulous community spirit exhibited during the lead-up and the event, to meeting the recipient of the bike.
“This event has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to improving healthcare for people in the Far North during its 15 year history and we're eternally grateful to Wayne and Rhonda Leonard for their involvement and community spirit.”

Photo: Wayne and Rhonda Leonard and Foundation CEO Tony Franz congratulate Paul Rosman on his new motorcycle.

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Jasmyne's a heart hero 14/07/2016

Sixteen years ago, a baby girl was born at Cairns Base Hospital. We'd like to say she was healthy, but she wasn't. Baby Jasmyne Stead was born with a rare heart malformation – Ebstein's anomoly. What it means is that her heart valves didn't form properly. And although she has had countless surgeries, it will be a condition she lives with and deals with, forever. Jasmine has now endured two open heart surgeries, countless trips to the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department, numerous trips to Brisbane for other treatment, and about 10 sessions in the cardiac catheter lab for studies.
“We found out when she was 12 hours old,” mum Tracey explains. “The first three or four years of her life were spent on oxygen 24-7, then we went to just nightly oxygen and then only as needed. At the age of 14, Ben (paediatric cardiologist Dr Ben Reeves) started noticing some changes and that's when she had her second major heart operation which she's still recovering from. Before that surgery, she was a beautiful ballerina, she was into gymnastics. She danced every single genre. Now she's only going to school part-time because that's all she can manage.”
Ask Tracey if she knows about the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge and it's clear she does. “You guys funded that echo machine didn't you? We'd be up the creek without a paddle if that wasn't in Cairns. We have so much stuff here that people just take for granted. What you guys do is amazing.” Since her most recent surgery, Jasmyne has been seeing Dr Reeves, the only paediatric cardiologist north of Brisbane, monthly, but it looks like that can now be downgraded to bi-monthly. “She has normal teenage moments, but she's awesome, she is just awesome. We don't give up. We're not that story.”
A “quick” trip to Brisbane in January was required as her sternum wires had become infected. “We've often had the conversation about whether we move. But Cairns is definitely not the country hospital that it was 16 years ago. She is always a priority in there and we're very grateful for the people and services we have.”
Dr Reeves takes up the story: “The echo machine was worth about $180,000 and is used every day for children in the hospital aged from premature babies up to 18yo. The Foundation also donated a portable echo machine which I use for outreach trips up to the Cape and Torres as well as Yarrabah and Palm Island, catering mostly for indigenous communities. That machine cost about $80,000. Jasmyne has been through a lot in her life, especially over the last few years. As a baby it seemed on many occasions that she may not survive, and her latest surgery really was a big setback but she is now back at school, though very limited in what she can do in terms of exercise and activity. She has started doing some riding on an exercise bike to improve her fitness but can only manage a few minutes, compared to the Cardiac Challenge where riders are cycling over some pretty big ranges, spending between six and eight hours each day on the bike over the three days.”
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is from Cairns to Cooktown, September 17-19, 2016.
For further information visit Cardiac Challenge.

 

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Building a better future 14/07/2016

RACHEL and James Fennell might be in the building industry, but this week they helped build a better future for cancer patients in the Far North.
The couple, owners of Urban Properties, handed over a cheque for $20,000 to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, with a further cheque of $5000 on its way from Ben Johnston from The Property Shop.
The funds are the end result of their initiative, the Millhouse Estate No-Reserve Charity Auction, held in May, with a percentage of proceeds donated towards men's cancers in the Far North.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the funds have been earmarked for men's cancers which may lead to the purchase of a prostate-scanning device attached to the PET-CT scanner.
“We've been blown away by this event and the generosity of the people involved who really are passionate about health care in this region,” Mr Franz said. “They know that their donation goes directly to its intended purpose and that it will make a real difference in people's lives,” he said.
The Fennells' own lives have been directly touched by cancer, with Mr Fennell told five years ago, he had just 90 days to live as he was diagnosed with an aggressive blood cancer.
Successful treatment means he is alive to see his four children growing as well as celebrate his 15th wedding anniversary – ironically on the day he wrote out the cheque to the Foundation.
Property Shop sales and marketing director Ben Johnston said in addition, he would donate his $5000 commission from the transaction. “We are thrilled with how well this unique event turned out for the new owner of the block, who works within the health system, and the Foundation and the patients and staff it supports,” Mr Johnston said. “We are all touched by cancer in some way through people we care about and we feel it's important to be part of helping our community.

Photo: Property Shop auctioneer Lance Edwards, Property Shop sales and marketing director Ben Johnston, Rachel Fennell, James Fennell and Foundation CEO Tony Franz.

 

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Don't be a hero - get checked 23/06/2016

“I’m 52 and I’ve got prostate cancer and I’m finished.”
They might be blunt words from Adriano Bortolanza but he sure makes a point.
He and his family are passionate about detection, getting checked and not being afraid of invasive procedures.
“Don’t be scared to get an invasive procedure and then you get a chance to see your kids grow up and your grandkids. If there’s nothing wrong, you’re lucky. Unlike me, I don’t know how long I’ve got left,” Mr Bortolanza said.
The former primary school teacher first became aware of prostate cancer when his father was diagnosed in 2006, had treatment and is now aged 80.
Diagnosed in June 2014, Adriano had hip pain which he attributed to arthritis, felt weak and wasn’t eating much.
“My PSA was 16, they did some more tests, three weeks later it was 32 and they said to me I was too young to have prostate cancer.”
But he did and it had already spread throughout his body.
He has had radiation and other treatment, but now has decided further treatment would be too painful and pointless.
With a wife who hasn’t been able to work due to his health, and teenage daughters aged 15 and 19, he says coming to terms with his future has been tough.
“It’s been a slow-motion nightmare and it’s been tough for all of us,” wife Kathy said.
Youngest daughter Giulia wrote a poem for a school assessment which they are now broadcasting near and far to help spread the message about awareness and checkups.
“I wasn’t having classic prostate symptoms and I was supposedly too young to get it.
“Don’t be proud. Stop being so macho. Go and get checked.”

PHOTO: Adriano Bortolanza gets a kiss and a cuddle from daughter Giulia.

 

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Harley prize stuns winner 22/06/2016

“REALLY? Really?”
“Yes, really Paul Rosman, you've won the Harley-Davidson.”
It took a couple of phone calls on Saturday night for Wayne Leonard to convince the Victorian man he had won the 2016 Black Iron worth almost $14,000.
The news was greeted by a room full of motorcycle enthusiasts staying at the Mission Beach Resort for the charity fundraiser Wayne Leonard's Motorcycle Muster.
Mr Rosman bought five raffle tickets when the art union was hosted at Stockland Shopping Centre.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz, who also takes part in the event, said 2016's event was the 15th time the fundraising ride had been held, and resulted in more than $50,000 being raised.
Raffle tickets in the motorcycle formed the basis of the fundraising effort, with funds this year going to Cairns Hospital's Emergency Department.
“Funds this year are going towards a non-invasive ventilator and a video laryngoscope which we know will be very well used,” Mr Franz said.
The group of 36 registered motorcyclists and five cars enjoyed a relaxed journey in convey from Cairns Hospital up the Gillies Range, along the back roads around Lake Eacham, morning tea provided by Lions at Millaa Millaa and lunch at Kurrimine Beach.
After a stunning scenic tour of the coastline at Mission Beach, they relaxed at the Mission Beach Resort where entertainment, award presentations and karoake concluded official proceedings.
“Let's have the best facilities and we don't want to need to use them,” Mr Leonard told the assembled crowd on Saturday night.
“It's you people who do the work, it's you who make this event successful,” Rhonda Leonard added.
For more information, visit Motorcycle Muster.

 

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If you go into the woods ... 15/06/2016

IF you go down to the woods on Sunday, you're sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the woods on Sunday, you'd better go in disguise.
For Sunday's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, Give Me 5 For Kids, SeaFM, Calanna Pharmacy and PakMag have come together to present this year’s PakMag Teddy Bear's Picnic at Edge Hill.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said they were excited about the innovative idea bringing children together to help sick children in hospital.
Funds from Give Me 5 For Kids this year are going towards Cairns Hospital's Special Care Baby Unit.
Already SeaFM hosted the hugely successful Chain Gang Challenge, which raised more than $17,000 and it is hoped to raise more than $25,000 for Give Me 5 For Kids in Cairns this year.
Items sought with the funds include a blanket warmer, six breast pumps, thirty neonatal stethoscopes, and a neonatal humidifier.
The picnic, being held from 10am-1pm at Edge Hill State School, will feature live entertainment, the SeaFM chocolate wheel, stalls, prizes, jumping castle, a teddy bear parade and plenty of yummy snacks and drinks to buy.

For more information CLICK HERE.

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Cairns couple's weekend away 15/06/2016

WHO would have thought that spending two days around a bunch of motorbike enthusiasts, would equate to a couple's weekend away?
For Jack and Michelle Emeleus, that's exactly what it is – and the annual Wayne Leonard's Motorcycle Muster is about their only weekend without kids each year.
“My parents fly up from Sydney each year for the weekend and they and the kids wave us off on the bike each time,” Michelle laughs.
The lawyer adds that the last time she was on the back of firefighter husband Jack's Yamaha motorbike was last year's Muster.
“Even Jack doesn't get out on the bike very often – he did help out with the Ironman event and had a great time there, but because he does shift work and we juggle the kids school pickups, we both need cars to get to and from school and work,” Michelle explains.
They have participated for the past eight events, enjoying the chance to meet and get to know people they might not otherwise come into contact with.
“They're a great bunch of people and we both really look forward to seeing everyone each year, plus meeting new people,” she says.
“We think the Foundation is a great local cause and everyone needs the hospital at some point. Just last night we ended up in emergency after our 7yo son fell and fractured his wrist. So it is a real and worthwhile need where we are ultimately helping our own family, friends and community.”
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz, who also takes part in the event, said fundraising this year was going towards a non-invasive ventilator and laryngoscope for Cairns Hospital's Emergency Department.
“We're certainly on track to raise the funds needed and people like Jack and Michelle do a great job in helping achieve these goals, plus having a great weekend away in our local region,” Mr Franz said.
“This is our 15th year holding the Wayne Leonard's Motorcycle Muster and we cannot wait to head off to Mission Beach on Saturday, June 18, returning Sunday, June 19.
“One couple are driving their RV up from Brisbane with the bikes on the back, to take part, and we have another participant who comes up each year from Townsville, so it's really a great tourism event.”
For more information, visit Motorcycle Muster.

 

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Top surgery technology for Cairns 9/06/2016

Orthopaedic trauma patients in the Far North are the first in Queensland to undergo surgery via state-of-the-art computer guided technology.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation bought the $398,000 technology for the Cairns Hospital to enable faster surgeries, quicker recovery times and less radiation exposure to staff and patients.
Cairns Hospital orthopaedic senior visiting officer Dr Chris Morrey said that in some cases, up to 50 xrays are required during surgery, to ensure more precise placement of pins, screws and plates.
With the new technology, a patient undergoes a CT scan before their procedure, two xrays at the start of their surgery which are uploaded onto the computer system and used by the surgeon to guide correct placement.
“Ultimately this leads to an improvement in the overall management of complex trauma cases – incisions are smaller, the patient is anaesthetised for a lesser time, they have less post-operative pain and they and the theatre staff are exposed to less radiation,” Dr Morrey said.
Use of the system also frees up the xray equipment and staff to undertake other work.
“I would envision we could use it at least daily – we normally fix up to two spinal and/or pelvis fractures a week,” he said. “Once all the data is loaded onto the system, the surgeon uses their finger on the screen, a bit like using a smartphone, to guide where they want the pins, screws and plates to go.”
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said senior orthopaedic surgeons in Cairns had been hoping to introduce the navigation technology for some time and the Foundation was delighted to be able to step up and make it a reality with this donation.
“The Brainlab surgical navigation system means serious trauma patients will now have access to the most advanced treatment possible,” he said. “It makes the surgery faster, safer and more accurate and this makes a big difference to seriously injured patients and to the staff who look after them.”
The donation has been supported by the fund raising efforts of the many volunteers and supporters of the Foundation including Freemasons and the Wayne Leonard Motorcycle Muster and by the earnings of the Foundation’s Sea Breaze Café and dcafé at Cairns Hospital.

 

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Chain gang for Cairns premmies 6/06/2016

 

PREMATURE babies in the Far North might not be able to talk yet, but we are sure that if they could, they would say a big thank you to the Cairns community which gave so generously at the chain gang challenge today.
More than $17,000 was raised by hard working community leaders who were handcuffed to wheelchairs at Cazalys Cairns, and not released until they had raised minimum bail of $1000 each.
Not only did all of the nine achieve their minimum bail, but two raised more than $3000 on their own – CDRL's Pat Bailey (also on the board of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation) and Cazalys Cairns' Jason Salecich.
Other  local identities under self-imposed imprisonment include Sean Lord of Lord’s Insurance Service, Gina Hogan, general manager of Southern Cross Austereo, Wayne Reynolds, general manager of the Reef Hotel Casino, Sonya Barber of Fitness Australia, Steve Corradi and Krystal King of I Want That Course, and Rowland Percy from Red Energy Promotions.
This challenge is more personal for participant and real estate agent Karl Latham than for many. His daughter Olivia was born 10 weeks premature.
“We spent the first three months of Olivia’s life in the unit,” Mr Latham said. “They saved her and we can’t give or do enough to repay them for the very precious gift they have given us.”
The challenge forms part of Sea FM’s annual Give Me 5 4 Kids Appeal.  This year’s target is $25,000 by the end of June, to buy a neonatal humidifier, blanket warmer, breast pumps, and neonatal stethoscopes for the Special Care Baby Unit of Cairns Hospital.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the event was another excellent example of the community coming together to help those most desperately in need.
“We are always humbled by what this community does to help others and people can be reassured that every cent goes to its intended cause and stays local,” Mr Franz said.
Sea FM’s involvement in the Give Me 5 for Kids fundraiser is part of parent company Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) campaign, which launched in the 1990s as a simple coin drive.  Since then, the campaign has raised more than $14 million nationally, and uses SCA’s network of more than 40 regional radio and television stations to drive donations. It is rolled out in June each year.
Sea FM General Manager, Gina Hogan said: “99.5 Sea FM is passionate about its listeners, the local life and giving back to the community.  Give Me 5 For Kids is dedicated to raising much needed funds for our local hospital as well as sick children and their families when they need it most. The Cairns community is full of heart, we greatly appreciate everyone who participates in our events and makes donations.”
Give Me 5 For Kids also will feature a Teddy Bears Picnic to be held on June 19 from 10am.

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New drill is latest technology 17/05/2016

The latest technology in surgical drill at Cairns Hospital has been bought through the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
At a cost of just over $58,000, the Midas Rex Drill is more efficient and precise then previous  equipment, and will save time in not having to be sent overseas for servicing.
Cairns Hospital Theatre Nurse Unit Manager Anne Hill said when the current drills, up to seven years old, are sent away for servicing or breakdown, the cost can be up to $3000 and take several weeks to be returned.
“This new drill is electric, not pneumatic so it is more efficient and has greater control for the surgeon. It is used for spinal, general orthopaedics and for craniotomy and burr hole procedures,”
Ms Hill said.
As well, the new drill enables two cables and has 50 per cent more torque than previous versions.
“We are very very lucky that we have people in our community like you,” Ms Hill said to Les and Anne Mills, regular Foundation donors who decided to help the theatre team with the purchase.
“I guess for us, we looked at what it would bring to that department as well as the fact that if you were in the position of needing that sort of surgery, you would want the best equipment,” Mrs Mills said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said Mr and Mrs Mills had been generous benefactors for several years and he was confident patients and staff were grateful of their support.
“This drill will be a wonderful piece of equipment for the staff and we’re glad to be able to facilitate this purchase and make a difference to patient outcomes,” Mr Franz said.
 

PHOTO: Cairns Hospital Theatre Nurse Unit Manager Anne Hill, Anne Mills, Tony Franz and Les Mills get up close to the new Midax Rex Drill.

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Big outcome for big auction 14/05/2016

Saturday's big auction will provide a big donation to help a big cause in Far North Queensland.
The no-reserve land auction at Millhouse Estate Edmonton, resulted in the 800sq m block being sold to a local woman and a donation of $20,000 to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Millhouse Estate developer James Fennell of Urban Properties, said he was thrilled with the auction outcome, and the community interest and support.
He and wife Rachel instigated the charity auction, having had a close shave with cancer themselves, and with a predominantly male workforce, they wanted to raise the profile of men's cancers.
The donation will be comprised of a contribution from Urban Properties and the commission from Property Shop sales and marketing director Ben Johnston.
Ironically, successful bidder Nyree Bell, works at the hospital and knows first-hand the work of the Foundation. “We've been involved in several Foundation fundraising events and we love the work they do, so when we saw this advertised, we thought it was a great opportunity to be involved again,” Ms Bell said.
Several bidders were competing for the block, with Ms Bell finally outbidding the rest.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the auction was a heart-warming example of the community coming together to support others in need.
Cairns Hospital urologists and an oncologist spoke just before the auction about men's cancers and particularly about a prostate scanning machine they hope the donation can go towards.
“We would really like people in Far North Queensland to have the same access to health services as people in Brisbane,” urologist Dr Garrath Evans said.

PHOTO: Celebrating the auction outcome are Lance Richards, James and Rachel Fennell, buyer Nyree Bell and Ben Johnston from The Property Shop.

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Big excitement for big cause 13/05/2016

Excitement is building in the Far North about the region’s first known No-Reserve Charity Land Auction.
To be held on Saturday, May 14 from 9.30am on the 800sq m block, auctioneer Lance Richards is excited about the event. “As far as I know, nothing like this has happened in this
region before, so we’re very excited about supporting the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation and men’s cancers,” Mr Richards said.
Urban Properties’ James and Rachel Fennell also are excited about interest in the unusual auction.
“We’ve been involved with the Foundation for other fundraising events. We deliberately wanted to expand the focus and awareness of this initiative to cover men’s cancer. Our
industry is represented very heavily by a male workforce and we look after these guys with safety procedures on site, but we also wanted to make a difference to their health and
quality of life as well,” Mr Fennell said. The Foundation will receive a donation – the profits from the proceeds of the auction are earmarked for equipment at Cairns Hospital.
Cairns Hospital urologists are hopeful the funds would go towards a prostate scanning device, attached to the relatively new PET-CT scanner that the Foundation contributed
$700,000 towards. Currently Far North Queensland prostate patients must travel to a private facility in Townsville or a public facility in Brisbane to have the scan.
“At the moment, we send up to four patients a week away for this scan, but if we had it here, it would be more widely utilised,” Cairns Hospital urologist Stefan Antoniou said.
“It will definitely sell – no-reserve auctions are unheard of here, so we’re confident of a great outcome for the Foundation and the buyer who will know they’ve done their bit to
help out too,” Mr Fennell said.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said he was thrilled that the companies had recognised the importance of making a difference to local health care.
• The auction will be held from 9.30am on Saturday, May 14 on site at Lot 55, Millhouse Estate. Pre-registrations are encouraged at Millhouse Estate.

 

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Muster all in the family 11/05/2016

It’s all in the family for the Nielson family and their participation in Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster.
Dad Geoff, daughters Kylie and Beck and Kylie’s partner Darren Tabone have all taken part in the fundraising event for a number of years, simple because it is fun.
Geoff and Kylie have both done the ride for several years, but 2015 was Beck’s first year.
“We just love it because it’s a fun event for the family to do together,” Beck Nielson said.
“Dad’s always ridden bikes – I remember being on the front of his bike, riding around the yard when I was really little,” Beck said.
“He always said he’d get himself a Harley when he quit smoking, and he did that about seven years ago,” she said.
Geoff said he enjoys the family aspect of the ride. “As a family weekend away, we ride on the hospital Muster and we all love it as an annual family event of fun and enjoyment.”
Kylie added that the Muster riders are a great community. “Darren and I first joined the muster five years ago because Mum and Dad had taken part in the past and they had a lot of fun. It’s a great community event that has taken us to local areas that we never had experienced before, even though we have lived here for over 20 years,” she said.
While Geoff, Kylie and Darren all ride Harley-Davidson’s, Beck rides a Suzuki, which came about when she won two scooters that she sold.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz, who always participates in the ride himself, said it has contributed more than $700,000 towards improved health outcomes since its inception in 2002.
Fundraising this year is going toward the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department – a video laryngoscope which improves patient safety during intubation, and a non-invasive ventilator that reduces rates of intubation. The total value of these items is just over $60,000.
“Wayne and Rhonda Leonard are long-time supporters of the Foundation and the local community, and we are grateful to have their family so closely involved with this premier fundraising event for health care in the region,” Mr Franz said.
“Every cent raised goes directly to the cause intended and stays local to help local families,” he said.
For further information or to register visit Motorcycle Muster.

 

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Big reason to give 6/05/2016

James Fennell had his whole life ahead of him – successful business, happy and healthy family of four kids, beautiful wife.
Six years ago, persistent abdominal pain, lethargy and rapid weight loss led to tests and a diagnosis of non-hodgkin lymphoma for the then 44-year-old. Diagnosed on the Friday, his specialists wanted to start chemotherapy the following Monday and he was staring down the barrel of being told he had 90 days left to live – “get your affairs in order”.
“I had six months of daily chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant – we were living in Brisbane and it was a massive ordeal for all of us, probably more so for Rachel,” Mr Fennell said. “I remember I didn’t get to see the kids while I was in isolation and the nurses would come into my room in full Hazmat outfits,” he said.
And as is sometimes the case, his compromised immune system led to other complications such as golden staph, septicaemia and he now lives with sarcoidosis. “We decided to change our lives, get out of the city, we were looking all around the world and decided to move to Cairns last year and we’re so thrilled that we did,” he said.
When diagnosed, their children were 8, 6, 4 and 2, and James was very fit. “April 2016 marks five years since James underwent the stem cell transplant,” Rachel said. “The Big Charity Auction is our way to mark and celebrate this significant moment in our lives. Having the prostate scanner in our community (which funds from the auction are earmarked for) benefits the patients, carers, family and friends in our community. As a carer, I have a great understanding of the cancer journey for everyone involved,” she said.
His family’s experience with cancer led him to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation and the decision to launch the no-reserve charity land auction. “Our family has had a direct involvement with cancer that resulted in aggressive treatment but a positive outcome, so we are passionate about health care in regional Queensland,” Mrs Fennell added. “Because the block will definitely sell on the day, we anticipate the Foundation will receive a significant five figure donation from the auction.”
“It will definitely sell – no-reserve auctions are unheard of here, so we’re confident of a great outcome for the Foundation and the buyer who will know they’ve done their bit to help out too.”
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said he was thrilled that the companies had recognised the importance of making a difference to local health care.
•    The auction will be held from 9.30am on Saturday, May 14 on site at Lot 55, Millhouse Estate. Pre-registrations to bid are encouraged at Millhouse Estate.

 

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Big cause has big aims 29/04/2016

FUNDS from a No-Reserve Charity Auction will be earmarked for a special prostate cancer scanner attached to Cairns Hospital.
Cairns Hospital urologist Dr Stefan Antoniou said the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) generator, could be used for diagnosis, staging and monitoring of prostate cancer. The PSMA generator would be an addition to the recently acquired PET scanner at Cairns Hospital.
“Currently for Far North patients to have this scan, they have to travel to the private facility in Townsville and pay $700, or to the public facility in Brisbane,” Dr Antoniou said.
“At the moment we send up to four patients a week away for this scan, but if we had it here, it would be more widely utilised,” he said. “It will save the health service money and allow for the same quality of care for North Queenslanders, as our southern counterparts receive. When someone has a prostate cancer diagnosis it's very stressful, so to have to go away just for a scan adds unnecessary stress into their lives. Our goal is to have the same facilities afforded to patients in Brisbane available in Cairns.”
Patient Alan Searle was diagnosed with prostate cancer four months ago, after his PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels rose suddenly. The 66-year-old had to travel to Brisbane for the special prostate scan prior to having his prostate surgically removed by local Cairns Urologists Dr Antoniou and Dr Phil Smith.
Rachel and James Fennell from Urban Properties approached the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation with the innovative fundraising idea, that they hoped to put towards men's cancers. Mr Fennell hopes the Foundation will receive a donation of at least $20,000 from the auction planned for the 800sq m block, Lot 55 at Millhouse Estate, Saturday, May 14. Property Shop sales and marketing director Ben Johnston said in addition, he would donate his $5000 commission from the transaction.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said he was thrilled that the companies had recognised the importance of making a difference to local health care.
•    The auction will be held from 9.30am on Saturday, May 14 on site at Lot 55, Millhouse Estate. Pre-registrations to bid are encouraged at www.millhouseestate.com.au
For further information, to donate or volunteer for the Foundation visit Millhouse Estate.

Photo: Urologist Dr Stefan Antoniou speaks with prostate patient Alan Searle about the benefits of fundraising towards improved patient care.

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Big blocks, big life, big cause 22/04/2016

Big blocks, big life, big cause.
A no-reserve land auction with a percentage going to support men’s cancer in the Far North, is believed to be the first of its kind in the region.
Urban Properties’ Rachel and James Fennell has teamed with the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation for the innovative fundraising idea.
“We’ve been involved with the Foundation for other fundraising events. We deliberately wanted to expand the focus and awareness of this initiative to cover men’s cancer. Our industry is represented very heavily by a male workforce and we look after these guys with safety procedures on site, but we also wanted to make a difference to their health and quality of life as well,” Mr Fennell said.
“Our family has had a direct involvement with cancer that resulted in aggressive treatment but a positive outcome, so we are passionate about health care in regional Queensland,” Mrs Fennell added. He hopes the Foundation will receive a donation of at least $20,000 from the auction planned for the 800sq m block, Lot 55 at Millhouse Estate, Saturday, May 14.
Property Shop sales and marketing director Ben Johnston said in addition, he would donate his $5000 commission from the transaction. “We see this as our turn to give back,” Mr Johnston said. “Because this is a no-reserve auction, this is someone’s chance to grab a bargain while making a difference to health outcomes in the local community,” Mr Johnston said. The auction will be headed by well-known Property Shop auctioneer Lance Richards, who said he was excited to be involved with the initiative.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said he was thrilled that the companies had recognised the importance of making a difference to local health care.
•    The auction will be held from 9.30am on Saturday, May 14 on site at Lot 55, Millhouse Estate. Pre-registrations to bid are encouraged at www.millhouseestate.com.au.
For further information visit www.millhouseestate.com.au.

 

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Trish is "doing her bit" 15/04/2016

By day, she is a mild mannered administration clerk, mother and grandmother.
But one weekend a year, every year, Trish Sexton turns into a passionate motorist – and no she doesn’t make an annual pilgrimage to Bathurst.
Trish is an incredibly safety-conscious escort driver on the annual Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge – possibly the longest serving in that role. “I guess it’s just about doing my bit for the community,” the mother of three and grandmother of one said.
Each pack of about 20 cyclists on the annual ride is accompanied by pack leaders (fellow cyclists) front and rear, and an escort vehicle front and rear. The ride also is accompanied by three police who help ensure the safety of the riders and that non-involved traffic is not unduly held up.
Mrs Sexton rode the first Cardiac Challenge back in 2007 but a health issue means these days she’s behind the wheel, possibly even helping keep her husband Peter Sexton, a pack leader, safe. “I go to support him and I look at it as my doing a good deed,” Mrs Sexton said.
“You need to keep a cool head and really keep your wits about you – you’re looking in front of you, looking behind you, listening to the radio to see what other traffic is doing. It’s quite exhausting, spending a full day in the car driving and being on full alert like that. You need to think about what other traffic might be thinking and be empathetic to the riders as well,” she said.
“I like to be with the quicker packs because that means I don’t have to change gears as much.
And while not required to as an integral volunteer, Mrs Sexton has now started fundraising as well.
“We have friends with heart issues so it is a cause very dear to us,” she said.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the ride had raised more than $2.5 million for cardiac services since its inception.
“As this is our 10th year, we think it’s going to be pretty big,” Ms Duncombe said.
For further information visit www.cardiacchallenge.com.au.

 

 

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Loss inspires fundraising 8/04/2016

THIS time it’s personal.
Taking part in the Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster is personal this year for Steve Cutuli, who lost his brother to organ failure aged 39 last year.
Mr Cutuli, a teacher, will be doing his fifth event this year but the recent family loss makes his fundraising more heartfelt.
“Last year my younger brother was in hospital and we got to see the patient televisions that we helped fundraise for, so it was amazing to see our fundraising efforts at work,” Mr Cutuli said.
“It definitely becomes more personal,” he said. “It was the hardest time in my life when we lost him and the whole family is still struggling. But it was great to know that there were things that we had done to make his last days a bit more comfortable. You don’t want to see your parents go through that – losing one of their children. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.”
But on a positive note, Mr Cutuli said what he loves about the ride is being able to combine his love of riding and doing something good for the community.
"And it's so easy to raise funds. With a Harley as the prize, people chase you to buy tickets," he said. "As part of your entry you're expected to raise at least $300, but I've always aimed for at least $1000."
"It's a great group of people, who help make it an awesome weekend," he said.
Hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the ride celebrates 15 years of riding to raise money in 2016. Participants will head to Mission Beach via the scenic Atherton Tableland on June 18-19 this year.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz, who always participates in the ride himself, said it has contributed more than $700,000 towards improved health outcomes since its inception in 2002.
Fundraising this year is going towards the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department – a video laryngoscope which improves patient safety during intubation, and a non-invasive ventilator that reduces rates of intubation. The total value of these items is just over $60,000.
“Wayne and Rhonda Leonard are long time supporters of the Foundation and the local community and we are grateful to have their family so closely involved with this premier fundraising event for health care in the region,” Mr Franz said.
“Every cent raised goes directly to the cause intended and stays local to help local families,” he said.
For further information visit www.motorcyclemuster.com.au.

 

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Personal motive for ride 31/03/2016

IT's ironic that Adrian Bolton's dad didn't like motorbikes, yet Adrian uses his to help fundraise for improved health services in the region.
It also is ironic that Adrian was wearing his Wayne Leonard's Motorcycle Muster t-shirt to visit his dad in Cairns Hospital and saw a piece of equipment he had helped fundraise for, the year before.
“Even though it was a really bad situation for our family and my Dad, it was great in a way to see the equipment that we worked to help provide,” Mr Bolton said. “I would have preferred to have not been in the situation to see that equipment, but it was great to know that it was there for him and others,” he said.
“I've loved motorbikes ever since I could recognise what one was, but my Dad didn't like them and I only got my license to ride just before I did my first Muster in 2014.”
He has signed up for his third Wayne Leonard's Motorcycle Muster this year, after doing the first to show support for his father-in-law's cancer battle.
“It's great to raise funds for a good, local cause, but it's also enjoyable – you get to meet new people and check out their bikes and have a weekend on the open road,” Mr Bolton said.
This year, participants in the ride are aiming to raise $60,000 to provide two pieces of life saving equipment in Cairns Hospital's Emergency Department – a video laryngoscope which improves patient safety during intubation, and a non-invasive ventilator that reduces the rate of intubation.
Hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the ride celebrates 15 years of riding to raise money in 2016. Participants will head to Mission Beach via the scenic Atherton Tableland on June 18-19 this year.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz, who always participates in the ride himself, said it has contributed more than $700,000 towards improved health outcomes since its inception in 2002.
“Wayne and Rhonda Leonard are long time supporters of the Foundation and the local community and we are grateful to have their family so closely involved with this premier fundraising event for health care in the region,” Mr Franz said.
“Every cent raised goes directly to the cause intended and stays local to help local families,” he said.
For further information visit www.motorcyclemuster.com.au.

 

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Goji Berry Slice recipe 15/03/2016

Goji Berry Fudge Slice
Base
4 cups raw cashew/almonds
4 cups shredded coconut
520g pitted dates
200g goji berries
2 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup maple syrup
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
Place nuts in food processor and blend till fine, add coconut, dates, berries and process until a soft paste forms. Add cacao powder and maple syrup and salt and process to combine until you have a nice creamy texture. Press firmly into a dish lined with baking paper. Place in fridge while making ganache topping
Ganache Topping
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup raw cacao powder
Pinch sea salt
In a food processor blend all ingredients together until smooth and well combined. Pour over the fudge base and spread out evenly over the top
Sprinkle with cacao nibs or pumpkin seeds and goji’s and return to fridge to set firm for at least one hour. Can freeze cut portions but will last for up to two weeks in cool room.

 

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Donation boosts fundraising 3/03/2016

AN innovative fundraising idea will help boost Cairns’ contribution to cancer care.
Real estate agent Karl Latham’s donation of $5000 from a house sale commission was added to the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari Island Hop final tally.
Mr Latham celebrated the Reservoir Rd house sale and its contribution to health services.
“I’m really thrilled that we are able to make this donation,” Mr Latham, wearing his Superman outfit, said.
“Our daughter Olivia was born 10 weeks premature so we spent a lot of time at the Cairns Hospital and the staff were fantastic so this is an opportunity to give something back to a worthy cause,” Mr Latham said .The 2016 Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari Island Hop is now the most successful jetski fundraising event in the region, providing more than $49,000 to improve cancer support services in Far North Queensland.
In the five previous events, known as Unit’s Jetski Fundrun, it raised a total of just over $90,000.
This year's event, held on Australia Day 2016, attracted 30 jetski riders and 46 participants in total, island hopping from Yorkeys Knob to Palm Cove, Double Island, Scout’s Hat Island, then on to Low Island and into Port Douglas for lunch
Due to the Cairns Hospital redevelopment, planning for the tranquillity room at the Cancer Care Ward, funded from previous years’ events, is now underway with a view to starting construction in 2016.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson said Mr Latham’s donation was a great example of what could be achieved.
“We had some great fundraising efforts this year, with Matthew Parrish raising almost $7000 on his own, and Karl and the vendor’s donation today shows that the local community is passionate about helping others in need,” Ms Gibson said.
 

Photo: Superman (aka real estate agent Karl Latham) and Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson celebrate the $5000 donation to cancer care via the Reservoir Rd house sale.

 

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Magnificent seven ready to ride 26/02/2016

Cairns' own “Magnificent Seven” are getting ready to saddle up and ride the ranges once again.
The septuplet of cyclists are the only individuals who have ridden all nine Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge events to date. And all seven are gearing up for their 10th event in September 2016.
Led by event instigator Peter McNally, the group is comprised of Laura Garner, Mary Ann Allen, Ray Wright, Peter Sexton, Dawn Newman and Tony Franz.
The event has raised more than $2.5 million for cardiac services in the Far North in the past nine years and organisers expect this year to be one of the biggest.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said more than 1400 individuals had taken part in the ride since its inception, many obviously doing it multiple times.
“For us, having these people do the ride every single year is a tribute to their commitment to the cause – many of them are motivated by personal or family stories of heart conditions,” Ms Duncombe said.
“And as this is our 10th year, there's a great buzz about the event and we're expecting it to be one of our biggest and best,” she said.
“We have some individuals and teams who are highly motivated and committed to raising $10,000 each, so we're really excited about what can be achieved.”
Mr McNally, who first approached the Foundation with the idea for the ride 10 years ago, said he never would have thought it would have achieved so much.
“Not only has it raised so much money, but taking part in the event has changed many participants' lifestyles – they've made new, lifelong friends and changed their health habits for the better,” Mr McNally said.
The three-day event departs Cairns on Saturday, September 17 – 350 riders will make it to Mt Carbine that day. On day two they head to Lakeland and on day three, they ride into Cooktown as a triumphant single pack.
Early bird registrations are now open – visit www.cardiacchallenge.com.au.

Photo: Tony Franz, Peter Sexton, Mary Ann Allen, Peter McNally, Dawn Newman, Laura Garner and Ray Wright.

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Fundraising for trauma victims 22/02/2016

In the blink of an eye, Tish Baker’s life changed forever on January 10 this year.

The keen motorcyclist was struck by a car while on a friend’s bike, on a day trip to Lake Eacham.

“I was with two other bikes and we were going for a swim to Lake Eacham,” Ms Baker said.

But in that moment when she was struck by a car, everything changed.

Her friend’s Harley Davidson was written off and Tish spent eight days in Cairns Hospital with serious injuries.

A broken femur, broken ribs, broken toe, spinal fracture, ligament damage, numbness in her shins, a DVT and injuries to her left hand are the outcomes for this 34-year-old woman.

Surgery resulted in a pin being inserted down her femur and Tish is about to start physio.

The keen motorcyclist has previously taken part in the Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster, although this year she physically won’t be able to.

“I’m keen to get back on a motorbike, but not for a while yet,” she said.

But she is happy to help promote the event, knowing the good it does.

The first event, held in 2002, raised more than $19,000, which enabled the Foundation to buy a high-tech cost to transport critically ill and pre-term babies.

Since then, the event has raised more than $700,000, with 2016 being the 15th year the event has been held.

In 2016, more than 40 motorcyclists will fundraise and spend the weekend at Mission Beach.

Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said funds raised this year would go towards Cairns Hospitals emergency department.

“We’re fundraising this year for a video laryngoscope and a non-invasive ventilator or bi-pap machine, with a total value of just over $60,000,” Mr Franz said.

“We will have a Harley Davidson art union in various shopping centres around town and people can make donations, register or buy tickets online at www.motorcyclemuster.com.au,” he said.

Photo: Tish Baker chats with Foundation CEO Tony Franz about her accident and how fundraising on the Wayne Leonard's Motorcycle Muster will help the Cairns Hospital emergency department.

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Riding for the beat of a heart 19/02/2016

HEART patients in the Far North are resting easier because of the hard work of cyclists on the annual Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge bike ride.
Two pieces of equipment – worth almost $50,000, have been bought by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation for Cairns Hospital’s cardiac services and are already being put to work.
Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service Cardiac Catheter Laboratory clinical nurse consultant Spencer Irvin said the Lucas chest compression device was a lifesaving automated CPR system that would be used in the lab on critically ill heart attack patients who are at risk of having a cardiac arrest. “Having the device available means that one nurse is free to attend to the many other urgent tasks during a cardiac arrest,” Mr Irvin said of the $16,500 piece of equipment.
“It also means the cardiologist can continue with the stenting procedure during the cardiac arrest which is essential to save the patient’s life.  Thanks to the bike riders on the Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge, the Foundation has been able to purchase this device which is a vital tool for a clinically progressive service,” he said.
As well, the Foundation has purchased a bi-pap machine for the Cardiac Care Ward, at a cost of $34,000.
Cardiac Care Ward Nurse Unit Manager Midge Balodis said the bi-pap machine helps patients having trouble breathing because their hearts were struggling to pump blood around their bodies.
“The new bi-pap machine which was bought by the Foundation from funds raised by the Cardiac Challenge, makes it easier to care for these patients because it is easy to use, transportable and more responsive to patient needs,” Mrs Balodis said.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said it was always rewarding to see the difference that the hard work by hundreds of cyclists and their donors, made to patients’ lives.
“The Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge is in its tenth year this year, and has raised more than $2 million in that time towards improving outcomes for cardiac patients in the Far North,” Ms Duncombe said. “Registrations are open now for the 2016 event, which we are expecting to be huge due to the special anniversary this year,” she said.

Photo: Interventional cardiologist Dr Shane Preston, clinical nurse Rhiannon McDowall, Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe and clinical nurse consultant Spencer Irvin.

 

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Board vacancy 4/02/2016

The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation is seeking applicants for a board vacancy.
Established in 1997, the Foundation is a non-profit charitable organisation that assists the activities and services of health services across Far North Queensland.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation is a non-profit charitable organisation 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.
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.
The Foundation direction is driven by its board members, all of whom are voluntary.
Applications close on February 29, 2016.
For further information, email ceo@fnqhf.org.au

 

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Prawn laksa rice noodle soup 29/01/2016

What you need
1 tsp each of ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, 2 small onions (about 190g/7oz), peeled and chopped, 50ml/2fl oz coconut milk, 2.5cm/1in piece of fresh root ginger, roughly chopped, 2 garlic cloves, 2 stalks lemongrass (about 25g/1oz), 2 Fresno chillies, seeds removed, roughly chopped, 1 tbsp fermented shrimp paste, 400g/14oz uncooked de-veined prawns,
tails on, 4 tbsp vegetable oil, 350ml/12fl oz coconut milk, 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock, 2 dried kaffir lime leaves, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 3-4 tbsp fish sauce, 2 pinches cracked sea salt, 2 pinches freshly ground black pepper, 2 tbsp potato starch, 100g/3½oz dried vermicelli rice noodles, 1 large lime, juice only, chilli seasoning (powder or flakes), to taste (optional), 80g/3oz
beansprouts, 1 large spring onion.
Method
Put ingredients for laksa paste into a blender and process to a fine paste. Heat two tbspns of vegetable oil in a wok and cook the remaining laksa paste for one minute until it deepens in colour. Stir in coconut milk, stock, dried kaffir lime leaves, sugar, fish sauce and 300ml/10½fl oz water. Bring soup to boil and simmer for 20 minutes until flavour deepens. Add vermicelli rice noodles and stir while cooking for two minutes. Add remaining prawns and cook for two minutes. Season the soup with lime juice, (or salt and dried chilli flakes if preferred), add beansprouts and spring onion. Remove kaffir lime leaves. Divide the noodles evenly among the bowls and ladle over the soup.

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And the winner was ... 29/01/2016

JUST one ticket was all it took for Glenn Cornish to win his very own $17,000 jetski.
Mr Cornish’s mother Lyn Cornish bought the single raffle ticket in his name, from Stockland Shopping Centre, on the remote chance his would be the lucky number drawn.
His name was announced live on air by StarFM presenters Dave and Inkie on Wednesday, after the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari island hop was held on Tuesday.
Mr Cornish, 42, lives in Mareeba, and said he had never won anything substantial in his life.
“I think the biggest thing I’ve ever won before is a $15 scratchie so this is amazing, I can’t believe it,” Mr Cornish said.
This year’s jetski island hop has been the most successful to date, raising more than $44,000 so far, with another $10,000 donation still to come in.
The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari powered by StarFM, has been running since 2011 and had raised more than $60,000 up until this year. Money raised in the past is specifically for the tranquillity room at the Cancer Care Ward at Cairns Hospital. Due to the Cairns Hospital redevelopment, planning for the tranquillity room is now underway with a view to starting construction this year.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson said fundraising this year would go towards equipment to ease the comfort of cancer patients undergoing treatment.
“We had almost 30 jetskis take part in the iconic event on Australia Day and it was so well received and raised so much money for cancer patients, we believe it will grow and expand next year,” Ms Gibson said. “We had some incredibly motivated participants who worked really hard on their fundraising, plus they had a great time out on the water on the day,” she said.
Brian “Unit” Wilson was the event's inaugural sponsor donating $15,000 to kick-start it in 2011. Sadly, just two events later, Brian lost his battle with cancer. He will be remembered by all who knew him as a determined individual, who helped others before himself.
The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari Great Barrier Reef Island Hop departed Yorkeys Knob on January 26, stopping off at various islands on the way to Port Douglas for lunch. The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation hosted a Seadoo personal watercraft art union at various shopping centres in Cairns.

PHOTO: Trinity Powersports general manager Troy Duncan and Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson congratulate Glenn Cornish on his Seadoo personal watercraft win.

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No place like home 22/01/2016

Anything to provide a reprieve from the sometimes clinical cancer ward, is a good thing according to Cairns cancer patient Scott Walsh.
Mr Walsh, 41, is battling lung cancer that has spread through his body and was just released home after a week in Cairns Hospital, on Thursday.
While his most recent stint in hospital was “only” a week, he says even that was enough to make him miss all the comforts of home. He was diagnosed with lung cancer four months ago, which has now spread to his adrenal gland, liver, bowel and brain.
“I just thought I had a bad cough, but eventually they figured out it was cancer – I've had radiology so far but I've had an infection so I've been in hospital on antibiotics to try to get rid of the infection, so that I can start some treatment.”
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation has previously held a jetski event to fundraise for the tranquility room at Cairns Hospital, with planning for the room now underway.
On Australia Day 2016, the Foundation is hosting a revamped event, the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari island hop from Yorkeys Knob to Port Douglas.
Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson said fundraising from this year's event would go to further improve patient services within the Cancer Ward at Cairns Hospital.
Ms Gibson said for Mr Walsh and his partner and six children, anything the community could do to make their hospital stay a bit more comfortable or relaxing, was worthwhile.
“We all know there's nowhere like home so anything we can do to help make that hospital stay a bit more like home, is well worth the effort,” Ms Gibson said.
“This year's event is already the most successful we’ve ever had, and we haven't even held it yet,” Ms Gibson said.
The event started in 2011, partly instigated by lung cancer patient Brian “Unit” Wilson. Sadly Unit died two years later but his memory lives on through the event, and his mother travels up each year from Victoria to be involved.
Statistics indicate that by the time we all reach the age of 85, half of us will have had a cancer diagnosis. (Australian Institute of Health and Wellness, 2012). In the Far North with a population of about 270,000 – that is 135,000 – or every second person you see on the street.
Registration for Sea-Fari is $75 per rider, with an additional minimum fundraising element of $200 each. Those who don’t own a personal watercraft can buy a ticket in the $16,907 Seadoo art union, with tickets for sale at the city’s shopping centres or online at www.seafari.org.au.

Photo: Cancer patient Scott Walsh is surrounded by some of his family, (from left) partner Bec Veivers, sister Denise Wells and children Kairo Walsh, 7, and Shallan Walsh, 8.

 

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Sale commission boosts charity 15/01/2016

A REAL estate agent’s commission donation to a fundraising event will be matched by the house’s owner.
Karl Latham has come up with possibly the most unique fundraising idea for the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari – donating $5000 commission from the sale of a house. And when he told the owners about his plan, they said they were happy to match the $5000 as they had had positive experiences at Cairns Hospital.
The philanthropic associate director of Elite Cairns said he is thrilled to offer the donation to the event when the Reservoir Road house sells. Mr Latham has registered to take part in the event for the first time this year and says he is super excited for a number of reasons. “Our daughter Olivia was born 10 weeks premature so we spent a lot of time at the Cairns Hospital and the staff were fantastic so this is an opportunity to give something back to a worthy cause,” Mr Latham said.
Several years ago he met the instigator of the event, Brian “Unit” Wilson, a cancer patient who was the tenant at a house Mr Latham was selling and had just been diagnosed with lung cancer.
“I remember Brian was telling me about his dream to go out to the islands on a jetski and I guess it’s always stayed in my mind. And I absolutely love jetskis and the idea of doing this charity ride up the coast to Port Douglas, which I’ve never done before, is really exciting.”
Mr Latham and wife Hailey are expecting their second child in just a few weeks so he thinks it might be his last chance to get out on his jetski for a little while. He will take part in the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari from Yorkeys Knob to Port Douglas on Australia Day 2016.
The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari powered by ZincFM, has been running since 2011 and in that time more than $60,000 has been raised. This money is specifically for the tranquillity room at the Cancer Care Ward at Cairns Hospital. Due to the Cairns Hospital redevelopment, planning for the tranquillity room is now underway with a view to starting construction in 2016.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson said fundraising this year would go towards equipment to ease the comfort of cancer patients undergoing treatment. Brian “Unit” Wilson was the event's inaugural sponsor donating $15,000 to kick-start it in 2011. Sadly, just two events later, Brian lost his battle with cancer. He will be remembered by all who knew him as a determined individual, who helped others before himself.
The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari Great Barrier Reef Island Hop will depart Yorkeys Knob on January 26, stopping off at various islands on the way to Port Douglas for lunch. The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation has been hosting a Seadoo personal watercraft art union at various shopping centres in Cairns and participants can register up until January 23. So far more than $24,000 has been raised but the aim is to reach at least $40,000.

The house being offered for sale is at http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-qld-manoora-121173874
To register to take part or buy raffle tickets, visit www.seafari.org.au.

PHOTO: Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson waves off Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari participant Karl Latham.

 

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Unit's legacy lives on 11/01/2016

LOSING her 45-year-old son Brian “Unit” Wilson to cancer was the toughest experience of Dawn Butler's life.
But she gains some peace from knowing his legacy lives on through the annual jetski fundraising event, now known as the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari.
And while he never had much money in life, it was an inheritance he received before he died, that helped kickstart the event.
“He received an inheritance and he gave $15,000 of that to start the event off – his dream was the tranquillity room (at Cairns Hospital, now underway) so it's really satisfying for me to know that that is underway and the event is still happening to help other people,” Mrs Butler said.
It was ironically a pancreas issue that led to the discovery of Brian's lung cancer.
“He had a pancreatic attack and went in for a scan and they found the shadow on his lung but by then it had already started to spread,” Mrs Butler explained.
“He had a great sense of humour and never talked about the cancer to me. I remember we went out together one day, and he'd gone blind from the treatment and I told him to look at something. He said, ‘Bloody hell Mum, I can't see.'”
“It's still hard to think sometimes that he's just not around anymore,” she said. “But I do feel a sense of pride that it's still running and I'm so proud of his legacy – it's like a piece of him's still here.”
Mrs Butler travels to the Far North every year for the event from her home in Victoria.
Unit was the event's inaugural sponsor donating $15,000 to kick-start in 2011. Sadly, just two Fundruns later on May 19, 2012, Brian lost his battle with cancer. He will be remembered by all who knew him as a determined individual, who helped others before himself.
The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari Great Barrier Reef Island Hop will depart Yorkeys Knob on January 26, stopping off at various islands on the way to Port Douglas for lunch. The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation has been hosting a Seadoo personal watercraft art union at various shopping centres in Cairns and participants in the event can still register.
To register to take part or buy raffle tickets, visit www.seafari.org.au.

 

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Selfless volunteer rewarded 4/01/2016

A SPECIAL premmie baby volunteer at Cairns Hospital has been rewarded for her hours of selfless devotion.
Betty Esmond’s role each week is to launder, sort and fold premature baby clothes at the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit, as well as the Emergency Department.
Ms Esmonde was named first runner up for the 2015 National Premmie Volunteer Hero Awards.
 She received a $250 Accor Accommodation gift card, two movie tickets, a necklace donated by Sistaco, a commemorative medal and a framed certificate.
Ms Esmonde’s work at the Cairns hospital allows the nursing staff to continue offering excellent care to the tiny patients in their Special Care Unit.
Special Care Baby Unit Nurse Unit Manager Jonelle Mayers said Ms Esmonde was a wonderful and very special lady who comes every Tuesday and Friday to the Special Care Nursery.
“She washes and folds the baby clothes that are too small and if sent to the regular laundry would be lost.  Betty has become a very important part of the Special Care Nursery team and without her we would not be able to dress the babies in the lovely clothes that assist in keeping them warm.  The parents also get a lot of pleasure out of going to the warming cabinets and selecting clothes for their baby to wear after a bath.  Betty adds that little special touch to our very special unit. In our eyes she is a true Premmie Hero Volunteer.”
Ms Esmonde said she gets so much more out of volunteering, than she feels that she gives.
“I’ve been doing this for about four-and-a-half years – I was walking past the Foundation office one day and thought I’d pop in and it went from there,” Ms Esmonde said.
“My youngest child was born disabled in Sydney so I know how important it is to have extra help in maternity. The babies and staff are all so amazing,” the 64-year-old said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said Ms Esmonde was a valued member of the volunteering team and it was rewarding to see her dedication recognised outside the organisation.
“We truly value every one of our volunteers who work so hard to make patients and staff lives easier,” Mr Franz said.

 

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Jetski for a cause 29/12/2015

KERRY Smith knows firsthand the value of specialised equipment to care for cancer patients during their battle.
She cared for her husband Mark at home during his two-year battle with lung and other cancers and is passionate about raising funds to help other patients’ journey easier.
Kerry will join the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari from Yorkeys Knob to Port Douglas on Australia Day 2016 and is already on top of the fundraising leader board.
“Mark had lung cancer – he had surgery and aggressive treatment but then they found lymph nodes in his chest and neck. For two years, we battled,” Ms Smith said.
Aged 54, he died after a two-year battle in April last year (2015).
Kerry, originally from North Queensland, moved back to the region last year and discovered the joy of relaxing time on a personal watercraft and has since bought two.
“I heard about the Sea-Fari event through one of the retailers in Cairns and thought it was perfect for me because it was for charity and close to my heart,” Ms Smith said.
The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari powered by ZincFM (formerly known as Unit’s Jetski Fundrun) has been running since 2011 and in that time more than $60,000 has been raised. This money is specifically for the tranquillity room at the Cancer Care Ward at Cairns Hospital. Due to the Cairns Hospital redevelopment, planning for the tranquillity room is now underway with a view to starting construction in 2016. The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari is to raise funds to provide treatment and services locally for people with cancer and their families. People in regional and rural areas do not have the same access to services as their metropolitan counterparts and can travel thousands of kilometres to receive the care they need.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said fundraising would go towards equipment to ease the comfort of cancer patients undergoing treatment such as ice machines for when they can’t eat due to radiation treatment.
The memorial trophy for highest fundraiser is in the name of Brian “Unit” Wilson who instigated the ride, and his mother Dawn Butler travels up from Victoria each year to be part of the event, and present the trophy.
Unit was the event's inaugural sponsor donating $15,000 to kick-start. Sadly, just two Fundruns later on May 19, 2012, Brian lost his battle with cancer. He will be remembered by all who knew him as a determined individual, who helped others before himself.
To register to take part or buy raffle tickets, visit www.seafari.org.au.

 

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Slater's life saved 28/12/2015

HE might be the father of one of the Far North’s favourite sons, but that didn’t make Ron Slater immune from heart troubles last year.
It was back in August that he found he couldn’t breath and asked his wife to take him to hospital – halfway there, they had to stop and call the ambulance, so bad were his breathing difficulties.
“I didn’t realise I was having a heart attack – I just thought it was my emphysema,” the 63-year-old Innisfail resident and father of Melbourne Storm player Billy Slater said.
“Dr Starmer put a couple of stents in – he used a diamond drill and a few other things that Cardiac Challenge has raised money for,” Mr Slater said.
“Thank Christ they had that diamond drill,” he said.
“I am very appreciative of those people – they saved my life. You know the ironic thing is I’d had this breathing problem before and I didn’t do anything about it.”
Mr Slater Snr said he had played sport all his life and still led an active lifestyle, despite a few beers, but had now given up smoking.
And as a token of his appreciation, a phone call to son Billy in Melbourne, resulted in a signed Slater State of Origin jersey and cap for the Cardiac Maniacs Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge team to raffle off.
“Yeah, I rang him up and it was here the next week.”
The Cardiac Maniacs have already started fundraising for the September 2016 event.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe showed that Mr Slater recognised the value of the work by the Cairns Hospital Cardiac Care Unit, and the hundreds of cyclists who fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, for cardiac services.
“People like Mr Slater are the reason we do what we do. The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is more than just a bike ride. It is a multiple life saver,” Ms Duncombe said.
For further information, to donate or volunteer for the Foundation visit www.cardiacchallenge.org.au

PHOTO: Ron Slater is flanked by cardiac nurses.

 

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Spirit of giving 23/12/2015

THE Christmas theme of giving to others is alive and well in the Far North, as a local family discovered this week.
Every day for Jodie and Brett Graham and their children Cameron, 13, and Taylah, 11, is a tough one, as they deal with the severe health conditions suffered by Mr Graham.
As his mobility is restricted by his health conditions , it means everyday family activities simply do not happen.
Michael Aw The Good Guys this week gave the family a food hamper, presents for the kids, and a $200 Coles voucher, as part of their “Secret Santa” this Christmas.
Renowned philanthropist Mr Aw said it was great to be able to help a Cairns family in need, particularly at this time of year.
“When we saw the Graham family was looking for a medical device that was out of our ability to source, we still felt compelled to help them out, it is Christmas after all. We donated a couple of presents for the kids which we hope will bring a huge smile to their faces, as well as their parents, and a Coles voucher to help out with their Christmas food shopping this season.”
Mr Aw's donation came about through the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe, who was contacted asking if she knew of a family in need at this challenging time of year.
She reached out to Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service community health nurse Margie Beavan, whose thoughts immediately flew to the Grahams.
“Because of Brett's health conditions, he can't get out of the house very much as he needs a portable oxygen concentrator, which are very expensive items to buy,” Mrs Beavan said.
Ms Duncombe said she viewed Mr Aw and his team as “Santa Cairns” for their donation and said it was fantastic to see so much Christmas spirit in our local community. “To receive gifts like that makes such a difference to that family's lives so it's really special to see people caring for others,” Ms Duncombe said.

PHOTO: Michael Aw The Good Guys marketing manager Tyrel Collins, FNQHF fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe, Taylah Graham, community health nurse Margie Bevan, Jodie Graham and Cameron Graham.

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Gift wrap gives back 16/12/2015

PILES of presents under thousands of Christmas trees in the Far North, will look that extra bit special thanks to a dedicated band of volunteers.

The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation's Christmas Wrap at Cairns Central and Michael Aw The Good Guys, kicked off last week, with volunteers helping those who are "gift wrap challenged" create a beautiful looking present.

Foundation volunteer manager Anne Chirio said more than 130 volunteers, work almost 1400 hours wrapping thousands of gifts, in the lead-up to Christmas.

“We have 10km of wrapping paper, 36 large rolls of sticky tape and 12,000 tags ready to wrap up Christmas,” Ms Chirio said.

For the cost of a gold coin donation per gift, people can have their presents beautifully wrapped, knowing that their donation will go towards a good cause.

"Last year we raised more than $20,000 through our Christmas Wrap so it really does help contribute to equipment and services within the Far North," Ms Chirio said.

"We actually have a couple of groups from within the corporate sector who do Christmas Wrap every year as a great team building exercise - we have couples and families - it's a great way to make a difference," she said.

The Gift Wrap Hut is located upstairs near Tosca's at Cairns Central and within the Michael Aw The Good Guys shop on Mulgrave Road.

 

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Challenge another succes 14/12/2015


THE 2015 Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge has been hailed as another tremendous success, generating more than $240,000 for cardiac services in the Far North.
More than 270 cyclists took part in the annual fundraiser, an increase on 2014’s numbers.
A new development that was particularly popular with cyclists, was the partial closure of Kuranda Range for the first day.
163 keen cyclists took on the Range in safety - traffic going to the Tableland was permitted, but traffic travelling down towards Cairns was held at Rainforestation.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said it was very pleasing to see only eight vehicles waiting at the top of the Range for the cyclists.
“We learnt alot from the closure which worked really well - we got the cyclists off the Range well before the permit specified, and we found great support from the community, that recognises we are fundraising for life-saving services and equipment,” Ms Duncombe said.
In 2014, the Challenge had to start from Kuranda, due to the relatively new “one-metre” traffic legislation.
Cyclists and the supporters and volunteers stopped the first night at Mt Carbine, and the second at Lakeland, receiving warm welcomes from the local community.
The most successful fundraising team of the event was new team, Wuchopperen Warriors, who raised $17,234. They were followed by Cardiac Maniacs on $10,592 and We are Family at $9253. Highest individual fundraisers were Vlad Matic of the Wuchopperen Warriors team at $6800, AJ Larkin at $3151 and Jonah Tuhoro at $3000.
Cyclists were welcomed into Cooktown by mayor Peter Scott, who paid tribute to the hard work and sacrifices they had made, for such an amazing cause.
Cairns Hospital cardiology director Dr Greg Starmer did not participate this year, instead playing “Daddy Daycare” while wife and ED doctor Katrina Starmer took part for the first time. However Dr Greg Starmer did provide an excellent presentation at the presentation dinner on the final night in Cooktown.
Excitement is already building for the 10th anniversary event in 2016.

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Playground open for Christmas 10/12/2015

THE ultimate gift for Far Northern kids in hospital this Christmas would be to be home and well.
But the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation has given them the next best thing - the new Cairns Hospital Paediatric Playground is officially open.
Already open to patients for several weeks, this week the Foundation pays tribute to the $1.3 million in donations from the generous community, that made the playground a reality.
Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said research showed that play helped improve medical outcomes, and there was no better place to play, than overlooking the ocean.
Fundraising for the playground began back in 2006, when a vacant rooftop overlooking the Cairns Esplanade, was identified as the ideal space for a new playground, adjacent to the Children’s Ward.
"Many special people have contributed to this project and while we've had some significant individual donations of up to $25,000, all the little donations of $50 or $100 have helped bring it to fruition," Dr Chapman said.
He particularly paid tribute to the CA Architects team who donated their time to create the designs.
The playground features play equipment for all abilities, soft-fall surfaces, shade sails, a craft room, school room, pool table and that all important view to the ocean.
"We actually think it's pretty unique having the hospital playground overlooking the ocean and we hope it contributes to help kids get better quicker," Dr Chapman said.
“To everyone who donated, thank you.”
Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Board acting chair Carolyn Eagle said she had no doubt the playground would get a fair working over.
“As a Mum myself, I’ve come to realise that even if my kids are sick I’m Buckley’s of keeping them inside for long,” she laughed.
“Having a playground right outside is as close as we can come to normalising a hospital stay for sick youngsters. I’d like to thank the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation for their extraordinary efforts in making this playground a reality.”
Paediatrics’ Nurse Unit Manager Caroline Witter said the playground wouldn’t just benefit sick children, but also their siblings who visit.
Ms Witter said Cairns has a lot of families that often have a partner away working, or out to sea or in Brisbane for a business trip.
“It is pretty common to have one parent come in with the whole brood in tow,” she said.
“This area is great because it means that our patient can go outside and play with their brothers and sisters just like they would at home.
“They can play around in a safe environment, get some clear air and some sun and when they are good and tired we are just next door.”

PHOTO: Terrell Nelson and James Minniecon have a blast on the newly opened Paediatric Playground at Cairns Hospital.

 

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Iconic event for iconic day 20/11/2015

What could be more iconic than spending Australia Day 2016 out on the Great Barrier Reef, visiting iconic locations? That’s what’s planned this year by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation for their jetski fundraising event, the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari, powered by ZincFM.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the event this year had undergone a major overhaul with a fresh new approach but still with funds raised going towards local cancer services.
“We’ve got a fresh route, a fresh way for participants to have fun, and new sponsors this year with Trinity Powersports and ZincFM approaching us to be involved,” Ms Duncombe said. “And what could be a better way to spend Australia Day than on our iconic Great Barrier Reef,” she said.
The event previously has been very successful, and money has been raised to undertake the tranquillity room at Cairns Hospital. Planning for the room was delayed due to the Cairns Hospital redevelopment, but is now underway.
Well known mountain bike trail developer Glen Jacobs is part of the planning team, saying he was the first jetski owner in the Far North, back in 1979 and the first person to run a jetski out to Green Island. “I went out on it last year and loved it, but I’m really excited about this one,” Mr Jacobs said. “I have a number of friends undergoing cancer treatment at the moment.”
Sponsor Troy Duncan of Trinity Powersports said he loves that the event is like-minded people doing like-minded things. “It’s a real buzz, and it’s just about having fun, but also raising money for local cancer services,” Mr Duncan said.
Queensland Police Service water police Senior Constable Carl Bishop said he hopes to have a QPS jetski as part of the event and he would volunteer his support. “This event is really good to promote water safety in the local community and the police are proud to be involved,” he said.
The event started in 2011, partly instigated by lung cancer patient Brian “Unit” Wilson. Sadly Unit died two years later but his memory lives on through the event, and his mother travels up each year from Victoria to be involved.
Statistics indicate that by the time we all reach the age of 85, half of us will have had a cancer diagnosis. (Australian Institute of Health and Wellness, 2012). In the Far North with a population of about 270,000 – that is 135,000 – or every second person you see on the street.
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.
Registration is $75 per rider, with an additional minimum fundraising element of $200 each. Those who don’t own a personal watercraft can buy a ticket in the $16,907 Seadoo art union, with tickets for sale at the city’s shopping centres or online at www.seafari.org.au.

PHOTO: Senior Constable Carl Bishop, Glen Jacobs, Glenys Duncombe and Troy Duncan.
For further information visit www.seafari.org.au.

 

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Movies for a good cause 9/11/2015

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved “Peanuts” gang will make an advance big-screen debut on 6 December 2015 at Event Cinemas Cairns Central and BCC Earlville for an excellent cause this year thanks to a special partnership between cinema distributor 20th Century Fox, hospitality and entertainment giant Amalgamated Holdings Limited (AHL) and the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.

This partnership means that not only will cinema goers have the opportunity to see Charlie Brown and Snoopy: The Peanuts Movie a month before everyone else, the proceeds from every ticket sold are being donated directly to Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation to enhance the treatment and care of sick children.

This family-friendly movie fundraiser will ensure audiences making the most of this advance-screening will be embarking on a journey with Snoopy, the world’s most lovable beagle and flying ace as he sets off on his greatest mission, taking to the skies to pursue his arch nemesis The Red Baron.  All the while his best pal, Charlie Brown, begins his own epic quest. The brain-child of Charles M. Schulz and brought to life by the creators of the ICEAGE films, Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie will prove that every underdog has his day.

 “It is hard to find a family around Australia that hasn’t been impacted – either directly or through friends or relatives - by kids needing hospital care which is one of the reasons we’re so delighted to partner with 20th Century Fox to support the invaluable service provided by our partner children’s hospitals around the country” David Seargeant, AHL managing director said.

"The Foundation is really excited to be the beneficiary of this great kids' movie," Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said. "We are thrilled with our allegiance with Event Cinemas, BCC Cinemas, Rydges Hotels, QT Resorts and AHL and love that these events benefit children in Cairns Hospital," Ms Duncombe said.

Tickets for this exclusive advance charity screening of SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE will cost $10 each and can be bought at Get your tickets here or at cinema box offices.

https://youtu.be/l4ePFgS2ezo

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Rural donations on their way 9/11/2015

ALMOST $18,000 worth of medical equipment is being supplied to one-nurse nursing clinics via the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the equipment, going to Croydon and Georgetown clinics, would make a big difference to the health outcomes of people in those areas.
“Some of this equipment will make it a lot easier for the nurses, who often go out and deal with accident victims in the bush or on the road late at night, miles away from any help,” Mr Franz said.
Croydon will receive a vein finder, drug case and trauma kit, portable suction machine and defibrillator. Georgetown will receive an otoscope, auroscope and defibrillator.
Croydon Primary Health Centre Director of Nursing Damian Orrell said he could not wait for his new equipment to arrive.
“That vein finder will make a world of difference particularly in children and dehydrated people, all the equipment we’re receiving is very portable and compact so will be great and much easier for us to use out in the field, Mr Orrell said. “I can’t wait for that equipment to arrive. We are single nurse clinics and we often rely on lay people to help us, so this equipment will make a huge difference to what we can achieve out here,” he said.
Georgetown Primary Health Centre Director of Nursing Keren Plath said the equipment would make a significant difference.
“Carrying a portable defibrillator will increase the survival rate of any patient who may suffer cardiac arrest. At times, we have to drive through bushland, grassed paddocks and very rough and corrugated roads. With the equipment I have ordered, the team can continuously monitor the unwell patient and if we need to shock someone who is having cardiac arrest we will be well equipped,” Mrs Plath said.
The donations originated from Atherton Tableland residents and regular Foundation donors Les and Anne Mills, who said they felt for people in the bush.
“A friend made us aware of how bad the situation is for some of the people out in the bush dealing with drought and we thought this was one way we could help make a difference and that the people out there would know that others were thinking of them,” Mrs Mills said.
“We’re very happy to provide the money as we believe farmers are the backbone of the nation and charity begins at home,” she said.

PHOTO: Les and Anne Mills with Foundation CEO Tony Franz.

 

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Another piece of the puzzle 30/10/2015

Little more than six weeks since Cairns Hospital’s PET-CT scanner began taking patients the service has expanded its operating hours.

The $4.4 million service has seen 44 patients since it began operating out of Block E, Cairns Hospital on September 15.

To keep up with demand, the Health Service has this week increased its days of operation to two days a week.

PET-CT team leader Janelle Linton said it had been a whirlwind beginning for the much-anticipated diagnostic service.

“The feedback that we have been getting from our first lot of patients has been overwhelmingly positive, the difference having this service locally available is making a huge difference in their lives,” Ms Linton said.

“It has been such a relief for our patients to be able to access these diagnostic scans locally with their families and support networks.”

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the scanner had already demonstrated its significant value.

“Around 17 patients a month had to travel to Townsville or Brisbane for a PET-CT scan before this major piece of equipment came online, so in less than two months it has clearly already proven its worth for those people,” he said.

Cairns MP Rob Pyne said an extension of the scanner’s operating hours spelt a win for both current and future patients and their loved ones.

“An extension of the PET-CT scanner’s operating hours will allow even more local patients to benefit from receiving the medical services they need without having to leave their community,” he said.

“This service provides local patients with the full cycle of cancer care in Cairns and is a major asset to our hospital that will benefit the Far North community for generations to come.”

PET-CT scanners work by combining two scanning techniques – Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computerised Tomography (CT) – to provide detailed and precise images of cancer cells in the body.

Cairns local Wayne Crapper was one of the first patients to use the new PET-CT scanner to gauge the success of radiation in reducing the size of his cancer.

“In the past I’d driven to Townsville and crashed with some friends and I also had to fly to Brisbane. Your whole life is on hold,” Mr Crapper said.

“Having it here in Cairns just took all the pressure off. I was able to be seen and then head home - easy as that.”

Wayne said after four months of radiation the PET-CT scan results revealed he "was in the clear" and he has since gone back to work.

“It’s bloody great that the scanner is here but I really hope I don’t need another one for the rest of my life,” he laughed.

The total cost of the PET-CT service was $4.4 million with the Queensland Department of Health contributing $3 million and the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service contributing almost $650,000.

Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Board Chair Carolyn Eagle said the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation contributed $700,000 towards the project with the Committee for Oncology Unit at Cairns Hospital (COUCH) contributing $100,000.

“The support we received from both the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation and COUCH was pivotal in getting this project off the ground and I can’t thank them enough for their generosity,” she said.

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said the PET-CT scanner would improve health outcomes for Far Northerners.

"Helping to make this addition to health services really is what the Foundation is all about - putting the pieces together for a healthier north,” Dr Chapman said.

COUCH chairman Charles Woodward said it was fantastic to see a major fund-raising push pay off for people of the Far North.

“We are extremely pleased to see results of fundraising efforts going toward such a worthwhile and beneficial project for the community,” he said.

Photo: Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman chats with PET-CT scanner patient Wayne Crapper.

 

 

 

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Galloping towards a good time 28/10/2015

It might be the race that stops the nation, but the fun-loving crowd at Nu Nu Restaurant Palm Cove gallop into a good time for Melbourne Cup.
But it's not just about fun times, with the restaurant contributing almost $65,000 during the past 10 years to children's services at Cairns Hospital, via the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Co-owner Mo Rowbottom is excited about this year's event, themed 1950s Palm Springs and hopes to again help make sick children's lives more comfortable.
“I have organised a live horse race on the beach, a fantastic salsa band that had everyone up dancing last year, salsa dancers, live and silent auctions, a raffle, racing sweeps and of course, Fashions on the Field,” Ms Rowbottom said.
“My daughter, and my partner's children have grown up learning about the importance of giving back to the community through seeing how hard we work to organise this event, and as they've grown older, to give the cheque to the Hospital Foundation and see first-hand what the money raised will go towards,” she said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said it was heart-warming to see people coming together for fun events, while sparing a thought for those in our community who are unwell.
“It was quite a surprise when we went back and saw that the donation we receive from Nunu each year is going up and that they had contributed so much, over the years,” Mr Franz said.
The Nu Nu Restaurant event also will feature live and silent auctions, raffle, sweeps, prizes, roving waiters and incredible support from local sponsors.
Other Melbourne Cup activities in Cairns that make a donation to the Foundation are the Cannon Park race event and Reef Hotel Casino luncheon.

 

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Another generous donation 14/10/2015

Foundation staff have been thrilled to receive a $1000 donation from a couple who are both enduring health difficulties.

John Nixon came into the Foundation office recently with his donation, saying he and his wife Helen were extremely grateful for the help and support they had received over the years.

Helen has been receiving treatment at Cairns Hospital's Cancer Care Ward for leukaemia and John has been receiving treatment for breast cancer.

"We just thought 'why not sure a bit of appreciation," Mrs Nixon, 75, said from her hospital bed this week.

Mrs Nixon has previously been treated for pneumonia, bacteria septicaemia and a stroke while Mr Nixon also has previously suffered a stroke.

The couple have lived in Cairns for 10 years, having moved here from Tully Heads.

"We just wanted to show our gratitude for everything we've received over the years, we've seen what the volunteers do and we just felt we'd like to give a little bit back," Mr Nixon said.

Ironically he said he was watching a television documentary about male breast cancer when he ran a hand over his own chest and felt a lump. Medical investigations confirmed the diagnosis for which he has been receiving treatment.

Foundation CEO Tony Franz said all donations were heart-warming, but this one particularly so via a couple who were both currently receiving treatment.

"We'd just like to say thank you to these generous patients, whose donation will help other patients," Mr Franz said.

 

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Call for volunteers 13/10/2015

A VOLUNTEER program at Cairns Hospital is bringing comfort to elderly patients, supporting delirium prevention and getting people home quicker.

Clinical Director of Older Persons Health Services Dr Edward Strivens said the Recruitment of Volunteers to Improve Vitality in the Elderly (ReViVe) program had been rolled out in the Older Person Rehabilitation and Assessment (OPERA) Unit and was already showing promising results.

“It is well known that volunteer programs improve the well-being and recovery of patients, lead to shorter hospital stays and also play a key role in preventing delirium,” Dr Strivens said.

“We are seeing an average of eight out of 10 patients returning home which is an incredible result. All we need now are more volunteers so we can help more patients.”

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation volunteer Marg Moller recently joined the ReViVe program.

She said it gave her a strong sense of fulfilment. “The feedback you receive from the staff and families is really humbling,” Ms Moller said.

“A lot of the time people just want someone to sit and chat to, it can make the world of difference.”

Foundation CEO Tony Franz said volunteers were needed to fill slots from 9.30am-1.30pm, Monday to Friday.

“If you have some spare time and think you might be able to help out, even if it is just one morning a week, it would make a huge difference to our elderly patients,” Mr Franz said.

“Our volunteers are the backbone of our Foundation and the Far North would not be the same without them.”

ReViVe volunteers support patients by helping with physical and supportive activities, mealtimes and by simply providing companionship.

For further information contact Volunteer Co-ordinator Anne Chirio on ph: 4226 8993.

PHOTO: Patient Virginia Heath has a laugh and a chat with Foundation volunteer Marg Moller.

 

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Bright night contribution 9/10/2015

IT was running and walking in the rain, but all for a good cause.
Organisers of the inaugural Cairns Post Bright Night Fun Run have been pleasantly surprised to learn it raised more than $14,000 for the Children’s Ward at Cairns Hospital via the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
The event, part of the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival in June, attracted more than 1600 participants – including 600 who registered on the night in what could best be described as miserable weather.
The 5km course, held along the Cairns Esplanade, was a fun way for families to get involved in the Festival. Prizes were awarded to the best dressed group and tutus, tights and technicolour took over as runners made their way through a series of psychedelic displays along the Esplanade. DJs kept the crowds dancing, while fire dancers and colourful light displays brought the 5km stretch to life.
Ironman Asia-Pacific event director Chris Price said they were thrilled that the event was able to contribute so much to children’s health care in the region, and was confident it would grow in the future.
“For an inaugural event, we think that’s a pretty good outcome,” Mr Price said.
The funds are in addition to a donation the Foundation received from USM events for providing volunteers to assist at a number of Ironman events throughout the frantic weekend in June.
The Cairns Post general manager Nick Trompf said The Cairns Post Bright Night Fun Run was a huge hit in its inaugural year. “More than 1600 people of all ages, shapes and sizes joined together despite heavy rain to pound the pavement along our beautiful esplanade to help raise funds for the Foundation,” Mr Trompf said.
After the overwhelmingly positive feedback in the first night event this year, next year's promises to set a new record in participation.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said event was a great success in terms of numbers of participants and funds raised. “What we love is that this was a health community event that raised funds for health services in our local community,” Ms Duncombe said. “We are hoping to channel the funds, together with some from another fundraising source, towards fish tanks in the children’s ward,” she said.

 

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For the beat of a heart 17/09/2015

THE bags are packed, the training's done and the muscles are about to start stretching for the annual Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge fundraising bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown.
More than 270 cyclists have been preparing for the event which raises funds for cardiac services at Cairns Hospital. Tony Franz, CEO of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, which co-ordinates the event, said this ninth event was another herculean achievement for riders and the organisers.
Mr Franz, who always participates in the ride himself, said fundraising was ongoing, but had already cracked the $200,000 mark. “Since its inception, we've raised more than $2 million for cardiac services in Cairns, which we simply would not have otherwise,” Mr Franz said.
And while there may be about 270 riders, together with supporters and volunteers, the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge entourage finally numbers more than 500.
“We know that for the small communities we stop off and support along the way, ours is the biggest event to come to town each year so it's a wonderful community event giving back to the community,” Mr Franz said.
There is a partial Kuranda Range closure on Saturday morning for a couple of hours to enable those willing riders to ride the range in safety, riders will stop in Kuranda and Mareeba, before heading on to overnight at Mt Carbine. The next day, riders, supporters and volunteers travel through to Lakeland for their overnight stop, and will make it into Cooktown about 12.30pm on Monday.
Cairns Hospital cardiac care unit nurse unit manager Midge Balodis is a medic on the ride every year and said she loves every thing about the event. “It's wonderful for people to achieve this awesome goal, it's wonderful to be getting fit and active in the great outdoors, and it's wonderful fundraising for cardiac services,” Ms Balodis said.
The cardiac unit also will be represented by cyclists on the ride calling themselves Cardiac Maniacs, who are one of the top fundraisers this year.
IMPORTANT:
The downward lane of Kuranda Range will be closed from 5.30am to 9am on Saturday, September 19 to enable only the fittest cyclists to ride the range in safety. Anyone who has not finished the Range ride in time will be taken off and bused up to Kuranda. The Foundation will endeavour to have everyone off the Range by 8.15am.

www.cardiacchallenge.com.au

 

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