News

Generous community gives back 6/10/2017

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

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

 

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Ride brings goal closer 4/10/2017

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

 

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Sea of jerseys floods highways 14/09/2017

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

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

 

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Cardiac's deadly new cyclists 13/09/2017

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

 

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Moroccan vegetarian tagine 12/09/2017

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

 

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

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

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Foreign students tackle Challenge 2/09/2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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Lions step in to help 24/08/2017

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

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

 

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Help build a second cardiac lab 21/08/2017

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

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

 

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Couple's lasting gifts 16/08/2017

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

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

 

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What are the odds? 14/08/2017

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Thanks for special blankets 31/07/2017

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

 

 

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Smile helps sick kids 27/07/2017

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

Photos: TOP: Sam Breckenridge.

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

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Loss motivates family 25/07/2017

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

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Power-ful boost for volunteers 18/07/2017

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

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

 

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Memory lives on in Mossman 11/07/2017

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

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

Photo 2: Roger and Marie in happier times.

Photo 3: Roger and Dr d'Souza.

Photo 4: The new OPG machine at Mossman Hospital.

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Fix hearts in Far North Queensland 6/07/2017

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

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

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

 

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Beef & Pasta Ragout 4/07/2017

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

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Booze free for a good cause 23/06/2017

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

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

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Revved up to raise funds 7/06/2017

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

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

 

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Coffee helps buy equipment 2/06/2017

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

 

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

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

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Donation a generous gift 1/06/2017

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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Campaign makes a difference 29/05/2017

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

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

 

 

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Pallet fundraiser saves lives 18/05/2017

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

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

 

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Pioneering cyclists raise funds 11/05/2017

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

 

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All aboard for charity ride 28/04/2017

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

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FNQ ride a great fundraiser 21/04/2017

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

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FNQ charity seeks board members 9/04/2017

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

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Fridges latest generous donation 6/04/2017

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

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

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Cafes underpin success 5/04/2017


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


 

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Cyclists save many lives 5/04/2017

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

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Happy birthday to us! 22/03/2017

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

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

 

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Jet skiers help cancer patients 17/03/2017

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

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

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ALL things pregnancy and baby 8/03/2017

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

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

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Jamaican jerk chicken 2/03/2017

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

 

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Tribute paid to volunteers 21/02/2017

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

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

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

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

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Riding the roads less travelled 20/02/2017

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

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

 

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Home town treatment now offered 13/02/2017

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


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

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Grandad gives jetski to family 3/02/2017

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

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

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Volunteers thanked for hard work 31/01/2017

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

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

 

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Jim's reason to ride 24/01/2017

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

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

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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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