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Flinders Foundation

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Working together to prevent, cure and care.

That simple sentence sums up Flinders Foundation’s purpose – to work together with individuals and organisations in the community to support health and medical research and improve patient care across the Flinders medical precinct.

Together, we raise vital funds to support the leading clinicians and researchers across Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University to make medical discoveries and improve the care available to patients and their families – including those facing cancer.

Each year more than 2,500 South Australians are diagnosed with cancer at Flinders, and the hospital provides more than 30,000 appointments annually for people with cancer.

By working together with organisations such as the Dry July Foundation, and generous individuals and fundraisers in our community, the inspiring cancer researchers at Flinders can get closer to the next breakthrough, and patients and their families can continue to receive the best treatment, care and support.

This support includes opening the $30 million Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer in 2012. This unique centre combines compassionate care, world leading research and comprehensive support programs for people living with cancer, all under the same roof.

In February 2020, Flinders Foundation worked in partnership with Dry July to open a new Cancer Wellness Centre on the ground floor of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. The centre provides a range of services to help patients and their families to help ease the burden of cancer and address many of the unmet needs of patients and their families during and after cancer treatment – many of which can be lifelong.

This extra support focuses on a range of physical, educational, emotional and practical impacts which cancer can have, including fatigue, anxiety, dietary, financial and employment concerns, among others.

By signing up for Dry July and raising funds for Flinders Foundation, your support will contribute to cancer wellness exercise classes and dietetic group education sessions.
Thank you for supporting Flinders Foundation to prevent, cure and care.

Latest Updates

Flinders Foundation purchase a new FibroScan machine for the Flinders Medical Centre Hepatology and Liver Unit

Patients at Flinders Medical Centre, and across regional and remote South Australia, are now receiving the monitoring they need to help detect liver cancer before it’s too late…thanks to Dry July!

This state-of-the art equipment provides a non-invasive way of assessing the amount of fibrosis or scarring in a liver, without the need for an invasive liver biopsy.

The amount of fibrosis is a critical risk factor for liver cancer, and by detecting liver issues earlier through a FibroScan, more treatments and enrolment in a cancer surveillance program can be initiated to give patients the best chance of a good outcome.

Professor Alan Wigg, Head of Flinders’ Hepatology and Liver Transplantation Medicine Unit, said in the few short months since the FibroScan arrived at Flinders, it had clocked up plenty of miles - travelling to outreach clinics across Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (the APY lands) as well as regional areas including Coober Pedy, Port Augusta and Yalata.

“The additional FibroScan has given us the flexibility to do the work we need to do – whether that be in the clinic at Flinders or in the community,” Professor Wigg said.

“We can have one based at Flinders and one travelling around which means we don’t have to put any patients on hold and everyone can get a FibroScan that day.

“With an instant electronic result, patients can either go away with the reassurance of knowing there’s no sign of significant liver disease, or we can quickly identify which patients are at a much higher risk and organise for them to have follow up testing.

“It’s also portable, and fits in carry-on luggage by only weighing 10 kilograms.”

The FibroScan is also helping many patients avoid invasive testing, including the need for an endoscopy or biopsy.

Professor Wigg was grateful to Dry July for bringing the FibroScan to Flinders, while also spreading the message about alcohol minimisation and safe consumption.

“One of the complications of liver cirrhosis is liver cancer, which is unfortunately the most rapidly rising cancer in Australia,” he said.

“It’s important that we are able to identify those patients who are at higher risk of developing this, and the FibroScan helps us to do that.”


Cancer Wellness Goes Virtual, Thanks To Dry July!

Many face-to-face cancer wellness programs have been unable to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect vulnerable cancer patients and their families. But the generosity of the Dry July Foundation has ensured patients can still access some of these - all from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

This funding enabled the Arts in Health service at Flinders Medical Centre to create a range of online videos and resources for patients, their carers and families including meditation and relaxation to music, art therapy, creative writing, journal making and illustration, guided art making and uplifting music.

Arts in Health at FMC Manager Sally Francis says the online resources had been tailored to meet the specific needs of those experiencing cancer and are delivered by experienced artists and Arts in Health practitioners.

“The initial production of the video resources was a reflexive response to the restrictions of COVID-19, meaning patients no longer had physical access to the Cancer Wellness Centre. Prior to this, patients were enjoying creative workshops and music for relaxation in the centre itself,” Sally explained.

“Feedback gained from patients prior to the Cancer Wellness Centre closure illustrated the soothing and calming benefits of engaging in an art activity or relaxation to music.

“Writing and journaling activities also help people with cancer to reflect and tell their personal stories and art therapy offers processes for patients to process and externalise their experience through creative expression.

“The practical outcomes of these engagements mean people can feel supported and guided to learn a new skill.”

Among those to use the online videos was Pam Priadko, who was diagnosed with Lymphoma six years ago. Having undergone chemotherapy, Pam still attends regular appointments at Flinders and is involved in a local cancer support group.

“I quite liked the journaling videos as I’ve journaled in the past about my cancer journey,” Pam said.

“It’s a nice activity to do to create something just for you, and to do when you have time to stop and reflect. The videos were well done and explain how to get started in a way that’s helpful for those who may not have done it before.”

Pam is looking forward to many of the Arts in Health activities and other cancer wellness programs re-commencing in-person soon, to provide more support for those living with cancer.

“Cancer is such a shock and a real journey, and I really recognise the value in getting together with other people to talk about it, and hear how others are feeling,” Pam says.

“It’s also valuable to hear from others about how to access services, information or other tips - whether that be related to cancer or to other aspects of life, because life still goes on.”

Arts in Health online resources and activities can be accessed here 

Flinders Foundation to purchase a Fibroscanner thanks to Dry July fundraising

Thanks to the outstanding efforts of Dry July 2020 participants, Flinders Foundation will be purchasing a FibroScan - vital equipment which allows a non-invasive way of assessing the amount of fibrosis or scarring in a liver, without the need for an invasive liver biopsy.

The amount of fibrosis is a critical risk factor for liver cancer – the more fibrosis, the greater the risk of cancer. By detecting liver issues earlier through a FibroScan, more immediate intervention and treatments can be initiated which will lead to better patient outcomes. 

Dry July 2020 participants support will truly be life-changing for many South Australians, including those visiting clinics at Flinders Medical Centre and in remote indigenous communities. 

Flinders Foundation would like to thank Dry Julyers for their support and contribution to making a positive difference in the lives of people affected by cancer. 



David knows the importance of early detection of Liver Cancer

Go Dry this July and help more people like David

If it wasn’t for regular scans and monitoring, David would be “completely unaware” of the three tumours growing on his liver.

Despite feeling healthy and enjoying retirement and travel, a routine test by David’s GP nearly five years ago showed issues with his liver and he was referred to the Flinders Medical Centre Hepatology and Liver Unit for further tests.

A FibroScan test showed some scarring of David’s liver, often a precursor to liver cancer, so he was placed on a surveillance program to regularly monitor his condition.

“They’ve kept tabs on me, but unfortunately earlier this year a couple of shadows on the scans turned into something more sinister,” David says.

Those scans revealed three tumours on his liver.

With no other symptoms, David says he’d still be unaware of the tumours had they not been picked up during the scheduled checks.

“I wouldn’t know anything was wrong. I still feel fine, I walk lots, and I’ve got a good appetite,” David says.

“The doctor told me if they hadn’t been picked up, and without treatment, I’d have 18 months to two years to live. I’ve got two granddaughters so the possibility of not seeing them grow up hit me a bit.”

But thanks to this earlier detection, David has received chemotherapy treatment aimed at shrinking the tumours and stalling their growth. And in good news, last week he was told by doctors the chemotherapy is working

“I’m certainly grateful to find out earlier rather than later so I have some treatment options,” he says.

Now Flinders Foundation is encouraging the community to sign up to Dry July and help raise funds to buy a new FibroScan for Flinders, so more people like David can receive the monitoring they need and help detect liver cancer before it’s too late.

Sign up at www.dryjuly.com/flinders


Flinders Cancer Wellness Centre open thanks to Dry July

Thanks to Dry July participants and the generosity of the Dry July Foundation, patients and their families affected by cancer are now receiving additional support with a new Cancer Wellness Centre opened at Flinders in February 2020.

The new centre is the focal point of a new cancer wellness program, designed to ease the burden of cancer and address many of the unmet needs of patients and their families during and after cancer treatment – many of which can be lifelong.

This extra support focuses on a range of physical, educational, emotional and practical impacts which cancer can often have, including fatigue, anxiety, dietary, financial and employment concerns, among others. The centre will also be a valuable conduit in connecting patients and carers with support groups and other services in the community.

It's only thanks to the generosity of organisations and fundraisers in the community - like Dry July - that this was made possible. Thank you!

Funds raised by 2019 Dry July participants provided vital funding for Arts in Health programs in the centre, including art and music therapy, and activities which promote wellness including meditation.

Clinical Director for Cancer Services Professor Chris Karapetis was grateful for the role Dry July participants and the Dry July Foundation have played in establishing this centre.

“For many, being diagnosed with cancer is the most traumatic life event they will experience. They can be overwhelmed with information, and at the same time often don’t know where to turn to for help in addressing the ‘knock-on’ effects of cancer,” Professor Karapetis said.

“In having a new and unique space like the Wellness Centre, we’ll be able to extend support beyond treating just cancer itself, and provide patients and their families with holistic support that encompasses all aspects that contribute to a healthier life so they can really thrive, during and after cancer.”

Thank you so much for participating in Dry July, and supporting people affected by cancer. Your efforts make an incredible impact.