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Fundraising For

Funds raised this Dry July will help fund a handheld ultrasound machine to transform access to veins improving treatment for chemotherapy patients

About Us

We are Flinders Foundation.

Each year, Flinders Medical Centre provides around 45,000 appointments for people with cancer and more than 2,500 South Australians are diagnosed with the disease.

Cancer challenges lives, changes dreams and calls for courage. At Flinders Foundation, we are committed to hope and healing, to enhancing cancer outcomes through world-class research and compassionate care that leads to breakthroughs, cures and wellness for people affected by this disease.

By working together with organisations such as the Dry July Foundation, and generous individuals and fundraisers in our community, patients and their families can continue to receive the best treatment, care and support.

By signing up for Dry July and raising funds for Flinders Foundation, you will support the ongoing delivery of life-changing services and programs. Thank you for supporting Flinders Foundation to prevent, cure and care.

Latest Updates

Equipping Flinders Infusion Suite with essential ultrasound machine

Dry July isn't just about giving up alcohol for a month, it’s about making a meaningful impact in the lives of those affected by cancer. This year, Flinders Foundation is asking Dry July participants to help contribute to enhancing the care and comfort of cancer patients in the Flinders Infusion Suite.

Imagine undergoing chemotherapy and facing the added stress of multiple attempts at vein access. This is where your support comes in. By going dry this July, you can help fund an essential handheld ultrasound machine, specifically designed to assist with difficult venous access.

“This technology will make the vein location process much smoother, reducing patient anxiety, discomfort, and the need for multiple cannulation attempts,” says Joan Schumacher, Nurse Unit Manager of the Flinders Infusion Suite and Noarlunga Infusion Centre.

Kylie, who is being treated for stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, knows firsthand the challenges of accessing veins during chemotherapy sessions.

"Even before I had cancer and started chemotherapy, my veins were awful," Kylie shares. "I’m a person with very tricky veins."

"The nurses are highly skilled but with veins like mine it can still be difficult…it makes you nervous each time you come for treatment."

When Kylie first began chemotherapy, some eight years ago, it was administered by cannula, but her veins were so tricky to access she soon moved to a PICC line, and later a port, which she continues to have today.

Kylie emphasises the importance of the ultrasound machine - which she’s had the benefit of trialling elsewhere during CT scans with great success.

"With the ultrasound, it’s so much easier, quicker, and less painful and really one less thing to worry about,” she says.

“I’m so pleased people who have tricky veins like me will be able to use this kind of technology to make chemotherapy that bit more comfortable."

The benefits of this ultrasound machine extend beyond vein location. It reduces patient anxiety, lowers infection risks, and saves time for both patients and staff. With over 11,000 episodes of care per year, the Flinders Infusion Suite serves a significant number of patients, representing various cancers and conditions.

Your commitment to Dry July directly supports the efforts to bring an ultrasound machine to the Flinders Infusion Suite to help people like Kylie. Whether you give up alcohol, swap out other indulgences, or simply spread the word, every contribution matters.

"Knowing the nurse will be able to find the vein is a huge stress relief for patients,” adds Joan.

“They're going through so much already; they don't need multiple attempts to put a cannula in – this will be one less stress in their day."

Every donation, large or small, brings us closer to our goal of enhancing patient care and comfort in the Flinders Infusion Suite. Together, let's make this Dry July one to remember by supporting people in need.

Thank you for your generosity and commitment to making a difference.

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Your amazing Dry July fundraising is helping support Flinders Foundation

Thank you for supporting Flinders Foundation this Dry July.

Together we raised over $18,000 which will purchase a SOZO machine for the Breast and Endocrine Clinic at Flinders so many of the 7,500 patients who visit the clinic each year - with either a new breast cancer diagnosis or for ongoing check-ups - can be monitored for developing breast cancer-related lymphoedema. This will give patients affected by breast cancer the best chance of detecting lymphoedema early, so treatment can start as soon as possible to stop the condition from progressing.

Joanne's Story

“The thing about cancer is that it just keeps on giving. You’re never really free of it. I know I’ve done the hard stuff. I’ve ticked off surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, more surgeries, losing my hair, feeling unwell and the mental exhaustion. I’m in remission now and believe me, I’m so grateful to be here... but there’s always going to be more.  You’re always on alert, there’s always surveillance and check-ups... and for me there’s also lymphedema. It just means I can’t ever completely move on.”

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, Joanne endured multiple surgeries, including double mastectomy and removal of lymph nodes, as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

While pleasingly she’s now in remission, Joanne is one of an unfortunate number of patients who go on to develop breast cancer-related lymphoedema, which occurs when lymph nodes are removed or damaged during cancer surgery or radiotherapy.

The condition causes swelling and discomfort in the arm, breast or hand, and can be painful and have wide ranging impacts on quality of life.

“It can be a strange feeling because if feels like my arm isn’t strong enough,” Joanne explains. “I often get pins and needles in my hands and when there’s lots of fluid in my arm it blows up and it’s so heavy it hurts.“I have to be really mindful of my environment and to not do too much. “If I have a shower that’s a bit too hot, or the weather is hot, if really flares up; I can’t do too much housework or bear too much weight; and I can’t wear rings or tight clothes.”

To help ease her lymphoedema symptoms, Joanne has lymphatic massage to help drain fluid build-up and wears a compression garment. But she says it can make her feel self-conscious and serves as another reminder of her cancer. “I’m grateful to be here and I know lymphoedema isn’t the worst thing out of all that I've been through,” Joanne says. “But I refer to it as that final slap in the face because it will always be there...and you just have to live with it.”

Sadly, there is no known cure for lymphoedema. But early diagnosis and treatment make it easier to manage.  To help with this, it is recommended that patients have ‘baseline’ measurements of their arm taken before surgery and treatment, and regularly afterwards to detect any changes.  This can be done using a SOZO machine which gives a precise snapshot of tissue composition and fluid build-up in the limb.

You can help bring a SOZO machine to the Breast and Endocrine Clinic at Flinders, so many of the 7,500 patients who visit the clinic each year - with either a new breast cancer diagnosis or for ongoing check-ups - can be monitored for developing breast cancer-related lymphoedema.

This will give patients affected by breast cancer the best chance of detecting lymphoedema early, so treatment can start as soon as possible to stop the condition progressing.

“Lymphoedema can occur any time after surgery, and it may even begin several years after surgery,” explains Amanda Jones, Advanced Nurse Consultant in Flinders Medical Centre’s Breast and Endocrine Clinic. “Often lymphoedema presents right at a time when people are trying to move on from their acute cancer treatment and regain their quality of life, and this can have a huge impact on their emotional wellbeing as well as their physical wellbeing. “This early detection using the SOZO machine allows treatment to begin proactively to potentially slow progression and help reduce long-term physical and functional impacts, including reducing swelling and preventing infections.”

Flinders Foundation can now fund dietetics and physiotherapy services thanks to Dry July fundraising

Your fundraising for Dry July will enable Flinders Foundation to fund dietetics and physiotherapy services offered through the Cancer Wellness Centre, which is the focal point of a cancer wellness program to help ease the burden of cancer and address many of the unmet needs of patients and their families during and after cancer treatment.

The dietetics and physiotherapy services will provide practical advice and tips for patients and their families on the effective management of diet and exercise, during and after cancer treatment.

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.”

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