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Gold Coast Hospital Foundation

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$16,767.13 raised

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Gold Coast Hospital Foundation is proud to work alongside the incredibly dedicated Gold Coast Hospital Health Service Oncology team to deliver world class treatment and care to local cancer patients. Funds raised will go towards funding Cutting Edge Medical Equipment for Oncology Services and our Cancer Patient Transport Service.

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Go Dry in July and help local cancer patients get to and from hospital for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, tests and appointments.

Gold Coast Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Patient Transport Service provides an invaluable lifeline for local cancer patients like Paulette, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2011.

Paulette was one of the first patients to use the Foundation’s Cancer Patient Transport Service and still benefits from this crucial service today. Without the Cancer Patient Transport Service, Paulette and fellow cancer patients would worry how to travel safely and reliably to hospital and back home.

“When you’re a regular like me, it gives you independence. You can’t expect to rely on family, friends or neighbours to drive you all the time. It’s an essential service that is vital to our wellbeing,” Paulette said.

By taking part in Dry July and choosing to fundraise for Gold Coast Hospital Foundation, you will be providing much-needed funding for the vital transport service, which provides approximately 5,300 important journeys to hospital each year, helping more than 960 cancer patients across the Gold Coast who are too ill to drive or unable to afford transport.

Go Dry in July and help local cancer patients get to and from hospital for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, tests and appointments.

We wanted to say a HUGE thank you to our Dry July fundraisers of 2019 and the Dry July Foundation for providing two portable Lumify Ultrasound systems

This equipment provides our wonderful Oncology nurses the chance to cannulate those patients having treatment in the very busy Cancer Day Unit with difficult venous access the first time and make this the best attempt! This causes less distress to patients.

We purchased 4 tablets that work in conjunction with these machines and support staff training. The cost of the bundles included training from the supplier to "super users" clinical nurses who have developed a program to train all required staff on the use of this equipment.

Oncology and Haematology patients receive long term treatments which can involve multiple cannulations with difficult peripheral access. Their veins can be compromised by chemotherapy, surgical procedures (mastectomy & lumpectomy), blood disorders and the psychological burden of many attempts and multiple cannulations over a long period of time.

This equipment is invaluable for patients who have difficult venous access. The ultrasound machine assists in limiting psychological and physiological damage caused by too many cannulation attempts.

The nurses in the Cancer Day Unit are overjoyed by receiving this gift through Dry July. Many of our Dry July fundraisers are the very nurses who benefit from these wonderful donations. We honestly can’t thank you enough for helping cancer patients on the Gold Coast.

Transport to Treatment vehicle purchase for Gold Coast Hospital

Throughout the cancer journey, patients experience a variety of challenges. From the mental and emotional turmoil of being diagnosed with a life threatening disease, to being physically affected by the various methods of treatment. The reality of cancer treatment is harsh, with many physical side effects impacting the patient’s ability to function as they usually would. The task of getting to and from the hospital, before and after radiation or chemotherapy treatment, can be daunting and extremely challenging for many patients. The Cancer Bus Service provides these patients with a reliable transport service that sees them returned home safely after their treatment. This years campaign funds and a grant from the Dry July Foundation will enable patients to continue to attend their appointments with one less worry. You can view a video about the service here.

Bus service an ‘absolute lifeline’ for Gold Coast brain cancer patient

When doctors diagnosed Lisa Gilmer with terminal brain cancer she was given only three months to live. Three years later the 49-year-old remains a survivor of the lethal disease. 

“The only reason I was diagnosed was because my mother came home and found me collapsed on the floor,” said Ms Gilmer from the Gold Coast suburb of Highland Park. 

“Before that I’d been sick for a long time and no one could tell me what it was. I knew something was wrong and I don’t know how many doctors I’d been too. I’d been getting seizures down my arm at night, bad enough to wake me up and I thought I had chronic fatigue syndrome. I even joined a support group for it. I was so tired all the time I had to give up work. The diagnosis didn’t come as a great shock.” 

Ms Gilmer spent three days in the ICU at the Gold Coast University Hospital. First came the biopsy to enable doctors to make an accurate diagnosis and then came six weeks of radiation followed by chemotherapy tablets. 

“They gave me three months … but I’ve always been a bit stubborn. I’m still here. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through,” she said. 

Ms Gilmer has been using the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Patient Transport Service to get to and from treatments for the past three years. The service, which operates from 6am to 6pm five days per week, makes close to 10,000 trips annually for about 1000 patients and Ms Gilmer said it was invaluable for cancer sufferers. 

“You have to think of former Mayor Ron Clarke (who established the service in 2009 in memory of his late daughter Monique who passed away from cancer). All these patients couldn’t survive without the bus service,” she said. 

“You have to have it. If it was shut down people just wouldn’t go to hospital. They couldn’t get there – they just couldn’t do it. The service is just so important. And the staff are absolute legends. They’re amazing. They need their handprints put in the pavement.” 

She said despite the huge challenge of her incredible fight against the disease, and at times feeling like giving up, the staff at the transport service and the hospital always had a way of making her feel more positive. 

“People don’t understand what you are going through. They can sympathise but you can’t describe it to anyone. You feel like you’re in your own world … that you’ve gone into another world. You just have to fight it but it never really seems to end,” she said. 

Despite her mammoth battle, Ms Gilmer has tried to fill her time with positive activities, one being to write children’s book, The Stripy Dachshund, which was recently launched at the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation’s Care for Cancer lunch in March. All funds raised from sales of the book will go to the foundation to help keep the bus service up and running. 

“The Foundation has been my absolute lifeline. I couldn’t have done it without them. I couldn’t have done it without the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation because their bus service is awesome. The staff is awesome. You can’t get to the hospital without them. You can’t rely on other people. You need them to get you there,” she said.  

“People don’t always understand that you have to go to hospital at set times. You have to be there and they’ll say they’ll do it, but they haven’t got time and so that bus service is a lifeline, an absolute lifeline.” 

You can help relieve medical hardship for local patients by supporting our Dry July campaign. 

Thank you to our DRY JULY fund-raisers.

On behalf of all the people in our community fighting to survive cancer, Gold Coast Hospital Foundation would like to thank every one of you and all your family and friends for generously supporting our vital Cancer Patient Transport Service during the 31 day of your Dry July journey. Thanks to your unwavering support, the Foundation will be able to run another 300 journeys with the Cancer Patient Transport Service to help people in our community get to and from hospital for cancer treatment – giving them the greatest chance of having the best medical outcome. We wouldn’t be able to do this without your kind help. Please feel proud of what you have accomplished during Dry July, because you have made a significant difference to so many people affected by cancer. Thank you!