Flinders Medical Centre Foundation
Flinders Medical Centre Foundation



Thursday, 01 August 2013 09:32


After raising more than $185,000 for the FMC Foundation, two inspirational teams of fundraisers have returned from two unforgettable adventures this month which took them cycling across the UK and climbing to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Both challenges pushed the endurance of participants and tested their physical and mental limits, but their efforts were rewarded with breathtaking scenery and an unrivalled sense of accomplishment.

In June, 23 fundraisers cycled the entire length of Great Britain in two weeks in the Land's End to John o'Groats Cancer Cycle Challenge.

Departing from the tip of Cornwall, the South Western corner of England, the group rode an average of 115km per day and cycled between B&B accommodations as they made the journey to the north-west tip of Scotland.

Their journey of 1000 miles (1600km) saw the team ride through narrow country lanes, steep Cornish hills, across moors and roaming sheep and ponies, through Tudor villages, farm lands and canola fields, and through the rugged Scottish highlands.

Fortunate with the weather for the majority of the fortnight, the team were challenged by tricky navigation (some were more challenged than others), and by steep climbs and pot holed roads. 

Through their adventure the team has raised more than $106,000 for cancer research in the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer.

In July, 18 participants departed for Tanzania via Bangkok to begin their trek to the top of Africa's highest mountain.

The team took time to adjust to the extreme altitudes by gradually ascending to camps at 2650m, 3800m and 4330m, and 4730m before their final sunrise hike to the 5895m summit, under the watchful eye of the team doctor and the variety of doctors, paramedics and fitness professionals who had signed up for the challenge.

While extreme altitude sickness was unavoidable for some, every participant gave it 100 per cent - camping and trekking in sub zero temperatures on what was often steep and rocky terrain.

By conquering Kili the group raised an amazing $81,000 for a number of different areas of the hospital and research including cancer research, Alzheimer's, mental health and the Neonatal Unit.


Photos from the two challenges can be viewed on the FMC Foundation's Facebook page www.facebook.com/FMCFoundation


Razzle Dazzle for 2013pinkyellowblueball

Friday, 28 June 2013 00:00

Australia's leading lady of musical theatre Marina Prior will headline the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation's Broadway spectacular 2013pinkyellowblueball on October 26th, proudly supported by principal partner Aussie.


The glamorous songstress will regale more than 700 guests at the gala dinner held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre with excerpts from her career in music theatre spanning thirty years.


As well as dazzling performances by other special guests, attendees on the night will be treated to the finest South Australian wine and cuisine whilst being transported to the glitz and glamour of the hottest street in New York - Broadway.


Hear your favourite musical numbers from Les Miserables, Cats, Phantom of the Opera and more - performed as you have never heard them before.


There is also a Toyota Yaris to be won, kindly donated by ongoing supporters Toyota, as well as plenty of other prizes, main and silent auction items.


Always a night to remember, the 2012pinkyellowblueball raised $250,000 for vital cancer research in the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer.


Jamie Lowden and Garry Hersey from Aussie are returning as principal partners of the event for the fourth year, bringing their contribution to date to more than $80,000 for cancer research.


This unique event allows attendees to nominate the area of cancer research they want funds raised to support. Pink tables support cancers affecting women, blue tables represent cancers affecting men and yellow tables represent all cancers.


For bookings or more information call (08) 8204 5216 or click here to download a booking form.


On the path to better bone health

Friday, 28 June 2013 00:00

As Australia's population ages, degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis will take an increasing toll on the nation's healthcare system.


In a bid to prevent the burden of disease, researchers from Flinders University are using advanced microscopic techniques to better understand how and why bone loss occurs in the elderly.


Chief investigator Dr Egon Perilli said a special X-ray method known as a micro-computed tomography, or micro-CT, is enabling his team to analyse the complex structures of the skeletal system, including bone density and the thin internal features of the bone, in 3D.


He said the technique allows researchers to characterise the "microarchitecture" of the bone at a level which cannot be seen with conventional scanners in clinics.


"Conventionally, to see images at the same level, you have to take a biopsy, literally slice it up and look at it under a microscope but when you cut it up you destroy the 3D features," Dr Perilli, Senior Research Fellow based in the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, said.


"On the other hand, micro-CT allows us to preserve the 3D structure of the bone biopsy because you don't need to cut it up to examine it," he said.


"The same bone can also undergo mechanical testing, and the data used in computer simulations, to investigate the relationships between bone density, microarchitecture and mechanical competence.


By understanding how bone loss occurs in the elderly, Dr Perilli said he hoped to develop better diagnostic tools to identify patients at-risk of fractures while creating advances in the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases.


"Many patients currently identified as osteoporotic, and therefore at increased risk of fracture, might not actually experience a fracture later in life. Yet they fall into this risk category because of their low areal bone mineral density; and thus probably receive pharmaceutical treatment.


"However, there are also a number of people who instead don't fall into the osteoporotic category and are possibly not getting treatment when they should.


"So a key aim of this research is to find a way to better diagnose patients at risk.


"If we better understand why bone loss happens, and how to identify when a patient has lost a critical amount of bone that would put them at risk of fracture, we can look at developing more targeted therapies to reduce that risk and also delay, if not obviate, the need for hospitalisation or expensive surgery associated with fracture repair."


Source: Flinders University


New Research for Tiny Hearts

Friday, 31 May 2013 00:00

A 'Speckle Tracking' technology commonly used in the diagnosis and management of heart conditions in adults is being used in a trial at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) to investigate whether it has the same applicability for premature babies.


The $150,000 echocardiography machine for newborns, purchased after an ongoing FMC Foundation fundraising campaign in 2010 thanks to significant donations from Newman's Own Foundation and Coopers Brewery Foundation and other generous supporters, is one of only a handful in operation in South Australia.


The state-of-the-art machine is able to detect rapid changes in premature baby's blood flow and pressures in various chambers in their tiny hearts - as well as the velocity of tissue movement in the heart's chambers.


FMC Consultant Paediatrician Dr Sanjay Sinhal, who is leading the research, said the study would focus on premature babies born with an infection, asphyxia, severe lung disease and poor heart function or low blood pressure due to any other cause.


"With premature babies, their condition can change from minute to minute in the first few hours, so it is important for us to be able to look directly at the heart and assess how it is functioning," Dr Sinhal said.


"We can use stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors to assess heart function, but the echocardiography provides a much more accurate assessment."


Echocardiography is traditionally used in assessing heart structure in newborns and children.


Functional assessment is not yet used widely in day-to-day Neonatal care because of the limited availability of echocardiography machines in Neonatal ICUs, and a lack of research data to understand the information gained.


"We want to establish normative data on various parameters obtained from Tissue Doppler Imaging in premature babies and assess its application in various neonatal conditions."


He said the machine's accuracy in showing changes in the heart would better equip doctors to make decisions about treatment and surgery.


"Functional assessment of the heart can be used any time of the day or night, whenever it is needed, with the echocardiography machine located in-house in the Neonatal ICU."


Dr Sinhal said the echocardiogram software used to analyse Tissue Doppler Images was better placed to monitor the slower heartbeat of an adult - approximately 60-80 beats per minute - and part of the study would be testing if the software could analyse the faster beating heart of a premature baby - approximately 120-180 beats per minute.


FMC researchers are also taking part in the Australian Placental Transfusion Study (APTS), which is the largest ever randomised controlled trial of placental transfusion in premature babies.


Jack Pack on Track for John o'Groats

Thursday, 30 May 2013 13:21


Click here to support the Jack Pack team


Four original members of the “Jack Pack” cycling group are taking on the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation’s UK Cancer Cycle Challenge in June 2013, riding 1600km across Great Britain to raise funds for cancer research.


Richard Wescombe, together with younger brother Lindsay, a cancer survivor, and friends Alan Miller and Mike Wilson, will ride an average of 115km each day which will take them from Land’s End, England to John o’Groats, Scotland in 14 days.


Through their efforts, and the efforts of 20 other riders from across South Australia, the UK Cycle team are hoping to raise $100,000 to support vital research in cancer prevention, early diagnosis, new treatments and patient care in the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer.


Richard, business owner of Snowy’s Outdoors and the first participant to sign up after seeing the UK Cycle Challenge in The Advertiser, said he was motivated both by the adventure and by the cause.


“We’ve got the opportunity to support the wonderful work at Flinders, and have fun at the same time,” he said.


“I’ve lost people close to me to cancer, as everyone has.


“It is thanks to cancer research that my brother, Lindsay, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma 20 years ago, is still alive.”


Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell responsible for the production of bone marrow. During his treatment Lindsay underwent five rounds of radiotherapy, and transplants of bone marrow donated by Richard.


“The bone marrow transplants involved a week of injections to stimulate the bone marrow growth, and then blood was taken through an IV line in a vein and the stem cells were separated and given to Lindsay,” Richard said.


“Ten years ago this procedure would have been much more painful – although I like Lindsay to think I went through a lot for him!”


For Lindsay, who is now in recovery from the cancer, his biggest concern is being able to ride the full distance every day – but he plans to give it his best shot, and jump into the support vehicle if required.


“I’ll just take every day as it comes,” he said.


The “Jack Pack” was established in 2003, and its 24 team members ride every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Individually, Richard, Lindsay, Alan and Mike have raised more than $18,480 for the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation so far.


To support the “Jack Pack” in their fundraising efforts as a team visit www.teamflinders.com.au/ukcycle/fundraisers/jack-pack


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