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Monday, 28 May 2007

Gold Week Hits Northern NSW

Gold Week 1 - 7 June 2007
What will you do to raise money for Gold Week?


On 1 June Gold Week is kicking off with people from all corners of NSW celebrating life to help sick kids like little Jonathon from Coffs Harbour, NSW on the Northern NSW.

There is not a community from NSW that has not been touched by Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

When the parents of 12 year-old Jonathon of Coffs Harbour noticed changes in his personality, and physical symptoms such as an unbalanced gate and blurred vision, they knew something serious was wrong with their son.

When an MRI scan revealed a medulloblastoma, a large, life-threatening tumour on his brain stem, he was immediately referred to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, for treatment by Neuro-Oncology specialists.

A nine hour operation followed with 70% of the tumour successfully removed however, he then underwent radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy to eliminate the remaining cancer.

After one long year after diagnosis, finally Jonathon was given the all clear and allowed to return to his home town of Coffs Harbour. Today, two years on, Jonathon is studying for his School Certificate.

“We were so lucky. Jonny’s side effects from surgery are minimal and now, two years later he is putting it all behind him and getting on with his life, all thanks to the amazing care her received at Sydney Children’s Hospital. I hope people from our community will support Gold Week because they be helping children and families like ours,” said Janet.

Gold Week will be helping many children like Jonathon who come from northern NSW to be treated at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

Gold Week is the major annual fundraising campaign supports the vital work of Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick - one of Australia’s leading specialist medical centres for children recognised nationally and internationally as a centre of excellence in child health.

From June 1 – 7 the Hospital invites everyone in NSW to get creative and get involved to raise vital funds by holding their own gold themed fundraising activities at home, work, school or play to celebrate life while raising much needed funds that will help seriously ill children.

Ms. Crundall, Chief Executive, SCHF praised the commitment of the community to help the Hospital during Gold Week. “In 2006 we were overwhelmed by the fabulous ideas and the extraordinary support the community put behind the inaugural Gold Week. This year we aim to raise more than $1Million dollars and every cent raised will help us to meet our target. No matter where you live, from Coffs Harbour to Cooma, from Cassino to Cobar, I urge the NSW community to support Gold Week. Your support will directly benefit the lives of seriously ill children like Jonathon treated at the Hospital,” Ms. Crundall said.

Hold a Gold Week event or buy a pin at any Coffee Club, Coles and Bi-Lo Supermarket, Millers Fashion Club, Harris Farm Markets or BIG W variety stores. Or, make a donation at any NAB Branch or on-line or post to Locked Bag 5, Randwick 2031. Log on at www.goldweek.org.au , or call 1800 644 336 to find out how you can support Gold Week.

Get involved, get creative and get behind Gold Week to raise vital funds for Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick - caring for seriously ill children from all corners of NSW and beyond…

What will you do to raise money for Gold Week?

END
Contact us for a list of local fundraising activities in your region and to arrange an interview with Elizabeth Crundall – Chief Executive, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation
Clare Collins      Kate Meikle
Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation     Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation
Ph: 9382 1188      Ph: 9382 1188
Mobile: 0414 821 957     Mobile: 0412 641 611
Email: clare.collins@SESIAHS.health.nsw.gov.au     Email: kate.meikle@sesiahs.health.nsw.gov.au


JOURNALIST NOTES

The Gold Week fundraising activities the people of NSW can create are limitless. Everything from raffling a day off at work, to fashion parades, dinner parties, gold lunches, breakfasts and even gold mufti days and sports days for schools.

Gold Week events can be as simple or elaborate as people want. They can be something that people already do such as hosting a trivia night, breakfast, dinner, barbecue, sporting event or competition, a raffle or a dance. The ideas are limitless.

The community can also support Gold Week by purchasing a Gold Week pin throughout NSW from Big W, Coffee Club, Coles and Bi Lo supermarkets, Millers Fashion Club stores, Harris Farm Markets and any branch of the NAB. They can also make a donation at NAB, online at www.goldweek.org.au, or by credit card by calling 1800 644 336.

To find out more about Gold Week and be inspired by some gold ideas, register your event or make a donation go to www.goldweek.org.au or call Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation on 1800 644 336 for more information.

To find out more about Sydney Children’s Hospital and the difference you can make by supporting Gold Week, meet some of our inspiring patients at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_hlU9h4Hrc



Jonathon’s Story

Jonathon’s parents grew concerned about their 12 year old son from Coffs Harbour when his thoughtful personality became uncharacteristically bad tempered, one eye started closing involuntarily, he was walking unbalanced and complaining of double vision. They knew that these symptoms weren’t just ‘growing pains’ and took Jonathon to their local doctor for a series of tests.

A MRI scan revealed their worst fears. Jonathon had a medulloblastoma, a large tumour on his brain stem. The next day the shocked family were on a plane from their home in Coffs Harbour to the Neuro-Oncology specialists at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. The life threatening tumour needed to be surgically removed as soon as possible.

“Jonny was incredibly brave and recovered well from his nine hour operation which removed 70% of the tumour,” said Jonathon’s mum, Janet.

“We were prepared for a long hospital stay and a tough battle after the surgery as we knew Jonny would have to undergo radiotherapy and chemotherapy to eliminate the rest of the cancer that was not removed during surgery,” she said.

Two weeks after the surgery, Jonathon began a month of intensive radiotherapy on his brain and his spine. He lost his hair, couldn’t eat and missed his friends from home. Following the radiotherapy, he bravely endured four more months of intense chemotherapy at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

“We took every day one step and a time, but we had our share of dark days. We kept hoping that the treatment would work,” said Janet.

One long year after diagnosis, Jonathon was given the all clear and his overjoyed family took him home.

“We were so lucky. Jonny’s side effects from surgery are minimal and now, two years later he is doing his School Certificate and putting it all behind him, all thanks to the amazing care her received at Sydney Children’s Hospital,” said Janet.

Gold Week will be helping many children like Jonathon who come from all corners of NSW and beyond to be treated at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

For Further Information Contact:

Clare Collins, Communications and Gold Week Manager Tel: 9382 1188



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