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Regional Wall Token appeal supports Wishlist and local kids

Shoppers from the Sunshine Coast and the surrounding area can help make a difference for local sick and injured kids like Beerwah local Ethan when they do their grocery shopping this August, as Woolworths and the Children’s Hospital Foundation once again join forces for their annual Regional Wall Token appeal.

Ethan and his twin brother Harrison were born premature at 27 weeks; at eight days old, Harrison passed away. Ethan spent a total of 256 days in hospital and was diagnosed with severe neonatal chronic lung disease requiring respiratory support.

Shoppers can help Ethan and children like him by adding a $2 wall token to their grocery shop from August 21 to September 10. All money raised through local Woolworths supermarkets will help the Children’s Hospital Foundation support the Sunshine Coast University Hospital via Wishlist.

In 2018, the appeal allowed Wishlist to fund several pieces of life-saving equipment including a Video Laryngoscope for the Neonatal Unit at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and important glucose-monitoring equipment for children with Type 1 Diabetes.

To find out more about how the Regional Wall Token campaign will help children like Ethan, please visit

Successful Research Projects

Wishlist and SERTF have committed to fund 13 local research projects to the tune of $363,352 following the 2019 Research Funding Round.

Close to $80,000 in funding will also be directed to important Sepsis research led by Sunshine Coast University’s Paediatric Intensive Care Specialist Dr Paula Lister. The research funding will allow Dr Lister to conduct two sepsis-related projects that will change the way the common disease is diagnosed and treated.

Congratulations to all our successful research applicants!

Read more about each project below:

Applicant: Prof Nicholas Gray
Co-Investigators: Prof Alex Broom, Prof Jennifer Broom, Prof David Johnson, Dr Emma Kirby and Dr Katherine Kenny
Project Title: Social justice and antimicrobial resistance: A sociological study of vulnerability
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $50,000.00

Applicant: Dr Michelle Davison
Co-Investigators: Dr Peter Snelling and Dr Ruaraidh McRitchie
Project Title: BUCKLED: Bedside Ultrasound Conducted in Kids with distal upper Limb fractures in the Emergency Department. A randomised controlled trial.
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $19,992.43

Applicant: Dr Paula Lister
Co-Investigators: Prof Luregn Schlapbach and Ms Amanda Harley
Project Title: Early Resuscitation in Paediatric Sepsis Using Inotropes and Metabolic Support – a randomised controlled pilot study Platform.
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $44,075.46

Applicant: Dr Clare Thomas
Co-Investigators: Dr Michelle Davison, Ms Rebecca Halsall and Dr Lauren Kearney
Project Title: Paediatric education and assessment for non-urgent transfers (PEANUT): Evaluation of the PEANUT project
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $19,723.89

Applicant: Dr Paula Lister
Co-Investigators: Ms Suzanne Parker, Mr Paul Williams and Ms Kayla Doyle
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $39,823.90

Applicant: Dr Rohan Grimley
Co-Investigators: Dr Alison Craswell and Dr Elizabeth Marsden
Project Title: An epidemiological study of emergency department presentation for falls by older people in a regional hospital
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $12,596.52

Applicant: Dr Jessica Hambly
Co-Investigators: Dr Shradha Subedi and Dr Keat Choong
Project Title: Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of 24-hour beta-lactam antimicrobial infusions in elastomeric pump devices
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $20,000.00

Applicant: Dr Rochelle Ryan
Co-Investigators: Dr Scott McDonald, Dr David Grieve, Prof Kerstin Wyssusek, Prof Andre van Zundert, Prof Jeffrey Lipman and Prof Jason Roberts
Project Title: Does cefazolin and metronidazole prophylaxis during elective colorectal surgery achieve therapeutic concentrations in plasma and adipose tissue?
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $10,000.00

Applicant: Prof Tony Stanton
Project Title: Coronary Artery calcium score: Use to Guide management of Hereditary Coronary Artery Disease – (CAUGHT-CAD)
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $47,900.00

Applicant: Ms Amber Jenkins
Co-Investigators: Dr Kendall George and Dr Lauren Kearney
Project Title: Mindfulness-Based Group interventions for mental health concerns in the antenatal period: A mixed methods study
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $9,822.99

Applicant: Dr Ingrid Rosbergen
Co-Investigators: Dr Rohan Grimley, Prof Trevor Russell, Prof Sandy Brauer, Mrs Christine Tracey, Mr Norbert Greveling, Dr John Endacott and Prof Tracy Comans
Project Title: The efficacy of home-based telerehabilitation compared with centre-based community rehabilitation on time spent physically active in people with stroke: a pilot randomised controlled trial
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $19.538.10

Applicant: Dr Timothy Baird
Co-Investigators: Dr Michael Bint, Dr Erin Price, Dr Derek Sarovich and Dr Tamieka Fraser
Project Title: Using metagenomics to improve diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pulmonary infections
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $20,000.00

Applicant: Dr Lauren Kearney
Co-Investigators: Prof Fiona Bogossian, Dr Kendall George, Dr Rachel Reed, Dr Jane Reeves and Dr Tegan Triggs
Project Title: Promoting and facilitating spontaneous vaginal birth in nulliparous women at full term: systematic review, predictive cohort study and development of an evidence-based bundle of care
Total Amount Requested from Wishlist-SERTF Research Grant: $49,881.48

Wishlist funding to help high-risk teens

Sunshine Coast Public School Nurses at the Community Health Hub for Training Day.

A Wishlist grant of $11,250 will fund a new student prevention program aiming to help eliminate alcohol as the leading cause of death for 15-29-year-olds.

The Preventure program, which received the 2019 Primary Prevention Award by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, will begin with a personality test taken by Year 7 and 8 students in many public schools across the Coast.

Workshops that follow are designed to teach positive coping strategies to youth who are at a high-risk of making dangerous choices as they enter their teenage years.

The funding allows 13 School Based Youth Health Nurses, at $750 per person, to receive training across the 15th and 16th of August, so they are qualified to carry out the program.

The Sydney-based trainers will also provide student and teacher manuals and follow-up assistance to the trained school nurses as required.

Chancellor State Secondary College School Based Youth Health Nurse Kerry Percival said the student test and following program is a beneficial way to support teens without overwhelming them.

“Health promotion and early intervention activities form a major part of the role of the School Based Youth Health Nurse,” she said.

“By increasing the nurses capacity to respond in innovative and evidence-based ways to the needs of young people provides a valuable addition to their skill set in schools.

“The test aims to address what these students are prone to, and then put the appropriate skills in their hands to make positive future choices.”

As part of the program, students across the whole year level will complete a personality questionnaire that will identify those most in need of the prevention workshops.

Those at high risk include students scoring above average on traits of impulsivity, anxiety sensitivity, negative thinking or sensation seeking, as well as students with ADHD or trauma disorders.

Once identified, students in each personality-category are invited to be grouped together and attend two 90-minute workshops to participate in goal-setting exercises designed to enhance motivation and change behaviour.

Wishlist’s funding program is possible thanks to the support of people and businesses in our Sunshine Coast community.

The funds for this project come directly from this year’s 92.7 MixFM’s Give Me 5 For Kids Campaign, where over half a million dollars was raised for the health of local children.

Causes for this year’s Give Me 5 For Kids Campaign included funding for Local Clown Doctors, Inter-Hospital Paediatric Critical Care Transport Equipment, Children’s Yoga Therapy and Distraction Therapy.

To find out more or make a donation, visit   

Celebrating The House The Coast Built with Darren Lockyer!

Former Brisbane Broncos Captain Darren Lockyer with the Wishlist team and CEO Lisa Rowe.

Wishlist’s newest emergency hospital house, The House The Coast Built is entering its final stages of construction, as the exterior gets closer and closer to completion.

The affordable accommodation will be a home away from home for families requiring close proximity to their loved ones receiving treatment at SCUH, and aims to be completely finished and housing families by Christmas.

To celebrate the lock-up, Wishlist hosted Lockyer’s Lock Up Lunch, an event designed to thank the tradies and businesses volunteering their time, effort and materials that have brought the project to this exciting stage.

Attendees were treated with a two-course lunch, live music and of course, heard from Ausmar Brand Ambassador and rugby league legend Darren Lockyer!

“The more that local businesses can chip in and assist those hospitals, and create a better experience for the families that need to be at those hospitals, I think that’s great,” Darren said.

Visit The House The Coast Built website to keep up-to-date with the project or donate an item to the house!

Making new friends at Wishlist’s hospital house

Bob Hanson has stayed at Reed House for seven weeks while he receives regular treatment at SCUH.

It’s expected that receiving regular treatment in hospital would take its toll on your mood, but the spirit of Robert (Bob) Hanson couldn’t be brighter.

Bob is in his seventh week of treatment at the Adem Crosby Centre Clinic in the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH), for radiation therapy following stomach surgery he had back in December to remove a cancerous tumour.

During this time, the 76-year-old Gympie man has stayed at Reed House.

Bob said receiving a Reed House brochure at the reception desk of Gympie Hospital was nothing short of a dream come true for him.

“I had driven to my first appointment, but after receiving a hefty needle I got really drowsy and knew the side effects wouldn’t be safe to drive home with,” he said.

“What is great about Reed House is that I can stay somewhere beautiful and peaceful, with friendly volunteers and a driver to take me to all my appointments.

“The driver and I have become quite good friends, sometimes we will stop on the way back and get some dinner together.”

Both Bob and his wife Carol have lived on a Gympie property since he retired 12 years ago, it is also home to chickens, geese and two working dogs.

After Carol had previously needed surgery at SCUH for a broken ankle, and with a farmyard of animals to maintain, the Hanson couple decided Bob would stay at Reed House alone while Carol took care of things back home.

“Someone had to hold down the fort while the boss was away,” Bob laughed.

Originally, Bob was worried he would be lonely at Wishlist’s Nambour hospital house – he quickly learned this was not the case.

“I met an old chap Graham staying at Reed House who had just lost his wife,” he said.

“I’ve got a few miles up on the speedo of life, and I could tell the poor guy was a bit down and in need of some company – so I did what I could to take care of him.

“I absolutely love cooking so instead of making food for just me I started cooking for him too, and when he left to be with his niece in Southport I drew him up a map so he wouldn’t get lost.”

As well as making friends with people, Bob also has a love of animals.

“At 7am sharp everyday two Currawong’s come and sit on the Reed House patio, waiting for me to give them some breakkie,” he said.

“It really is so wonderful. The people, the solitude, the environment – it’s in an element of its own and there’s no complaints coming from me.”

Diabetes funding a WIN for Gympie kids

It’s National Diabetes Week, and in celebration we look back to March when Wishlist funded more than $8 thousand towards glucose monitoring equipment for families in Gympie and surrounding areas.

Thanks to the Children’s Hospital Foundation Woolworths Wall Token Appeal, the equipment can help families adjust to their new lifestyle after their child is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

The life-saving equipment— four Dexcom G5 mobile receivers—works alongside a small sensor that sits just under the skin to continually monitor glucose and sends alerts when levels are dangerous.

As well as reducing the need for regular finger-prick testing, the receiver makes it easier for children with Type 1 Diabetes, and their families, to manage the daily highs and lows that are synonymous with the serious disease.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Diabetes Educator Claire Hyde said the funding of this equipment is a great thing for children in Gympie and surrounding districts.

“The funding has allowed us to purchase the Dexcom Receivers to lend newly diagnosed families,” Ms Hyde said.

“Currently, the sensors are government-funded, but the receivers, which cost around $650, are not.”

Local mum, Charlotte Miln, said their loaned Dexcom G5 Mobile Receiver has helped bring ‘normality’ to their lives while their newly diagnosed son Oscar, travels through the ‘honeymoon period’ of his Type 1 Diabetes diagnoses.

“By learning to read, understand and interpret the arrows on the receiver, we continue to work through the rise and very big falls of his blood glucose levels,” she said. 

“It has given us a chance to act accordingly to his needs and reduced the amount of hypos.

“I know for a fact that he would be having many hypos in a day if we did not have the receiver, we would be lost without it.

“If not for the receiver, we would be only going on how he is feeling at the time by doing lots of finger-prick tests and observing his behaviour, which is no easy task as Oscar also has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“By loaning the receiver, Oscar has gained much confidence and has been engaging in regular everyday activities that any 14-year-old boy likes to do –  For him especially, his Taekwondo training which he loves.

“I can’t thank you enough.”

In addition to the Dexcom Receivers, the foundation has funded an Insulin Pump and has helped 15 kids to attend ‘Camp Diabetes’.

Camp Diabetes allows children with type 1 diabetes to meet and share their experiences with other children who are living with the same condition, while also improving their skills and knowledge in diabetes management.

A further 15 camp places have been generously funded by the Noosa Lions Club.

Telehealth unit to improve Gympie’s emergency paediatric care

Nurse Karen Binger and Wishlist’s Communication Officer Jasmine Hodges standing next to the new Telehealth screen at Gympie Hospital’s Emergency Paediatric Unit.

Unwell children and their families presenting to the Emergency Department at Gympie Hospital will now have access to specialist paediatric doctors via a new Telehealth Unit.

Funded by your local hospital foundation, Wishlist, the unit will allow Gympie-based emergency doctors to video-link with specialist doctors at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) for expert advice on the health of the regions smallest patients.

The important equipment will also reduce the amount of unnecessary travel to SCUH, helping to lower personal costs and anxieties already at an all-time high for the families involved in emergency paediatric medical situations.

Gympie Hospital Maternity Women’s Health Nurse Unit Manager Shaneen Osborne said the $19 thousand unit, which was funded by last year’s Wishlist Jazz and Wine festival, will have a tremendous effect on the delivery of accurate medical advice to the Emergency Department.

“The Telehealth machine will help us have exactly the right person reviewing a patient at any given time,” she said.

“It will alleviate some of the stress on parents and staff because it’s incredibly reassuring to hear another voice and opinion on the matter, particularly from a specialist.

“We are very thankful for Wishlist giving us the chance to use technology like this.”

The Telehealth Unit will also allow for wider discussion on the health of the young patient, and whether their condition requires immediate transfer to SCUH.

“The impact will be massive,” Shaneen said.

“We will be able to faster decide if a child needs to be transferred to SCUH or the Queensland Children’s Hospital.

“I hope that it will keep people close to their homes in Gympie rather than sending children away for an overnight stay on the off chance it turns out to be unnecessary.”

Having a specialist at the ready when time is of the essence means that ultimately the ill child can receive the best treatment suited to their condition, helping to improve their health outcomes.

The Wishlist Jazz and Wine Festival is returning this year on the 10th of August, and aims to further help provide funds for hospitals in our local community.

It will be held at Gympie’s Gunabul Homestead and is set to be bigger and better than ever before.

This year’s major sponsor is Cos Schuh from Schuh Group.

“This year will mark four years of the Wishlist Jazz and Wine Festival helping families in our region,” Mr Schuh said.

“If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, get online and book because you don’t want to miss this one.”

To buy tickets and find out more about the event, visit

Wishlist Wrap – June

I’m writing this fresh from the ‘reveal’ of 92.7Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids appeal, where the Coast again broke Australian records with a whopping $500,644 raised for local paediatric services.

I bang on about it at every opportunity because it needs to be said, again and again.

The Sunshine Coast community is extraordinary. Along with raising half a million dollars in four weeks let’s not forget we’re also building The House the Coast Built. Ausmar Homes, Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids, and more than 50 local businesses are building a home for FREE so families needing to be close to a loved one at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital can stay nearby.

Tally 2019!

It was cold, windy and wet this morning at Alex Surf Lifesaving Club but there in force, as always, was the Mix FM team. Smiling and cheering in the rain were the many faces that we see at every poker and music trivia night, Bovine Bingo breakfast and outdoor broadcast in aid of ‘Give Me 5’. 

92.7 Mix FM choose to devote a month of airtime and effort to the Coast’s favourite fundraising appeal, every year. Many stations across Australia have reduced their commitment to one or two weeks in some places, and nowhere do they come close to what is raised on the Sunshine Coast.

$5.5million is a hell of a lot of medical equipment and resources, and services that simply wouldn’t be available for our children and our families if it wasn’t for Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids.

This morning Marie, Bart and Darius Crowd huddled under the marquee and cheered when the tally was revealed on the balcony of the Club, knowing that their poker night, and Music and Bogan Trivia events had contributed $17,000 to the impressive tally.

Alex Surf Club Manager Ashley Robinson had been there since 5am pegging in marquees so no one was impaled.

Australia Zoo launch

Darren Venning from Sunshine Toyota presented a cheque for $32,400 and as a long-term alliance partner of Wishlist I am particularly proud of him and his team for again digging deep and dedicating their efforts to our cause… local families.

Mieke Griggs, the appeal coordinator for the fourth year now, smiled quietly through the morning and I only learned today that she’d been in hospital during June with an illness that couldn’t keep her down for long. Somehow, she still managed to be everywhere without missing a beat or dropping a ball. I hope you feel incredibly proud of yourself Mieke, because it’s not an easy gig and yet you manage to make it look effortless – and always with that beautiful smile.

Then there’s Mark and Caroline. Between them they devoted more than 200 extra working hours to attend fundraising events, collect cheques and rally the community for the cause. To say they go above and beyond for their work and for our families is an understatement. Caroline is involved in every aspect of the appeal, scrutinising the tally sheet after every event, chasing dollars pledged and hitting up everyone she knows to help out. Of course, they do because there’s no woman more loved in this town, for her charity work, her on-air banter and insight, and her beautiful, generous soul. 

The ‘reveal’ is always an emotional morning for me, and for our team. I’ve worked for Wishlist for 18 years and the magic of what we do, as a community, is never lost on me. When I see jubilation like I witnessed this morning, and the tired and happy faces of people I genuinely love – I feel so very grateful for this life I live.

Thank you so very much to everyone changing the world right now, everyone who gave to Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids, who volunteered to help, cook cakes, sell artwork –  and a big, warm, grateful hug to Ausmar Homes and all those building The House the Coast Built. 

Thank you, so very much to 92.7Mix FM for 20 years of Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids and $5.5million worth of better services, distraction, comfort, music and laughter for our sick kids.

We’re lucky to have you.

Keeping loved-ones close when it’s needed most

Shirley and Neville Teale thanked Reed House for the support they received while Neville was a patient at SCUH.

When you’re spending tough days in hospital, it is the support of family and the comfort of home that help many patients of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital find strength.
This was incredibly important to Shirley and Neville Teale.
After five previous skin grafts, the squamous cell carcinomas on top of Neville’s head could not be completely cleared.
When Neville was told he needed daily radiation for five weeks at GenesisCare to treat the nasty skin cancer, he and his wife knew he would be too weak to travel to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital from his Gympie home every day.
“My husband is very frail and he wouldn’t have been able to travel backwards and forwards, so our only option was to stay somewhere close,” Shirley said.
As the search began for a place to stay, the elderly couple received a brochure for Reed House—Wishlist’s affordable hospital accommodation facility in Nambour.
Shirley said the second she got onto the phone to Reed House she fell in love right away and decided that’s where they would spend their weekdays, opting to travel home on the weekends.
“For me it relieved a lot of stress because I was worrying about the logistics of getting there and bringing him home,” she said.
“He is so dependent on me so we knew we had to stick together and get a bit of help.
“The days were really wearing him out too so there’s no way he could’ve done it alone.”
Shirley described the house as “peaceful,” and the Teale couple found it to be the perfect place to unwind and rest together after some of the rougher days spent in hospital.
“It was just such a relaxing place to be, we were able to make ourselves right at home,” she said.
“The house itself was lovely, and the hospital was only about a 10-minute drive away.
“We could just come back to rest and be with each other after some big days, it was wonderful.”
They made themselves comfortable, with Shirley even purchasing any extra kitchen equipment she needed and deciding to donate it to the house for whoever may need it next.
Shirley also highly commended the volunteer help her and Neville received every day during their stay.
“The volunteer ladies were amazing,” she said.
“They brought up our luggage to our room, cleaned the room and drove us to the radiation sessions every day.
“They couldn’t have been better, they even helped Neville out of the car.”
To make journeying to the hospital even easier, Wishlist’s newest project, The House The Coast Built, will be a six-bedroom home in Birtinya and only a short walk to the hospital.
Shirley said hospital accommodation that is affordable and in a convenient location is incredibly important, as it helps to make a difficult process much easier.
“If the ground is flat and easy for elderly couples to walk up I think it will be fantastic,” she said.
“You’ll be able to get a bit of fresh air and if your only option is to drive you’ll also save a lot of money that way.”
To learn more about Wishlist’s accommodation project, visit

Reed House: A home away from home when disaster strikes

Picture Contributed
The Leese family stayed at Reed House while Isabella recovered from pneumonia.

Families go on holiday to enjoy some relaxing time together, but the Leese family’s holiday to the Coast turned into nothing short of a nightmare.
The Northern Sydney family of five finished their holiday at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) when their 9-year-old daughter Isabella became unexpectedly sick.
“We were on holidays on the Sunshine Coast when my daughter was admitted to SCUH with severe pneumonia,” Isabella’s mother Sally said.
“It’s stressful enough having a loved one in hospital when you are away from home and not having anywhere to stay just adds to the stress.”
Because their daughter’s illness struck during the busy January school holiday period, the Leese family needed to vacate their resort and find somewhere else to stay – and fast.
“We knew that our holiday accommodation was going to end before Isabella would be discharged from hospital. The peak holiday season made it hard to find more accommodation for our family of 5.”
Fortunately, they found solace at Reed House—Wishlist’s affordable hospital accommodation in Nambour—where Isabella’s dad Mark and siblings Josh, 8, and Sophie, 4, stayed while Sally sat by her daughter’s bedside at SCUH.

Picture Contributed
Isabella’s siblings Josh and Sophie kept her company during her time at SCUH with the help of our Clown Doctors.

Sally said her family was incredibly grateful that their social worker in the children’s ward was able to find them Reed House, as options for accommodation during school holidays are slim or incredibly expensive.
Once their accommodation was organised, the Leese family could focus on their daughter’s recovery rather than worry about where they were going to sleep. And with bears, blankets and colouring books for the kids, Reed House had homely touches that kept the other children feeling comfortable.
The Leese family found Reed House to be exactly what they needed during their difficult six-night stay until their daughter’s health improved enough to travel.

Photo Contributed
Without the stress of finding affordable accommodation during the busy holiday period, the Leese family were able to focus solely on their eldest daughter’s recovery.

Aside from the house itself, Sally said the support her family received from volunteers, social workers, doctors and nurses alike was nothing short of amazing.
Now, the Leese family are praising the efforts of Wishlist, Ausmar Homes and the Sunshine Coast community to construct The House The Coast Built—another affordable accommodation facility within walking distance to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Sally said being able to walk to SCUH when the hospital home is finished will make even more of a difference to families in situations just like hers.
“This house will provide much needed accommodation for those who are in a time of need,” she said.
“Being close to loved ones when they are unwell is so important for everyone, especially when you are far from home yourself.
“It is an amazing service…and one that we were very appreciative of!”
For more information on how you can help support families during their hour of need, visit