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Gympie residents recovering from cancer treatment will now have access to fast and efficient Lymphoedema screening, with the arrival of Sozo Bio-Impedance Technology at the Gympie Hospital.

Funded by the Wishlist Coffee House and its committed troop of local volunteers, the $8000 piece of equipment will support the Hospital’s Lymphoedema Early Detection Screening Program, reducing the need for patients to travel to Sunshine Coast.

Physiotherapist, Genevieve Tremblay, says the Sozo will be invaluable for residents at risk of developing Lymphoedema post cancer treatment and will be key in improving outcomes for locals suffering with the condition.

 “The equipment will provide locals with a much faster way to screen for Lymphoedema, therefor increasing the likelihood of early detection.

“Lymphoedema is the build-up of fluid in soft body tissues when the lymph system is damaged or blocked through surgery and radiotherapy. It commonly affects the arms and legs – causing swelling, aches and pains, or the feeling of heaviness – and remains a lifelong functional problem requiring daily treatment.

“With this technology we can detect fluid accumulation very early, which has shown to reduce the incidence of clinical lymphoedema dramatically.

“We are very fortunate to have this equipment and are grateful to Wishlist, and the Wishlist Coffee House volunteers for their work in making this happen,” said Ms Tremblay.

Wishlist CEO, Lisa Rowe said the equipment is part of the foundation’s commitment to Gympie Hospital and the community it serves.

“The benefits of this equipment are many and far reaching. We’re so proud to be able to provide the funding for the Sozo, and other important initiatives within the Gympie Health Service,” said Ms Rowe.

Already in 2019, Wishlist have allocated more $30,000 to fund blood-glucose monitoring equipment for Gympie children with Type 1 Diabetes, resources for a Gympie-based Child Development Outreach Service and the refurbishment of the Hospital’s Maternity and Paediatric Emergency Ward.  
“This funding is the result of a tight-knit community working together to support their local health service.

“The volunteers at the Wishlist Coffee House are a dedicated group of residents giving up their time to raise funds for important health services and equipment, and have helped to raise more than $370,000 for the Gympie Hospital in just six years.

“It’s truly amazing,” said Ms Rowe.

Wishlist Coffee House Manager, Richard Ward said he’s incredibly proud of his team of volunteers and the work they do for the local hospital.

“All funds raised by our work enhance the services at Gympie Hospital, which potentially benefits every Gympie resident.  I know our volunteers love to know they’re providing vital assets like this to our town.”

Volunteers are always needed so if you’d like to join the team at the Wishlist Coffee House please contact or phone 5202 1777.

Doctor’s Orchestra spreads musical joy at local hospital

Wishlist have funded the delivery of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital’s newest addition. A grand piano.

The piano was donated by the Queensland Medical Orchestra to bring music to the hospital and its community.

Member of the Orchestra, Michael Lam, said the “6ft concert grand piano” was part of their service to the community.

“We know that music is one of those things that connect people.

“Music also has a really good therapeutic function. Hospitals are a place where people are often stressed, supporting loved ones, getting bad news or celebrating good news—the piano takes away from the ‘clinical’ feel of the hospital and helps people to calm down.

“We also think the piano is a reminder that the hospital is filled with people helping people. And we might be doctors and nurses and administrators, but we’re people as well, and we all connect of over the simple things, like music,” said Mr Lam.

The grand piano is currently on Level 1 of the Hospital and is available to anyone wishing to share their musical talents.

In just a week, there have been many touching moments when members of staff playing the piano have been joined by other colleagues and patients—filling the hospital with soothing sounds and well-known melodies.  

The positive feedback has been overwhelming with one witness posting on Wishlist’s facebook page that they’d “never seen anything like this in a hospital before…It was truly beautiful.”

Wishlist CEO, Lisa Rowe, said the piano was a beautiful addition to the hospital, adding to the foundations support of music as a therapeutic tool.

“We know only too well the value of music in lifting the spirit and soothing the soul, through the music therapy program at Dove Palliative Care, funded by donations. 

“Wishlist also funded the Music Therapy program in the Children’s Ward for many years,” said Ms Rowe.

The piano’s arrival coincides with a performance by the Australian Doctors Orchestra at the Kawana Community Centre on May 12—offering some special music therapy for the entire Sunshine Coast.

The Australian Doctors Orchestra (ADO) is a unique national fellowship of medical professionals who are also classically trained musicians.

On 10, 11 and 12 May 2019, up to 100 members of the Australian Doctor’s Orchestra from around the country will converge on the Sunshine Coast to share two days of final rehearsals culminating in a performance on Sunday afternoon at the Lake Kawana Community Centre.

All the proceeds of this concert will be donated to Wishlist. Tickets can be purchased from

Wishlist Fun Run: Griffith doctors get ready to race!

Hundreds of Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service staff will join local businesses and families at the annual Wishlist Fun Run on Sunday, March 31.

Training has begun at the hospital as the regions newest doctors from Griffith University get ready to participate in the fun-fuelled run around Lake Kawana.

The team of doctors will take on teams from several local businesses including The Sunshine Coast Daily, Studio Collective and Stockland.

Wishlist Events Manager Lisa Wilson said she is looking forward to some healthy competition at this year’s event.

“This is the first year we’ve offered a corporate team category. We’re hoping to get lots of businesses onboard to run, have fun and help raise vital funds for the local health service.”

In its second year, the Fun Run raised funds for patients and families on the Sunshine Coast. The 2018 event attracted over 500 participants and raised more than $20,000.

To sign up visit and find Wishlist Fun Run in our 2019 Events tab. We’ll see you there!

The Price Family

Imagine you hadn’t long moved your young family from Tasmania to the Sunshine Coast, had recently given birth to your third child, and your eldest daughter was fighting for her life.

This was the reality for Emma Price and her family in December last year.

“Our 10-year-old daughter Charlotte has a rare condition called Angelman syndrome, caused by a deletion on the 15th chromosome that results in lack of speech, global developmental delay, a seizure disorder that can be difficult to treat, sleep disturbance and intellectual disability,” Emma said.

“In early December 2018, Charlotte became unwell with what we thought was a standard cold or virus. But due to her inability to communicate the severity of her condition or how she was feeling, she ended up in a critical condition in the Paediatric Critical Care Unit at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

“My husband James and I became very concerned about Charlotte’s health as she had deteriorated quite rapidly and upon arrival at the emergency department at SCUH her oxygen saturation levels were exceptionally low. Charlotte had acute respiratory distress and was placed on a ventilator in the early hours of Saturday 9th December, and she remained there for 10 days.

“Throughout that time Charlotte also suffered multiple organ failure; with her kidneys and liver failing due to her condition and other factors.

“There were many moments during Charlotte’s stay, particularly in the first few days, that were touch and go. Her condition worsened and treatment options were limited, and we were not seeing any improvements.

“This is the most unwell we had ever seen our daughter, even after one previous ICU admission and multiple admissions due to seizures. It was a very harrowing time for our family.”

Making the traumatic experience even harder for the Price family was the fact that just one week prior to Charlotte’s admission in to hospital they had welcomed their newborn son Arlo.

“In our minds we were thinking we would welcome one child into the world and possibly lose another, all within a week,” Emma said.

“We were all tired, exhausted and I was physically recovering from a c-section just seven days prior.”

Adding to the incredible stress was the distance between the hospital and the Price’s home in Noosa.

“On a good day with no traffic Noosa is still a 45-minute drive away from SCUH,” Emma said.

“Charlotte’s condition was so poorly, particularly within the first week, that we couldn’t bear to be 45 minutes away in case something happened, and we didn’t make it back to the hospital in time.

“We also needed to be close by to provide consent to doctors as needed, which did happen during the night on one occasion. With a newborn in tow, it also wasn’t feasible to be making the 1.5 hour round trip each day to be at the hospital.

“Luckily my Mum was staying with us at the time due to arrival of Arlo the week prior, so she could stay at home with our seven-year-old son Ollie, but James and I ended up checking in to a small hotel room across the road from the hospital so that we were close.

“We arrived at the hospital at 7.30am most mornings to ensure we were there for the doctors rounds which we found invaluable for progress updates. Then we wouldn’t leave – reluctantly – until 8pm most nights to be there for nurse handover and find out who was with Charlotte overnight.

 “Whilst our ultimate concern was for our daughter and her health, having to stay away from home in a hotel room with a newborn baby was incredibly challenging.

“We didn’t have the comforts of home – sterilising bottles, warming bottles, washing clothes and all the things that come with a newborn – were all very difficult.

“It was also an expense to our family, right before Christmas that saw us out of pocket around $2500 between accommodation and purchasing food supplies in and around the hospital.”

Thanks to the amazing care of the PCCU team, Charlotte is recovering slowly but well, at home.

The Price family is eternally grateful to the medical staff that saved their daughter’s life and in an act of appreciation, are supporters of the 2019 Wishlist The House The Coast Built campaign, that will see a house built just a few streets away from the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for the sole purpose of housing family members with sick loved ones in hospital.

Having an accommodation option that was readily available, set up for a family, close to the hospital and at no cost to us would have been a very welcome option for us,” Emma said.

“Finding and booking accommodation was the last thing we wanted to think about while our daughter was critically unwell and having a space that our other son could come and stay with us in so we could be together as a family would also have been helpful during that time.

“I would like to say a massive shout out and thank you to everyone who is making The House The Coast Built possible. You never know when you will be in the position that you require the help that this house provides – having a place to lay your weary head when you’re waking hours are consumed by what is happening with your child would be such a welcome relief.

Brenden Jennings, James Hardi and Sean Fraser of Ausmar Homes
David Kuogdahl and Shane Sary of Hebel Innovation

“I wish this was available during Charlotte’s recent admission to PCCU. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all involved – touch wood we’ll never need this help in the future, but in the event we do it’s a relief knowing this would be available.

Darren Boyle of D&S Boyle Drott Hire
Dave Austin and Roy Morel of Format Kitchens

“To everyone that’s contributed – simply put yourself into our situation and you will realise the value of what you are contributing to.”

The Wishlist Team

To find out how you can get involved with this cause, visit: or to donate to the cause visit: and select “The House the Coast Built” from the drop-down menu.

Hospital accommodation a godsend for Anna and little Angel

Four-year-old Angel, from Beerwah, is a regular visitor to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Children’s ward. In 2018, she was admitted more than 15 times.

She was born blind, autistic and suffers ongoing bowel issues. But it doesn’t stop her smiling.

Anna and Angel

The happy little girl was admitted to the Children’s Intensive Care Unit late last year, leaving her Grandmother, Anna, worried and unable to return to their home in Beerwah.

“I would never go too far from the Hospital, so returning home to sleep while Angel was in the ICU was not an option.

“When I left for the hospital, this time, I packed a pillow and blanket and planned to sleep in my car in the hospital car park. That way, I’d only be a few minutes away from Angel.

“The Unit Manager asked what my plans were for the night. I told her I was going to sleep in my car. She said no.

Instead, Anna was shown to the Parents Retreat on the Children’s Ward – an apartment-style area within the ward that allows families to get some sleep in a comfortable space.

“The Parents Retreat was a godsend. It has a kitchenette, comfortable double beds, lounge area, television and a laundry. Proper sleep and clean clothes can make a huge difference during a tough time,” said Anna.

Fortunately, Anna accepted the offer of a night in the Parents Retreat.

“I got a call very late at night that Angel had woken and was distressed. Thanks to the accommodation facility, I was just a few minutes away and could help her very quickly,” Anna said.

Wishlist funded the fit out of two Parents’ Retreats located in the neonatal and children’s wards, thanks to funds raised at the 2015 Wishlist Spring Carnival.

Last year, the Spring Carnival raised funds to help build The House The Coast Built – an affordable accommodation facility within walking distance to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for families with loved-ones undergoing treatment.

Wishlist CEO, Lisa Rowe, said Anna and Angel’s story is a common one.

“These rooms provide the most ideal environment for families to relax and retreat from the clinical environment of the children’s ward while still being in close to their bed-bound child. However, we know that there is need for more accommodation like this.

“Construction on the house began 5 February thanks to the generous Sunshine Coast community.

“As well as money raised from the 2018 92.7 MIXFM’s Give Me 5 For Kids campaign and the Wishlist Spring Carnival, we’ve had more than 30 local businesses’ put their hand up to donate time and services to help Ausmar Homes build a home away from home for families doing it tough.

“Once complete, the home will feature six bedroom and bathroom and be designed to accommodate as many families as possible.

The House the Coast Built 2019 Render

“Our goal is to keep families, like Anna and Angel, together at a time when family love and support is needed most,” Ms Rowe Said.

In the first 12 months of opening, the Sunshine Coast University Hospital treated 1089 paediatric patients who lived more than 50km from the hospital.

Another 340 mums who lived outside our region were transported to our state-of-the-art maternity unit to deliver their babies – often pre-term.

In 2018, the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit alone treated over 40 children from outside the Sunshine Coast region, many from Central Queensland. Another 42 were treated from area around Gympie, Noosa and Melany.

To help, head to and purchase a house-hold item for the home, or visit and select “The Hose The Coast Built” from the drop-down menu.

Yoga therapy helping sick kids

Wishlist has proudly funded Yoga Therapy on the Child and Adolescent ward at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH), and formerly Nambour Hospital, since 2011.

Yoga Therapy applies the therapeutical tools of yoga – breathing, relaxation techniques, yoga poses, affirmations – to help specific conditions. The sessions are especially helpful for patients with procedural anxiety; asthma; eating disorders and digestive issues.

Yoga teacher and therapist Stacey Louise created the program, blending her studies in Yoga Therapy and Children’s Yoga. Previous to working in the inpatients ward, Stacey worked
at the Royal Children’s Hospital in mental health for seven years, teaching Children’s Fitness and yoga classes.

Stacey said the main focus of her sessions is to help the patient’s nervous system get to a state of calm so their body can focus more on healing.

“A lot of patients are exhausted and are unable to sleep. They are in “fight/ flight” mode,” she said.

“Parents often tell me their child hasn’t slept soundly for days.

“Most patients fall asleep during the guided relaxation part of their Yoga Therapy session and parents are always so grateful, as I tip-toe out and let them catch up on some much-needed rest.”

The service is offered one afternoon every week in the SCUH Child and Adolescent ward. Sessions are age appropriate and the duration of the session ranges from 10-90 minutes depending on the patient’s needs and the demand on the day.

Stacey said that each patient has different needs, and she caters to them.

“A 2-year-old patient with Asthma seemed traumatised after having several medical staff in her room at once and she would scream when a staff member tried to touch her.

“I came in dressed in a fairy costume, read her a story, encouraged her to breathe with me using bubbles, played calm music and gave her a calming temple massage. “She calmed right down and Dr Claire was then able to come in and do her required observations, she was able to receive her Ventolin and get required x-rays.”

Sessions can include: engaging with the patient with a craft-based activity (for example, beading a bracelet or making stress balls); practicing specific yoga poses to help the condition (or being put into a restorative yoga pose using cushions so the body can relax without having to physically move); being taught calming breathing techniques; being guided through a relaxation technique whilst having relaxing music playing, and receiving an optional temple and hand massage with calming aromatic oils.

If you would like to donate to this cause, visit and select “Yoga therapy for the Children’s ward” from the drop-down menu.

Former Health Foundation Chairman honoured for his work

The former chairman of Wishlist was recently awarded the prestigious Order of Australia Medal – the nation’s highest level of recognition – as part of the 2019 Australia Day Honours List.

Mike’s efforts fundraising for the local health service are matched only by his passion for his community. Mike Kelly is a true local hero that has devoted more than 20 years to enhancing the health service across the Coast.

Most notably, Mike was the founder of Wishlist from 1998 to 2017. By 1996, under Mike’s guidance, foundation raised $1.7millllion dollars to establish a multi-disciplinary cancer care centre in Nambour.

During Mike’s 20 years at the helm, the foundation raised and directed more than $17 million to vital health equipment, services and projects that so many local families have benefited from, including three The House The Coast Built projects and the Reed Charity House in Nambour.

mike kellyIn 2017, Mike was awarded the prestigious Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Benefactor Award for his work to support local health services.

While devoting himself passionately to the work of Wishlist, Mike also spent countless hours at the Motocross Track at Coolum. Mike was the driving force behind the establishment of the track and worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of riders, and maintain the facilities.

Surprised by the acknowledgement, Mike said he felt humbled to receive such a prestigious award for what he considers to be a privilege.

“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to make a difference in my community, through my work with Wishlist and in motocross.

“I would encourage everyone to invest in the power of volunteering, as the rewards are both priceless to our world, but also to the individual giving” said Mike.

Local businesses team-up with Wishlist

Two Sunshine Coast-based companies have teamed-up with Wishlist, supporting their work to enhance the health service on the Coast.

International Maroochydore-based technology company, EyeOnIt and Warana-based national equipment manufacturer, Quik Corp, have joined the Wishlist Partnership Program to show their commitment to their local community.

Wishlist’s partnership program harnesses the support of local businesses to enhance the work of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service for the benefit of local families.

IMG_2872EyeOnIt Founder, Phillipa Harcourt McNamara, said the decision to support Wishlist is based on their long term and diverse community focus delivering positive impacts to people’s lives when needed.

“EyeOnIt, we are proud to live and work on the idyllic Sunshine Coast. Partnering with Wishlist allows us to give back to our local community, a value close to our heart.

“We look forward to our 2019 partnership with Wishlist and are excited to be supporting a fantastic local organisation and great team,” Ms Harcourt McNamara said.

IMG_2868Quik Corp Managing Director, David Wardle, said the company wanted to support something in the local area that they felt made a significant difference to people’s lives.

“After visiting the hospital and seeing what was being done to help, it was an easy choice for us.

“Our staff can appreciate what it feels like to have a family member or friend ill. It is never a good time. So, to be able to actively contribute to improving facilities and accommodation to help those who are doing it tough was supported by the whole business as the best way to give back to our community,” Mr Wardle said.

IMG_2861Wishlist Lisa Rowe said the partnerships are crucial to the foundation and its fundraising efforts.

“Wishlist’s partnership program sees an exclusive club of local businesses work towards our shared vision, to provide the best health services possible for our families.

“In the case of both Quik Corp and EyeOnIt, our charity is partnered with cutting edge, locally-based business leaders, both achieving incredible things in the world marketplace.  As with all our partners, both businesses share a passion for the Coast community which is a win for Wishlist and potentially every Sunshine Coast family who visit a local hospital or health service.

“We are incredibly excited to be working with the Quik Corp and EyeOnIt teams,” Ms Rowe said.

Already in 2019, Wishlist has approved another $92,000 in support of local health services thanks largely to the support of local business.

Wishlist coffee house seeking volunteers

Thanks to the hard work of local volunteers, the Wishlist Coffee House has raised $370,000 for the Gympie Hospital in just six years.  Now, they need your help.

Wishlist is calling out for more volunteers at the Wishlist Coffee House, based outside Gympie Hospital, to be a part of something positive and help reach a massive $500,000 milestone.

The Wishlist Coffee House opened its doors in 2013, and quickly became a social hub and convenient coffee stop for anyone using Gympie Hospital.

Already this year, funds raised through the Coffee House has allowed Wishlist to enhance the Gympie Hospital service through funding of a $15000 refurbishment of the Maternity and Paediatric Emergency Units as well as $8,095 for Sozo Lymphoma Index for early detection and screening of Lymphoedema – a condition which commonly occurs as a result of cancer treatment.

Run by manager, Richard Ward, and armed with a team of hard working volunteers, the Wishlist Coffee House provides fresh, healthy food and drinks for staff, patients and visitors of the Gympie Hospital. With 100 per cent of its proceeds going towards the needs of the hospital, the Wishlist Coffee House is a great asset to the Gympie community.

Manager Richard Ward is currently calling on volunteers to donate some time to assist however they can.

“Our volunteers enjoy working here as it’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends, gain new skills and utilise past experience. They also feel proud knowing they are giving something back to the community.”

“Volunteers get back into the work force, take holidays, or in some cases move away, so we need a continuous stream of volunteers to keep us going strong.”

richard“It’s not a requirement that our volunteers have experience, we teach them how we operate and appreciate the time they have to offer. Our volunteers do a range of things, from cleaning and preparing food to making coffee and serving customers, and we value everything they do for us.

“We work hard and have a lot of fun at the same time, usually at my expense,” Richard said

The Coffee House is urgently seeking volunteers, so if you or someone you know has a few hours to spare please phone the Wishlist office on 5470 6598 or email us at:

Local students make a difference to kids in hospital

Students of Chevallum State School generously assembled and donated gift packs to their local hospital foundation to be given to children staying in the Sunshine Coast University Hospital over the Christmas holidays.

These gift School donationpacks were filled with hand-made teddy bears, colouring-in books and other goodies.

The hinterland school’s ‘butterfly effect’ project, encouraged students to become change agents in their local community.

Chevallum school teacher, Danae Kunkel, said they wanted the kids to learn about how they could make a positive difference in the world.

“We looked at how other children in the world have made a difference, and at different social and environmental issues that occur locally and globally.

­ “We investigated different charities and problems around the Sunshine Coast that students were passionate about.

The students were all passionate about helping sick children in hospital, and were inspired by a boy who made teddy bears for paediatric ward,” Ms Kunkel said.

They watched a clip about a boy called Campbell (Project 365) who makes teddy bears for children in hospital. They were inspired by the difference he made, and began investigating how they could have the same positive effect locally.

The gifts were donated to the paediatric ward just in time for Christmas, and they brightened a lot of faces over the holidays.