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Update from Lisa Rowe

It’s a new year and it’s fair to say that, at Wishlist, we’re pretty happy and excited about it.

This year will see, among many other things, the growth of our accommodation options for families needing affordable options to be close to a local hospital.

In April we will open The House the Coast Built thanks to Wishlist Corporate Partner, Ausmar Homes and more than 80 local businesses who contributed to this, Ausmar’s third charity home for Wishlist. You won’t believe how impressive it is and you won’t believe the size of a home that can be built on a 450m2 block of land bought by Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids. Ausmar Homes, you’ve done us proud and we couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who’s played a part in bringing this dream to fruition.

It’s a team effort here at Wishlist and the Sunshine Coast continues to make local health services the best they can possibly be for our families.

Some highlights in the last couple of months include:

  • Jetts Peregian raising $515.60 through their Wishlist Treadmill fundraiser for the Birth Centre, currently on our wish list. This generous organisation donated $5 for every kilometre walked on the treadmill on 9th December.
  • Sunshine Coast Social Bowls Club continuing their support of our cause with another donation of $1,500.
  • Our Griffith University Medical Students raising $340 for Wishlist at their recent cocktail function and we wish them the very best for the year ahead.
  • Armesto’s Transport at Beerwah donating $30,000 to the Children’s Ward, in appreciation of the wonderful care received by their family recently at SCUH.
  • Ted O’Brien MP, Member for Fairfax directing a $10,000 grant towards maintenance work needed at Reed House, our accommodation facility beside Nambour Hospital.
  • $6,201 being raised for Camp Diabetes, an initiative supported by Wishlist for more than fifteen years.
  • Burnside State School’s $130 donation to Wishlist.
  • Another $250 donation by Club Glasshouse who has supported paediatric services to the tune of $30,000 over the past ten years.

Wishlist’s Holiday Raffle raised $11,000 thanks to the generosity of Wild Spirit Adventures and Suncity Travel. We couldn’t be more grateful to Wayne Wetherall, who is a long-time supporter of Wishlist through his many years of donating a Kokoda Spirit adventure to Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids. Thanks Wayne and thanks to everyone who has directed a dollar our way for what ever local health cause is dear to your heart.

So, while you’re all generously raising the money we are, as usual, busy spending it on equipment and initiatives that make a difference to families in our local hospitals.

We continue to fund the local Clown Doctor visits at SCUH thanks to Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids last year, and we’re delighted to announce the arrival of the $130,000 inter-hospital transfer equipment for the Paediatric Critical Care Unit (pictured), also funded by the appeal.  

The $16,000 Music Room at Dove Palliative Care Unit at Caloundra is complete and our priceless Music Therapist, Tracie Wicks is thrilled to have space for patients to immerse themselves in the gift of music. We’re about to “launch” this space so if you’d like to see the finished product please let us know and you can come along to celebrate.

Wishlist funds Music Therapy at Dove Palliative Care entirely from donations to the service.  It’s one of the most amazing things we do for patients and we couldn’t be happier to set Tracie up with her own space in which to grow the service.

We also continue to fund Yoga Therapy in the Children’s Ward each week, and Pet Therapy across our hospitals in paediatric wards, dementia and intensive care wards.  More on that later.

We’ve just placed an order for a special camera for Nambour Oral Health to photograph lesions or conditions that require documentation and monitoring, for example mouth cancer. Wishlist funded the original camera years ago and it’s due for replacement years later. We consider it’s $3,923 well spent.

So too is $2,043 for Voice Amplification Devices and Expiratory Muscle Strength Trainers for Motor Neurone and Parkinsons Disease patients, contributing to quality of life by helping them communicate but also strengthening swallowing function.

We’ve also committed $10,400 to an edible and therapeutic garden, adjacent the Wishlist-funded Wellness Garden at Nambour Hospital, to encourage a sense of wellbeing in staff, patients and visitors. 

We’ve just taken delivery of the long-awaited 3D printer for Radiation Therapy services (pictured below) thanks to a grant from the Queensland Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

We’re waiting on the start to works at Gympie Hospital on a rehabilitation garden for patients of the hospital, and completion of a paediatric room in the Emergency Department, funded by the Wishlist Jazz and Wine Festival and proceeds of our Wishlist Coffee House.

Speaking of which, if you have friends or family with time on their hands in Gympie we’re in desperate need of volunteers at the Wishlist Coffee House. This wonderful enterprise raises funds for Gympie Hospital and is getting busier and busier thanks to the culinary delights of new Wishlist Coffee House Manager, Jacques Martin. 

We welcome back Infectious Clothing company, McDermott Aviation and Quikcorp to the Wishlist family, who continue their support as a Wishlist Corporate Partner.

McDermott Aviation recently played a major part in the bushfire crisis and we salute the team for their courageous and generous support of our Australian community.

This month we embraced the new Mercure Kawana Waters, previously Best Western Plus in a welcoming hug and thank them for their continued support as Wishlist Corporate Partners, along with BOQ Buderim and Maroochydore, FTA Accountants and Get Wines Direct.

Wishlist Corporate Partner Quikcorp has launched Bioweed, an organic alternative to toxic weedkillers on the market and they’re generously donating proceeds of every sale to our work.   Check out 92.7Mix FM Caroline Hutchinson’s facebook post showing the amazing results of Bioweed in her garden!

We’re so proud to welcome Push Productions as a Corporate Partner, who have generously agreed to cover the printing cost of our Daisy Chain over the year ahead, and much more. Thanks Paul Morton and team for your generous support of our work. 

Also a warm welcome back to Telstra Business Technology Centre Sunshine Coast, Wishlist Alliance Partners who are working to keep Wishlist operational costs and that of our accommodation facilities to a minimum.

Thanks to our Alliance Partners Wealthmed for your continued support after so many years. Our partnership programme contributes more than $250,000 to our work each year and every partner is pivotal to the role we play on the Coast.

Sunshine Toyota has helped cancer patients, funded local research projects and countless new mums have opened their homes to a visit from a Child Health Nurse, who drove out to see them in a car generously donated every year by Sunshine Toyota. They also provide Wishlist with a splendid new vehicle every year, which helps keep our operational costs down. 

Darren Venning responded with concern, and a little humour, to my call earlier this month reporting my second “incident” in a matter of months involving their wonderful vehicle, and the team greeted me warmly when I brought it in to be repaired, handing me the keys to a fabulous new Camry to tide us over until the work was done.

We welcomed F45 Birtinya and Sippy Downs and Melly’s Home Cleaning Service to WishlistConnect. Check out their offers at wishlistconnect.org

How lucky we are to have you all as part of the team. Thanks for all that you for Wishlist and for Coast families. 

To wrap it up I wanted to remind you that every cent counts when it comes to your support of the Coast’s local hospital foundation.

We see just as big a smile on the faces of our nurses when we deliver bubbles and colouring kits to help them calm our children, as we do on the faces of the doctors when we deliver a $32,000 3D printer for Radiation Therapy services.

Whether it’s the relief on the tired face of a lady being checked in to Reed House after a long day beside her husband in the Stroke Ward at SCUH, or a tearful smile from the recipient of a handmade quilt donated to the patients of the Adem Crosby Unit by LINUS or CWA, know that your thoughtful, generous donation to Wishlist makes a difference.

Prior to Christmas, our Delta Dog Norman was invited to the ICU to visit a patient who’d been there for some time. During the visit a nurse called him over to another patient who was missing his own little dog so much he’d bunched up his hospital blanket into a small mound and said he imagined it was his little dog sitting beside him on the bed. Those who witnessed what was to be one of two special bedside visits to this man will never forget that it’s often the smallest of gestures, the simple moments with a furry friend, that matter most. 

I recall a gentleman walking into the Wishlist office last year to make a donation to the ward where he’d recently been a guest for quite a few months. He told me he’d been treated so well and how grateful he was to the doctors and the nurses who had cared for him. He told me through eyes willing with tears that at one point he was so frustrated with his slow progress back to recovery, and the loss of his ability to move and function that he almost gave up. It was then that a young nurse came into his room and, seeing his frustration at trying to get out of bed, simply touched his hand and told him it would all be OK. That, he said, was all he needed to keep going. A simple act of kindness “made me feel I mattered” and now fully recovered, he wanted to say thanks.

Be kind, be generous and know that we all very much matter in this crazy world.

Thank you for your support of Wishlist.

Lisa Rowe