Last week, Finnan’s Gift celebrated two incredible achievements – delivering on the 2018 goal of $200,000 to support an Australian-first Cardio-Oncology initiative and reaching the milestone of $2 million raised for RCH cardiac care.
“When I look back on the last seven years, I feel overwhelmingly proud and grateful at what has been achieved in Finnan’s honour. We learnt so much from him in the 10 days he was with us and to have raised over $2 million for cardiac care in Finnan’s name is quite humbling. We couldn’t have done it without the incredible support, dedication and passion of our Finnan’s Gift community. To have reached this milestone is unbelievable,” said Alisa.
The 2018 Cardio-Oncology Grant will enable the purchase of an Echocardiogram to help children with cancer who are at risk of heart damage due to their treatment. This innovative piece of equipment will help to identify, track and manage the care for cancer patients who are affected by cardiology complications as a result of oncology treatment.
Andy’s RCH journey
One of the sick children Finnan’s Gift is supporting with the 2018 grant is six-year-old Andy, who Alisa and Oliver had the chance to meet at the cheque handover event. Andy was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) last year, just three months after his family moved to Australia from China. AML develops in the myeloid cell line in the bone marrow, causing the body to overproduce immature white blood cells. These cells crowd the bone marrow and prevent it from producing normal white blood cells, increasing the risk of infection and illness.
Due to the aggressive nature of Andy’s illness, he has undergone significant treatment including intensive chemotherapy with prolonged hospital stays for treatment. When Andy developed a lung infection during his second round of chemo, doctors discovered that his heart function was reduced due to treatment. Though childhood cancer treatments are curing many children, the life-saving, but toxic agents used in chemo and other therapies can cause damage, in particular to the heart.
Since then the RCH Cardiology team have been monitoring Andy’s heart and, while its function is still somewhat reduced, he is on medication and slowly improving. The new Finnan’s Gift-supported Echocardiogram will ensure Andy’s, and other children with the same or similar conditions, heart function is well monitored and managed in the future.
Finnan’s Gift went above and beyond their 2018 goal, raising an additional $21,800 at the annual Finnan’s Gift Op Shop Ball. This money will directly sponsor four intensive care beds in the RCH Koala Ward, helping approximately 600 children requiring specialised cardiac care throughout 2018.
2019 fundraising goal
Next year, Finnan’s Gift will be helping the hospital’s littlest patients. Alisa and Oliver have set a 2019 fundraising goal of $150,000 to support three high-tech hybrid infant warmers for critically ill infants in intensive care. These new infant warmers will also allow staff and families to have closer contact with critically ill babies, while providing all resuscitation and care equipment immediately at hand.
“From a parent’s perspective, there is nothing worse than not being able to hold your child close when they are sick. We were so excited to support this project when we learned that the infant warmers will allow parents closer access to their children. This, coupled with the advances in temperature control, ventilation and resuscitation, meant that the hybrid warmers were a perfect choice for Finnan’s Gift to fund for 2019. On top of that, we love that the hybrid warmers will benefit doctors, nurses and families alike,” said Oliver.