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How you’ve helped

“My doctor told me 'had we not caught the tumour, you would have been history'”

Shock diagnosis

KevinMy name is Kevin and I want you to know my story.

It all started with an unusual pimple on my right cheek. I just thought it was a shaving cut. I didn’t take any notice of it until it became annoying. I went to my doctor, and he said, “Look, we’ll just get it checked out.”

So we went to Maroondah Hospital. They checked it and said, “It doesn’t look too good, we’ll do a CT scan.”

The CT took images of my face and upper chest.

Shortly after the scan they called me: ‘Kevin, we’ve discovered something on your right upper chest… It looks sinister.’

What they had found was a tumour in my lung. It was a big shock. I had no symptoms. As you can imagine, my family and I were all very worried.

Catching all the cancer cells

I had various tests but it was the PET scan that picked up everything.

My PET scan showed cancer, not just on my right lung, but also through the lymph nodes in my chest.

Without a PET Scanner at my local public hospital, I was forced to use a private provider. But I know not everyone can afford that. It would be less hassle and stress to have one at Box Hill Hospital.

I had to start chemo and radiotherapy together as part of my cancer treatment. The PET scan results helped my medical team to target all of the active cancer cells, which were not obvious from other scans.

Checking for cancer in future

For now, my cancer is stable. But in future, if we need to check whether it has come back, it’ll be the PET Scanner that will give my doctor the most accurate picture.

It could save my life. It could save your family and friends’ lives. That’s why it’s so important and vital for you to give towards a PET Scanner at Eastern Health.

Thank you for your generosity.

Kevin

Bendigo Bank Community Branches will turn shades of pink on Friday 29 October 2021 for  Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In partnership with local fundraising and advocacy group Shades Of Pink, you can support local women with breast cancer by making a donation at your local Bendigo Bank branch, at shadesofpink.com.au/donate or online

Your gift will go towards lifesaving medical equipment at Eastern Health Breast and Cancer Centre, located at Maroondah Hospital.

Thank you to Shades Of Pink and the Community Bank branches across Victoria, including Ringwood East, Heathmont and Croydon. 

Be breast cancer aware

How to self-examine:

  • Perform once a month (2–3 days after periods if you have them)
  • Examine breast and armpit with a raised arm
  • Use fingerpads with massage oil or shower gel

What should I look for?

  • Lumps, skins dimpling
  • Changes in skin or texture
  • Nipple deformation, colour change or leaks of any fluid

If you find any change that is unusual for you, please speak to your doctor.

When you support the PET Scanner project, you give people like David more time to make memories with the people they love.

Because when you know that your life span has been cut shorter, a year is a long time to lose...

Donate for a new PET Scanner today

David with grandchildren1It started when David began having trouble remembering his sermons.

He was a pastor, leading and preaching in churches. He loved reading, studying and preparing his messages. But where he was once able to speak from dot points, he then needed to write out his whole sermon.

He started struggling to find the right words and was forgetting what he had said. At his daughter’s wedding, he fumbled through his father-of-the-bride speech.

Doctors suspected language-based dementia... but it was 11 months before David could get a PET scan at another health service to confirm it.

So for David and his wife, Yvonne, an underlying anxiety hung over them throughout this time: was the diagnosis correct?

“If it hadn't been the right one, then it would have been a year wasted,” says Yvonne. “And when you know that your life span has been cut shorter, a year is a long time to lose...

“If we'd never got the PET scan done... we would always be thinking, ‘I hope we're doing the right thing here.’ It was really important to get that final diagnosis... because we didn't know how fast David would deteriorate.”

It’s likely David will eventually lose his ability to speak. For him, a PET Scanner at Eastern Health would have meant confirmation of his diagnosis months earlier. Speech therapy and medication could have begun earlier.

More importantly, it would have meant more time. More time for him and Yvonne to get their financial affairs organised and their wills in place. More time for Yvonne, as his carer, to learn what to expect as his condition worsens. And more time together with their family.

Yvonne says, “Just getting time with people is really important... It’s a chance to spend more time with our children... and David can get to know his grandchildren before he won't be able to communicate so well with them anymore.”

 

In celebration of 100 years of Rotary in Australia, all Rotary Clubs in Whitehorse have joined together and partnered with Bendigo Bank Blackburn South Community Bank Branch to support the “Wallet Card Project” at Eastern Health.

 

"This project will assist people in crisis who attend Eastern Health Emergency Departments during a mental health episode who may be disorientated, vulnerable and often feeling they have nowhere to go," says Associate Professor Judy Hope, a Medical Practitioner and Consultant Psychiatrist at Eastern Health.

For those people, navigating the mental health system can be challenging, with some having very limited access to internet or a smartphone, and many lacking financial independence and adequate social support.

As a consequence, after they leave the Emergency Department, some people may not access the community services available that provide support and healing.

As Assoc. Prof Hope explains, our Wallet Card Project is designed to help people experiencing mental health crisis to understand what services are available to them, not just when they come to the Emergency Department, but more importantly, once they've left.

In our three Emergency Departments across the east of Melbourne, being Angliss, Box Hill, and Maroondah Hospital, we see over 7,000 people with mental health issues each year.

In the midst of a personal crisis, of a mental health crisis, it can be really hard to think and to problem solve, and to figure out what to do next.

What is a 'Wallet Card'?

The idea of the Wallet Card is that once people leave us, that they have a tangible resource they can store in their wallet, to find where they need to be. They don't walk out of the Emergency Department feeling alone.

"We'd really like to thank our community for supporting us in this project, and in many other projects that we deliver at Eastern Health. Thank you for helping to improve the health of our community, meet social needs, and make sure that we have a strong healthy community.” says Assoc. Prof Hope.

Bendigo Bank Blackburn South Community Bank Branch and all Whitehorse Rotary Clubs are proud to support Eastern Health in this important community mental health project.

The Rotary Clubs involved are Box Hill, Burwood, Box Hill Central, Nunawading, Mont Albert and Surrey Hills, Forest Hill, Mitcham, the New Gen Rotary Club, and the Rotaract Club of Whitehorse.

Thank you.

Patients Bill and Leonie are tremendously grateful for the kindness and care they have received from staff at Maroondah and Box Hill Hospitals recently.

Chocolate donation 0821To say thank you, Bill and Leonie made a donation in 2020 to enable Maroondah Hospital to purchase two Electrocardiograph (ECG) machines for the Emergency Department.

This generous gift was given after both Bill and Leonie required an ECG following separate trips to Emergency.

"Our team has made great use of the new ECG machines," says Leanne, Nurse Unit Manager, Emergency Department, Maroondah Hospital.

"During the second wave of COVID in 2020, we separated our Emergency Department into COVID and Non COVID (red and green) department.

"We were so grateful for the additional two ECG machines, enabling easy access for our patients and staff to timely completion of ECGs," says Nurse Leanne.

When Leonie was admitted to Maroondah Hospital as a patient again recently, both she and Bill once again appreciated her wonderful doctors, nurses and caregivers.

To say thank you again, they donated over 300 boxes of chocolates to Maroondah Hospital Emergency Department and Ward 3 East where Leonie was being cared for.

Bill and Leonie also donated chocolates to thank the Oncology team at Box Hill Hospital a few months ago, after Bill's surgery.

Bill shared how impressed he and Leonie are by everyone’s work ethic and determination.

He hopes their gift of chocolates will support staff wellbeing and serve as a reminder of how appreciated medical staff are.

"Donation and thank you gifts like this are always greatly appreciated," says Alysha, Nurse Unit Manager, Ward 3 East, Maroondah Hospital, pictured with Bill and Nurse Morgan.

"It shows true kindness and selflessness."

Thank you Bill and Leonie.

Mountain Gate Primary School and Shades of Pink recently held a fabulous fundraising day.

Sarah Allan daughter and principal edited 2Students and teachers alike embraced the day by coming dressed in pink or wearing a touch of pink in support of their local community and those fighting breast cancer.

A morning tea was provided for parents who could attend, and this incredible event raised an amazing $1245.85 for the Eastern Health Breast and Cancer Centre, located at Maroondah Hospital.

The event was organised by Grace (pictured right with Winnie, left, and Mountain Gate Principal Cheryl Sampson, behind).

My mum raises money for the Eastern Health Breast Cancer Centre and I love helping her. This year I am on Junior School Council with my friend Winnie.

"We wanted to help raise money so we helped the Mountain Gate PTFA to have a pink day at school. We dressed in pink, did a colouring competition and a raffle. The parents had a special morning tea.

"We raised lots of money and it was great to have our own event to help people with breast cancer.”

If you or any of your friends and family would like to organise a day or special event to raise funds for Eastern Health Breast and Cancer Centre or any other Eastern Health location, please email fundraising@easternhealth.org.au

There are so many wonderful ways to get involved and opportunities to catch up and unite for a purpose with loved ones, get in touch now and see how you can help your community.

Thank you to Grace, Winnie, Shades of Pink and Mountain Gate Primary School.

IMG 0683 cropWith the generous support of Blackburn South Community Bank Branch, Ward 9.1 at Box Hill Hospital was able to purchase two additional vital signs monitors during the peak of the COVID-19 challenge in 2020.

“Delivering great patient care is of utmost importance to Eastern Health,” explains Tiarne, Nurse Unit Manager, Ward 9.1 Box Hill Hospital.

“The use of vital signs monitors greatly assists nursing and medical staff in identifying changes in a patient’s condition,” she explains.

This equipment was first used during the peak of the pandemic in Melbourne, when Ward 9.1 was converted to a COVID ward.

“Having additional monitors meant that patients who were isolated were able to have access to their own equipment.
This facilitated was less sharing of equipment amongst potentially infectious patients,” explains Tiarne.

Although the number of COVID cases seen through our organisation has dramatically decreased over the last few months, Ward 9.1 is now predominantly an acute general medicine ward.

“The two vital signs monitors continue to be used to deliver care to our most vulnerable population” explains Tiarne.

Eastern Health, and in particular the staff on 9.1, are incredibly grateful to Bendigo Bank for their generous donation during this very challenging time.

The Eastern Health Foundation office reopens on Monday 4 January.

The office will be closed from 5.00pm on Friday 18 December and will reopen at 9.00am on Monday 4 January 2020.

Donations can be made at any time online or by calling 03 9895 4608.

We greatly appreciate your suppport this year and wish you a safe, healthy and happy festive season.

We look forward to seeing you in 2021.

 

Donor support for patients, doctors, nurses and other care teams at Eastern Health in 2020 has been so inspiring!

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Like you, we are looking forward to a (hopefully) COVID-free Christmas and time with loved ones after a very challenging year.

Christmas is often a time of gratitude and reflection. This year, even more so.

That’s why we want to say thank you. We want you to know how much of a difference you have made this year.

Staff at our hospitals all appreciate your kindness, care and cheerleading during such a difficult year.

This year, 5,525 inspiring donors gave to save lives and improve healthcare for thousands of hospital patients.

You have made an amazing contribution to local healthcare in 2020!

You helped…

✓ Purchase lifesaving equipment for our wards

✓ Discover new treatments thanks to medical research

✓ Give nurses the chance to shine with education scholarships

We could not have done this without you.

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We are so touched by your support. It means the world to us, especially this year.

You can read more about how your gift helped this year in the WeThankU newsletter.

It’s one way we can thank you for your amazing support and show how you and other kind donors have saved lives and improved healthcare for patients.

Thank you for supporting us when we needed you the most.

If you have any questions about how your gift is making a difference, you are always welcome to contact Eastern Health Foundation on 03 9895 4608.

Thank you very much for your support in 2020.

Please visit wethanku.org.au to find out more about our WeThankU campaign or make a donation.

Best wishes for a happy and safe Christmas with your loved ones.

 

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