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Wonderful wedding gesture funds research

September 25th, 2017

In March 1996, momentous things were happening in Australia.

John Howard became Australia’s 25th Prime Minister, Mark Waugh scored his third century of the Cricket World Cup for Australia, and a young lady called Jeni underwent a pancreas and kidney transplant at Westmead Hospital.

That day, Jeni’s life changed enormously.  The positive impact on Jeni’s health was witnessed by friends and family, but also made a great impression on Jeni’s young niece, Sian.

Fast forward 21 years, and as Sian and her fiancé Zac were planning their wedding, they decided that on the most important day of their lives they would celebrate Aunt Jeni’s life changing transplant, carried out by the world-renowned team here at Westmead Hospital.

Happy couple, Zac & Sian Williams

Instead of having table decorations, this beautiful couple donated the amount of money they would have spent, to further the research carried out by the transplant team.  Jeni’s original transplant was carried out by Professor Richard Allen, and she is still cared for today by the world’s number 1 expert in kidney transplantation, Professor Jeremy Chapman, together with Professor Philip O’Connell and the team of dedicated medical and nursing staff at Westmead Hospital.

Despite being overseas, Professor Chapman took time out of his busy schedule to send a message to Sian and Zac:

“Congratulations on your wedding, representing confidence in the future, just as our transplant program looks to the future through our clinical services, and our research”

We would like to thank Sian & Zac, and their Aunt Jeni for sharing their wonderful story with us, and for being so generous in investing in kidney and pancreas transplant research.

The program here at Westmead links research carried out at the Westmead Institute with transplants carried out within the hospital, and aims to translate research into clinical practice to provide better options for patients, slow progression of disease, and, where possible, to prevent renal disease and its complications.

If you would like to make a donation as a celebration of your marriage, or in lieu of birthday gifts, please contact Marlene Nasr on 8890 8152, or by email  WMRF Heart

0 Comments So Far, Posted In: Community, Diabetes, Donate, Donations, Events, Fundraise, Health, Kidney, Kidney Transplant, Mens Health, Pancreas, Pancreas transplant, Renal, Research, Third party, Transplant, Treatment, Western Sydney, Westmead, WIMR, Women, Womens Health

Shave For Silas

September 21st, 2017

Last year, Silas, a happy 18-month old boy who loves the Paw Patrol TV show, was diagnosed with a Medulloblastoma SHH – also known as a brain tumour that was the size of a large orange that took up approximately 20% of his brain cavity.

Brave Silas underwent three surgeries over two weeks and thanks to the specialist team at Westmead, led by Dr Mark Dexter, the entire visible tumour was removed.

Dr Dexter’s team is committed to providing excellence in neurosurgical care at Westmead.

Every day, we have the chance to make someone’s life a little bit better,”
said Dr Dexter.

By the end of the surgeries and on the first day of Silas’ chemotherapy, Kyrra – Silas’ mother who was 29 weeks pregnant – had to be rushed to hospital for an emergency caesarean, as the stress and anxiety with Silas condition had caused her kidneys and liver to shut down.

She was given 50/50 odds and her newborn daughter – Charlie – was given even less. Charlie was born at 1.2Kg and spent 6 weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Earlier this year, Kyrra and her family generously organised an online fundraiser “Shave 4 Silas.” Through this initiative, and with the amazing support of Kyrra’s sister – Larran and Silas’ godfather – Mani, they raised over $11,000 donated to Westmead Medical Research Foundation to support the work of Dr Dexter and his Neurosurgery team at Westmead Hospital.

 “My son Silas will be completing his current phase of chemotherapy in January. To mark this special occasion I will be shaving my head so that our hair will grow back together!” said Kyrra at the time she decided to go ahead with this generous gesture.

Silas and baby sister Charlie while she was in NICU

Silas and Charlie are doing well and the family is very pleased and thankful for the results of the crowdfunding project. “All the funds generously raised by over 80 donors will be directed towards new equipment for the surgical team at Westmead that removed my Silas’ brain tumour… without them I wouldn’t have my Silas today,” said Kyrra.

For more information about supporting Westmead Medical Research Foundation via hosting a fundraising event, please contact Marlene Nasr, Community Relations & Events Manager via email or on 1800 639 037.

To help support the delivery of medical research & patient care, please donate, click here or call us on our toll free number 1800 639 037 WMRF Heart


0 Comments So Far, Posted In: Cancer, Cancer Treatments, Community, Donate, Donations, Events, Fundraise, Gifts in kind, Health, Medulloblastoma SHH, Newborn, Newborn Care, NICU, Shave4Silas, Third party, Treatment, Western Sydney, Westmead

Remembering a lovely wife & mum through a generous gesture

September 13th, 2017

In August 2017, staff from Westmead Medical Research Foundation (WMRF) had the opportunity to personally meet Chris Sarne and his daughter Bella.

They arrived to Acacia House with an enormous box – almost impossible to be carried by one person – and 10 other smaller boxes.

Pictured left to right: Ana Gatt (Marketing & Development Manager, WMRF), Marlene Nasr (Community Relations & Events Manager, WMRF), Bella Sarne, Ray Horne (Company Secretary, WMRF), and Chris Sarne


These were part of a generous in-kind donation that the Sarne family made towards the Haematology Ward (C5A) at Westmead Hospital where Dianne Sarne (Chris’ wife and Bella’s mum) spent 110 days.

Sadly, Dianne lost her battle against a terminal illness and she passed away from complications resulting from acute Myeloid leukaemia.

Chris and Bella wanted to give back to Westmead. They were extremely thankful to the nursing staff that for nearly four months took care of their wife and mother.  They noticed some areas on the ward were lacking in-patient amenities, they decided to donate a 49” smart television with wall mount, 5 tablets and 5 portable DVD players for patient use.

Additionally, the family gifted 90 movie vouchers to the dedicated nursing staff in the ward.

Pictured are staff from Ward C5A: Tito Jimenez, Francesca Queddeng, Thresiamma Joseph, Madeleine Langlands, Melinda Bragg, and Elise Toyer, Marlene Nasr (Community Relations & Events Manager, WMRF)

For Chris and Bella, this in-kind gift was a way to remember Dianne and to leave a meaningful legacy to Westmead.

WMRF Community Relations & Events Manager Marlene Nasr said that this donation would make a big difference to the patients staying in Haematology ward C5A

“We are very grateful to the Sarne family, as this generous donation will ensure that the patients in C5A Haematology will now have better access to entertainment and a more comfortable stay,” she said.

For more information about supporting Westmead Medical Research Foundation please browse through our web page wmrf.org.au or call us on 1800 639 037.

To help support the delivery of medical research & patient care, please donate, click here or call us on our toll free number 1800 639 037 WMRF Heart


0 Comments So Far, Posted In: Cancer, Cancer Treatments, Challenge, Community, Donate, Donations, Events, Fundraise, Health, Leukemia, Mens Health, Newsletter, Research, Third party, Treatment, Western Sydney, Westmead, WIMR, Women, Womens Health

Making A Difference In Dementia Care

September 12th, 2017


For anyone who wants to learn more about Dementia including community workers, people living with Dementia and their families, health professionals, aged care facility staff.

Thursday 28, September 2017
Registrations: 830am
Forum: 9am to 4pm

Light lunch & refreshments will be provided.

Blacktown Workers Club
55 Campbell St, Blacktown
(free parking at the club carpark)

RSVP close: 22 September 2017
Register online

To print out information for this event, click here

For information on Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) services, education, support and information sessions, print out their Dementia Advisory Service & Western Sydney Dementia Advisory Services

To help support medical research and patient care please
donate now or call us on ourtoll free number 1800 639 037 WMRF Heart

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Diabetes Education Program - Western Sydney - Cantonese Community/Patients

August 28th, 2017

Do you have Diabetes and would like a better understanding of how to mange it?

There is a Diabetes Education Program for Cantonese speaking patients, this September with Cantonese speaking health care interpreters available at the sessions.

To view and/or print flyer in Englishclick here WMRF Heart

To view and/or print flyer in Cantoneseclick here WMRF Heart

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Brain Injury Awareness Week

August 24th, 2017

Brain Injury Awareness week – 21st to 27th August 2017

An Acquired Brain Injury is a devastating injury. It can affect our ability to perform even basic tasks. Rehabilitation following brain injury requires substantial resources physically, emotionally and financially.

Earlier this year Westmead Hospital Brain Injury Unit staff members Margaret Doyle and Jo DeJesus featured on Bstreet Smart online, together with brain injury patients and community educators Tristan Kennedy and Qaa’im Abdool, who shared their personal brain injury stories.

View: Episode 4: Brain Injuries

If an Acquired Brain Injury is the result of an accident or illness and you are not eligible to claim compensation there may be financial challenges during rehabilitation. Life can be very difficult when returning to day to day living. Doug White faced such a situation when he was twenty years old and suffered a devastating brain haemorrhage following surgery to repair an arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

Relatives and friends in the community formed a charity to support Doug during his rehabilitation. Sadly, Doug passed away in 1996 but the legacy of the Doug White Trust lives on.

To support the Brain Injury Unit at Westmead Hospital and make a donation go to the Doug White Trust WMRF Heart
For further information please feel free to contact us at 1800 639 037 or email us WMRF Heart

0 Comments So Far, Posted In: Brain, Brain Awareness Week, BStreetSmart, Cancer Treatments, Donate, Donations, Events, Fundraise, Health, Western Sydney, Westmead

Revolution X & The Little Lion Cafe Proudly Supporting The "Tiny But Mighty"

August 22nd, 2017

Revolution X & The Little Lion Cafe Proudly Supporting The “Tiny But Mighty” – Westmead NICU

A fundraiser inspired by the youngest team member of Revolution X Performance Centre,  Anthony Samuel Leon Kastoun AKA ’Little Lion,’ took place Saturday 19th, August.

Revolution X held their first official ‘REV X Charity Games’ raising funds for Westmead Medical Research Foundation to go to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Westmead Hospital.

Anthony was born 14 weeks earlier than his expected due date on 15 January 2016 and spent over 2 months being cared for by the team at NICU. Now the team at Revolution X has pledged to give back by raising funds for NICU to help purchase life-saving equipment.

To read more and to support this amazing team please click here WMRF Heart

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Hospital Week at Westmead Hospital

August 21st, 2017

Australia’s most prominent health experts have converged on Westmead Hospital as Hospital Week 2017 kicked off on August 16.

The nation’s leading health minds are set to deliver more than 100 presentations during the three-day event on the latest advancements, research and “hot button” issues in areas including stroke, neonatal intensive care, euthanasia, infectious disease and cardiology.

Hospital Week kicks off at Westmead Hospital

Related – Hospital Week Pop-Up

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Thankful patients making a vital difference

August 18th, 2017

The Immunology Clinic A4D ward at Westmead Hospital has recently received a generous donation from The GBS Association of NSW Inc. – a support group for patients diagnosed with Guillain- Barré  Syndrome.

The Blood Pressure/vitals machine was donated as part of the Association’s mission of seeking strategies to help improve the quality of life of those patients affected by the disease.

Mark Kunach, Chair of the GBS Association, said that support from the group goes further than the patients and includes partners, family and friends.

We know recovery for patients is often measured in months and years so they will need close support from their family and friends to sustain them on the road to recovery.  To this end, improving the quality of life of patients by providing staff with the equipment to ensure best practice and increase patient through-put has a number of cost benefits.  The patient gets the best possible care in the minimal possible time; no one wants to be in hospital longer than is necessary,” he said.

This piece of equipment provides staff at the A4D ward, where GBS patients are treated, with the best tools to rapidly respond to patient needs thereby increasing efficiency and flexibility to respond to more urgent matters if required.

As a patient of Westmead Hospital’s A4D ward, Mark has seen first-hand the importance of having the latest technology for quicker diagnosis, treatments and better models of care.

Left to Right: Trish Brice, Rita & Ken Brooke, Mark Kunach, Paula Stone, Amenze Itoya

This is not the first donation from the GBS Association to Westmead Medical Research Foundation. Back in 2015 they donated a number of pieces of equipment and generously, they have held open the offer to consider further donations.

The new vitals machine is a much improved version – it is two thirds smaller than the similar equipment donated two years ago plus it has an ear thermometer and a blue tooth linked to patient records to further increase efficiencies.

We are very grateful to community groups such as the GBS Association who generously provide support via the funding of new cutting-edge medical equipment matching their charitable goals with our mission of supporting the delivery of medical research and patient care,”

said Alison Whittaker, Relationship Manager of Westmead Medical Research Foundation.

The GBS Association is funded solely by donations and membership and their Committee members are unpaid volunteers.  The donation of this piece of equipment represents the support of families and friends of patients, as well as members and other supporters of the GBS Association.

For more information on how your community group or association can support the work of Westmead Medical Research Foundation, please contact Alison Whittaker or 1800 639 037 or email WMRF Heart

Related articlesLatest monitor appreciated, from Auburn Review Newspaper

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Thank you to our everyday-heroes: Madison Marcus

August 17th, 2017

Thank you to Madison Marcus Law Firm for joining the 2017 City2Surf and once again selecting Westmead Medical Research Foundation as their charity of choice.

Thank you to the all the individuals who joined the Madison Marcus team and raised funds for health care and research at Westmead.

If you missed participating this year at City2Surf, there is always 2018! WMRF Heart

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