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n this edition of the Foundation for Health newsletter we recognise the range of services at Monash Health for women of all ages. Women like Margaret Higginbotham, featured on the cover, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 62. Margaret thought she might never have the chance to meet her granddaughter, Dawn. Three years after her diagnosis, Margaret will be celebrating this Mother’s Day with Dawn and three other grandchildren. You can read more about Margaret’s journey on page six. This coming year Monash Health will deliver nearly 11,000 babies. These new mums as well as grandmothers and great grandmothers often share with our staff their stories, some of which are featured in this newsletter. As we reflect on the incredible breadth of services we provide women of all ages I

invite you to support our Mother’s Day Appeal - more details of the Appeal are on page 11. It has been a busy start to the year for the Monash Health Foundation with many fundraising events, some of which are celebrated in this newsletter, and the historic opening of the new Monash Children’s Hospital by the Premier of Victoria. Our new 230 bed Monash Children’s Hospital has been designed to care for our patients and their families in a state-of-the-art clinical environment. We are so very grateful to you, our donors, for helping to create this wonderful new facility. Your generous support provides additional medical equipment, wellbeing support and research, and on behalf of everyone at Monash Health I would like to take this opportunity to thank you. Please enjoy this edition of your Foundation for Health newsletter, knowing your support directly impacts patients and their families at Monash Health. Andrew Stripp Chief Executive, Monash Health




incoln and Veronique Wulff founded the Dandelion Wishes Gala in 2016 to raise funds and say thanks to the staff at the Monash Children’s Hospital who saved their son Ashton’s life. When Ashton was born at only 24 weeks gestation Lincoln and Veronique were worried they might never see their son grow into the beautiful healthy five year old boy he is today. The 2017 Dandelion Wishes Gala raised nearly $400,000 for the Monash Children’s Hospital, proceeds of which will purchase new transport cots to help other very sick and premature babies like Ashton. These transport cots are the safest and best way to support and move critically ill newborn babies between birthing suite, operating theatre and our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Sincere thanks are extended to the organising committee, sponsors and all who supported this magical evening.



Veronique Wulff receives a kiss from her son Ashton at the 2017 Dandelion Wishes Gala

If you would like to attend the 2018 Dandelion Wishes Gala, or become a sponsor, please contact the Monash Health Foundation on (03) 9594 2700 or email




ittle Georgie Marsden faced a challenging start to life when she was diagnosed with club feet at just 20 weeks gestation.

Susie and Scott Marsden with daughter Georgie at the 2017 Walk for Monash Children’s Hospital.

Georgie, and her parents Scott and Susie, faced a grueling treatment regime from early after her birth including 19 corrective plaster casts. Each cast, from her thigh to her toes, was reset every one to two weeks to slowly correct the angle of Georgie’s feet. Thanks to the care Georgie received at Monash Children’s Hospital her feet are now fully corrected. Despite needing to wear a brace for 14 hours a day until she is four years old to consolidate her treatment, there seems to be no stopping this determined little girl. To say thank you, Georgie’s family entered the 2017 Walk for Monash Children’s Hospital and her team “Walking for Happy Feet” raised almost $2,000. The annual event at Jells Park, started by The Friends of the Children Foundation, this year raised

over $240,000. Nearly 2,500 people participated and enjoyed the carnival-like atmosphere while supporting the life-saving work of the Monash Children’s Hospital. Thank you to all who participated, we look forward to seeing you all again next year!

To enquire about the 2018 Walk for Monash Children’s Hospital and support patients like Georgie please contact the Monash Health Foundation. Telephone (03) 9594 2700 or email COVER Image shows Margaret Higginbotham and granddaughter Dawn.

EDITOR Lauren Allnutt Foundation Communications Coordinator

CONTACT US Monash Health Foundation Locked Bag 29 Clayton South VIC 3169 Tel: 03 9594 2700




IT’S OFFICIALLY OPEN - AND YOU MADE IT SPECIAL Children looking down over the foyer atrium of the new Monash Children’s Hospital during the community open day.


n March the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy officially opened our new 230-bed Monash Children’s Hospital. The new state-of-the-art hospital is an integral part of Monash Health - one of the largest healthcare networks in the country - and a place where over 100,000 sick children each year will receive the best care and attention from some of the world’s best paediatric healthcare providers. The new hospital features all you would expect of a world class facility: five dedicated operating theatres; 96 in-patient acute beds; 28 Neonatal Intensive Care cots; and a helipad on the roof that will provide emergency service access to the Monash Children’s Hospital as well as Monash Medical Centre. But it also features things you might not expect: single patient rooms with beds for parents and ensuite bathrooms; a Hoyts beanbag cinema, Starlight Express Room, Ronald McDonald Family Room to name just a few. Built with broad consultation with staff, patients,



their families and the wider community, the hospital features many unique and special spaces designed to make the hospital experience a positive one. Your generous donations have provided so many of these specialty features making the Monash Children’s Hospital a truly incredible hospital. From the $2.6m donation from a Melbourne family that enabled the diagnostic imaging department to have the largest installation of ambient theatre technology in the southern hemisphere, to the participants at the Walk for Monash Children’s Hospital and the inaugural Dandelion Wishes Gala Ball that helped fund the state-of-the-art education and entertainment system at the bedside of every patient. The impact of your donations is felt as soon as you walk through the door and will continue to be a significant part of a patient’s journey for years to come.

A typical patient room at the new Monash Children’s Hospital featuring window bed for parents and individual ensuite.

Philanthropy from groups like Chain Reaction corporate bike ride have funded vital specialist medical equipment, and a paediatric surgical simulation centre that is unrivaled in scope in the southern hemisphere. Generous donors such as Moose Toys have provided the playful African animals that adorn the public spaces and organisations like the Freemasons Foundation Victoria, the Children’s Cancer Foundation and My Room continue to raise funds to support the best care possible at the new hospital. Monash Health deliver more babies than any other health service in the State - nearly 11,000 this coming year. The birthing suites are located on level five at Monash Medical Centre, and are now just 20 metres across a walkway from the State’s largest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Nursery at the new Monash Children’s Hospital. Receiving the best care under the same roof is what every new mum wishes, especially in times of crisis - to be close together makes a world of difference. In early April, Monash Children’s Hospital opened its doors to the community for a sneak peek inside the new world class facility. Thousands of people made the most of the opportunity and joined in the family fun activities at the Monash Children’s Hospital Community Open Day.

CEO Andrew Stripp, Health Minister Jill Hennessy, Monash Health Chair Barbara Yeoh and Premier Daniel Andrews at the Monash Children’s Hospital opening.

It was an historic event for Victoria and particularly the families of south east Melbourne and Victoria when patients were moved to the new building in April. Your continued support of the Monash Children’s Hospital will ensure it stays at the forefront of treatment, research and care.

If you would like to talk to someone about how you can support the new Monash Children’s Hospital please contact the Monash Health Foundation today on (03) 9594 2700 or visit






hese are the words of Margaret Higginbotham. Margaret was diagnosed with bone cancer nearly four years ago, at the age of 62. Today, she reflects on the emotional roller coaster when faced with the possibility of never meeting her granddaughter.

fighting chemotherapy drugs were administered. Chemotherapy can be a grueling process; physically, emotionally and mentally. However Margaret is forever grateful to the Monash Health staff who helped her get through the most difficult time in her life.

“I didn’t think I was going to live much longer. I thought I would never have the chance to meet my granddaughter,” Margaret says. Margaret’s daughter Kelly was planning a family at the time of Margaret’s chemotherapy treatment.

“The Monash Health staff were beautiful. They treated me no less than they would their own mother,” says Margaret.

Margaret received chemotherapy treatment for several weeks at Monash Health. She spent many hours seated in chemotherapy chairs, as the cancer



After several weeks of chemotherapy treatment Margaret was finally able to return home; although very ill and in a wheelchair. She came home to some exciting news; Kelly was pregnant with her first child. The news was bittersweet for Margaret.

Margaret with her daughter Kelly and granddaughter Dawn.

“WHEN KELLY TOLD ME SHE WAS PREGNANT I CONGRATULATED HER, BUT I WAS CRYING ON THE INSIDE. I FEARED THAT I WOULD NEVER GET TO SEE THE BEAUTIFUL GRANDDAUGHTER WHOM I HAD SO LONGINGLY WAITED TO MEET.” - cancer survivor, Margaret Higginbotham Fortunately Margaret responded well to the chemotherapy treatment. Kelly’s first daughter Dawn was born in June 2014 and Margaret was simply over joyed to meet her. “I am overwhelmed at the delight of being able to see my granddaughter grow,” Margaret says of charming little Dawn. Three years after her chemotherapy treatment at Monash Health, Margaret will be celebrating this

Mother’s Day with a total of four grandchildren. She is forever grateful for the lifesaving care she received. To show her gratitude for the care received, Margaret has become a donor herself. “I wanted to give back to the people who saved my life. No matter how big or small, every donation to the hospital can help people like me receive the very best health care,” says Margaret. Generous gifts from donors can help purchase medical equipment to assist treatments like chemotherapy. The Sofra family donated $30,000 to purchase six new chemotherapy treatment chairs for Monash Health this year, enabling patients like Margaret to receive chemotherapy in as much comfort as possible. This Mother’s Day and every day, mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers like Margaret receive life-saving treatment at Monash Health. You can support these women by donating to our Mother’s Day Appeal, visit:

To make a donation and support the health care for patients like Margaret, please contact the Monash Health Foundation and donate today, telephone (03) 9594 2700 or email To donate online visit 7

TIME TO CELEBRATE! GERARD’S 60TH BIRTHDAY GIFT Today Gerard Loulier lives with three stents in his heart. After suffering a heart attack last year, he is extremely grateful to be celebrating his 60th birthday. As a way of thanking the MonashHeart medical team, Gerard asked his 60th birthday party guests to donate to the Monash Heart hospital, in lieu of birthday gifts. “I didn’t want to receive the usual chocolate and alcohol for my birthday. It can be difficult to find a gift for someone, I thought giving back to the staff who helped me reach my 60th birthday was much more worthwhile,” says Gerard.


Gerard Loulier and family with Dr Wally Ahmar at Monash Heart.

Scarlett Neal in the kangaroo chair.

Scarlett Neal was born at only 24 weeks gestation and spent her first six months in this world at the Monash Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Grateful parents Ashley and Kate held a party to celebrate Scarlett’s first birthday and asked guests to make a donation in lieu of a birthday gift for Scarlett, and $1,600 was raised. Inspired by these fundraising efforts Scarlett’s grandfather also donated to Monash Health for his birthday. The Neal family have now funded a kangaroo chair that helps prematurely born babies bond with their mums. The Neal family have also supported a prenatal women’s research study. If you would like to organise donations in lieu of a gift at your next celebration, please contact the Monash Health Foundation on (03) 9594 2700

AWARD WINNING RESEARCH FUNDED BY YOU A world first study, funded by the donors of the Monash Health Foundation, discovered the best time to vaccinate pregnant women to protect their babies from whooping cough is at 28 weeks gestation. Australia has one of the world’s highest rates of whooping cough infection and babies under six months old are particularly vulnerable as their immune response to the vaccine is not yet effective. Monash Health won a Victorian Public Healthcare award for the study and as a result of these findings has changed its whooping cough treatment protocol, offering world-best maximum protection for nearly 11,000 babies born here every year. 8


If you would like to support medical research at Monash Health, please contact the Monash Health Foundation today, telephone (03) 9594 2700

LEVI’S SECOND CHANCE “Donation” what comes to mind when you read the word? For approximately 1500 Australians on the kidney transplant waiting list, a kidney donation means another chance at life.


oncerned parents, Alice and Reece, noticed their son Levi had a swollen face when he was just nine days old. “We had no idea what it could be. Due to the swelling we thought it might be an allergy,” remembers Alice. At only four weeks old it was discovered little Levi’s kidneys were leaking protein. He endured a series of tests before Alice and Reece were told the difficult and distressing news that Levi was suffering from Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome - a rare and life-threatening genetic disease. “I had never heard of it before and we discovered that both my husband and I carried the gene,” says Alice. Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome is an inherited disorder where a baby has protein in the urine as a result can cause painful swelling of the body. The disease is life threatening; “Without a kidney transplant, the medium to long-term survival would be virtually zero,” says nephrologist Dr Amelia Le Page. When Reece and Alice were told that Levi required a kidney transplant to survive, both parents immediately offered to be donors. “We were prepared to do anything in our power to ensure Levi has the best chance at life,” says Reece. Through testing, it was discovered Alice was the best donor match for her little boy and was told giving Levi a kidney could extend his life until he is about 12 years of age, when it is expected his body will start to reject the donated organ. If and when this happens his father Reece will donate one of his kidneys, gifting Levi with the chance of many more years of life.

“I HAD TO DO A LOT OF TESTS, ULTRA SOUNDS AND CT SCANS BUT I DIDN’T MIND, I WOULD BE POKED AND PRODDED AS MUCH AS REQUIRED TO SAVE MY SON’S LIFE.” - Levi’s mum, Alice Levi’s family are incredibly grateful for the staff, specialist medical equipment, care and support which helped to save Levi’s life. He went through his final surgery in March this year. “We want to see Levi grow into the outgoing young man he will become, I think he will be a firefighter or performer when he grows up, with all that energy and charisma,” says Alice. Children like Levi rely on complex dialysis machines and blood pressure tests to give them the best chance at a healthy future. Levi continues to visit the Monash Children’s Hospital dialysis unit three times a week for routine tests, to ensure his new kidney is functioning well. Alice knows the importance of her son remaining still and calm during these procedures - which is sometimes a challenge for an outgoing two year old boy. Support from donors enables Monash Health to invest in items to distract and entertain our young patients, so doctors can continue to provide our sick children the best possible care.

To support patients like Levi at the Monash Children's Hospital visit or call the Monash Health Foundation (03) 9594 2700 9




eet Dr Karma – he is the only paediatric surgeon in Bhutan – a country with a population of over 700,000, approximately 20% of which are under the age of 18. It is safe to say Dr Karma is a busy man, performing lifesaving paediatric surgeries on Bhutanese children every day. Dr Karma is visiting Monash Children’s Hospital in Clayton as part of a 12-month scholarship program in conjunction with Monash Children’s Hospital International and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He is undergoing surgical training and mentoring with the support and guidance of Head of Paediatric Surgery/Urology, Professor Chris Kimber. Dr Karma is not only learning improved ways to perform surgeries, he is also learning about the importance of collaboration and focusing on the patient experience. “In my country we follow the direction of the head surgeon, whether we have hesitations about the decision or not, we must follow his direction. I see the benefits of all the doctors and surgeons working together, to decide upon the best treatment for their patients,” says Dr Karma. Dr Karma looks forward to returning to Bhutan with his wife and daughter and sharing all he has learned with his work colleagues. “I have many tips I can take back to Bhutan so that I can become a leader in improving our healthcare systems. I see that in Australia you care for the patient and their families, before and after their hospital visit as well. I would like to take this learning back to Bhutan,” says Dr Karma. Dr Karma first became a doctor because he saw it as an opportunity to improve the health of people in his country.



Dr Karma with Professor Chis Kimber in the new Monash Children’s Hospital

He spent five years training at a hospital in Dubai, before deciding that becoming a surgeon for children, was where he could have the greatest impact. “Bhutan’s healthcare needed me, and I wanted to make improvements,” says Dr Karma. Surgery is an essential component of health systems. The World Health Organisation estimates that 11% of the global burden of disease can be treated with surgery alone. Monash Children’s Hospital International, a program with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, aims to train paediatric surgeons in our neighbouring developing countries. The program currently runs in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Educational courses and in-country visits provide invaluable on-the-job teachings for a sustainable impact to healthcare in developing countries.

To support the improvement of healthcare in our neighbouring countries, contact the Monash Health Foundation today, telephone (03) 9594 2700 or email


A gift in your legal Will to Monash Health will WHERE THERE’S A WILL provide the best health care in your community.

THERE’S A WAY! Our years of experience. Your special moment. 14 May - Mother’s Day Appeal This year nearly 11,000 babies will be delivered at Monash Health making us the largest maternity service in Victoria. This Mother’s Day we invite you to support our many new mums with a donation to the Monash Women’s Mother’s Day Appeal. Every generous donation goes to ensuring our new mums have the best medical equipment and receive the comfort, support and special care they need. For more information about our appeal and to make a donation go to mothersday. With your support we can give women and their families the best chance at a healthy future.

Donate to our Mother’s Day Appeal today June Tax Appeal taxtime

A gift in your Will to Monash Health will provide the best health care in your community.

If you would like a copy of our iWill brochure, or would like more information about leaving a bequest to Monash Health, please email or telephone (03) 9594 2063.



We are privileged to have your support because it is your generosity that helps us provide additional hospital equipment for so many patients across our health service. The end of the financial year is when you may wish to make a tax-deductible donation. If you make a gift to the Monash Health Foundation by Friday 30 June together we can continue to improve the health and wellbeing of the thousands of Victorians that find themselves being cared for at Monash Health.

30 July Run Melbourne - Federation Square You can help support our new children’s hospital simply by strapping on your walking shoes and joining us at the annual Run Melbourne event on Sunday 30 July. Enter the 5km walk/run or the 10km run, or – if you’re really keen - a half-marathon challenge. You can run or walk our beautiful city of Melbourne to help raise funds for the new Monash Children’s Hospital. To register, go to and select Monash Children’s Hospital from the list of charities at Step 3 ‘Do it for Charity.


I WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THE WORK OF MONASH HEALTH MY DONATION I would like to make a single tax deductible gift of:





My choice $

HOW TO GET INVOLVED BECOME A REGULAR GIVER By joining our Regular Giving program, you will provide a reliable source of ongoing support and enable Monash Health to confidently plan for the future.

I would like to donate by cheque/money order (payable to Monash Health Foundation)

Please debit my credit card: VISA



Card number:



Signature: Name on card: Credit card donations can also be made by calling 03 9594 2700 or by visiting our website at

MY DETAILS: Mr Ms Miss Mrs Dr (please circle) First name:

GIVING IN MEMORY Donating in memory is a very special way of honouring a loved one. Many families find some comfort in choosing the Monash Health Foundation as the beneficiary of donations in lieu of flowers.

CREATE YOUR OWN EVENT Fundraising events are an excellent way to bring people together, increase awareness about your cause, and raise much needed funds towards a project. Create an event and make a difference!







Thank you for supporting Monash Health Foundation. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. A receipt will be issued for your donation.

Please send me information on: Monthly or annual giving to Monash Health Foundation Volunteering at Monash Health Foundation Leaving a gift in your Will to Monash Health Foundation Gifts in celebration to Monash Health Foundation Fundraising for Monash Health Foundation

Our privacy policy: We respect your privacy and do not share your personal information. If you wish to change the way we communicate with you, please contact us. Monash Health Foundation Locked Bag 29 CLAYTON SOUTH VIC 3169 03 9594 2700 ABN 82 142 080 337

GIVE IN CELEBRATION Have an upcoming celebration and don’t know what to ask for? Ask your guests to donate to Monash Health in lieu of a gift for you and make a difference to thousands of Victorians.

VOLUNTEER We have a calendar full of exciting fundraising events! Volunteer to make a difference in the lives of families and patients treated at Monash Health and use your skills for a great cause.

To get involved in any of the above fundraising initiatives contact the Monash Health Foundation today, telephone (03) 9594 2700 or email



Foundation for Health Edition 1, 2017  
Foundation for Health Edition 1, 2017