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The Investigator : Spring Summer 2011
A major campaign led by the FMC Foundation, SA Lotteries and Mix102.3 has transformed an empty office space into a home away from home for country parents with sick or premature babies in the FMC Neonatal Unit. More than 800 babies are cared for in the FMC Neonatal Unit each year, with many sick or premature infants requiring round-the-clock breathing support, close monitoring and intravenous feeding. Earlier this year, the FMC Foundation was given the challenge to find funds to renovate an office flat on campus to provide accommodation for up to three couples at a time, to make it easier for regional parents who must visit the unit frequently to express milk or bond with their babies. After securing the support of Mix102.3, in the first week of the radio campaign SA Lotteries pledged a generous donation of $25,000 to start the fundraising ball rolling. This was followed in June with an incredible second donation from SA Lotteries for $25,000 to purchase vital cardio- respiratory monitors for the FMC Neonatal Unit. Mix102.3’s breakfast team John, Jodie and Snowy also launched a public appeal, selling ‘advertising space’ on Jodie’s pregnant belly which raised more than $24,500 in donations from Adelaide businesses. In addition, a number of kind companies offered their goods and services to the renovation rescue, including cleaning products, kitchen supplies, paint, labour services, lighting and furniture. Kennett Builders even provided a site manager to oversee the project and have been instrumental in coordinating and obtaining support for much of the renovation. “We were so thrilled to hear that our initial $25,000 donation to the Neonatal Parent Accommodation Rescue campaign on Mix102.3 has led to such overwhelming support for this cause from other local companies,” said Callum Mulvihill, Marketing and Sales General Manager of SA Lotteries. “While SA Lotteries’ games generate approximately $1.7 million for State hospitals each week, we wanted to more directly benefit those using our hospitals. “With this in mind, we were very pleased to make the secondary donation of $25,000 to further assist the Neonatal Unit at FMC.” l Investigator spring/summer 2011 Neonatal parents the winners of SA Lotteries and Mix102.3 accommodation rescue A former FMC Foundation Fellow, Dr Tim Chataway, was named Unsung Hero of South Australian Science at the state launch of National Science Week in August. Dr Chataway, who is researching the role of proteins in Parkinson’s disease, established the Flinders Proteomics Facility – the first of its kind in the state – thanks to funding from donations made to the FMC Foundation. The FMC Foundation awarded Dr Chataway a Sir Mark Oliphant Fellowship in 2005, which enabled Dr Chataway to establish the world-class facility which is now utilised by scientists across the state. Proteomics, an area of science that has only evolved in the last decade, focuses on the study of proteins which are involved in every part of a cell’s function. In the state-of-the-art Flinders Proteomics Facility, researchers from all fields can compare diseased cells to healthy cells, and identify the differences in the proteins. “Once we’ve identified the differences in proteins in healthy and diseased cells, researchers can then use that understanding to develop new diagnostic tests or new targets for treatments,” Dr Chataway said. As well as contributing to a wide range of projects including in ophthalmology, cancer research, asthma, kidney stones, and multiple sclerosis, Dr Chataway’s primary focus is on Parkinson’s research. His laboratory has developed a new method to extract the abnormal clusters of proteins, called Lewy bodies, which form within nerve cells in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease. The team are currently analysing the Lewy bodies to identify the “rogue” proteins which are responsible for their formation. l Unsung hero for Parkinson’s research FMC Foundation CEO Deborah Heithersay with SA Lotteries’ Callum Mulvihill Dr Tim Chataway
Autumn Winter 2011
Autumn Winter 2012