James wants you to dial in a donation for sick kids
BUNDABERG lad James Kohler refuses to let cancer hold him back.
The 10-year-old is undergoing intensive treatment to reduce a potentially deadly tumour in his back at Queensland Children's Hospital in Brisbane.
James was diagnosed with cancer about six months ago after he was hit with crippling pain in his legs.
A scan of his back found a crushed vertebra, resulting in a trip to QCH where doctors discovered he had Ewing's sarcoma in his backbone.
Ewing's sarcoma is a rare cancer that grows in the bones and soft tissue of children and young people.
In James's case, it grew in his backbone, causing it to fragment, then wrapped its tentacles around his nerves.
Surgical removal of the mass was impossible so doctors put him on a seven-month regime of radiation and chemotherapy.
James's treatment will continue to year's end, but the good news is the tumour is now half its original size and the youngster can finally stand up and sleep pain-free.
James has been enjoying the many Children's Hospital Foundation services.
These include Juiced TV, where children host the show and interview celebrities; Cuddle Carers; music, pet, bedside play and other therapy programs; and the Book Bunker library.
"At the start he was too sick to communicate or do anything with anybody," James's mother Nicole Bartelo said.
"But now he brightens up when the volunteers visit to play games with him or when Radio Lollipop put songs on for him."
"He really loves hosting Juiced TV as well."
The Channel Nine Telethon is the Children's Hospital Foundation's key fundraiser.
As well as supporting patients at QCH, money raised during the telethon pays for vital medical equipment, research and a range of medical services throughout Queensland and Northern NSW.
The foundation hopes to raise more than $12 million when Queenslanders tune into the telethon on the Nine Network on November 17.
Donations can also be made at participating Woolworths, Big W and Bank of Queensland outlets.
The inflight technology saving young lives
IF your child becomes critically ill, there is a chance their life might be saved by technology partially funded by community donations.
The Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine is a significant piece of equipment that takes over the function of the heart and lungs while a child's body is fighting an illness or struggling with an injury.
The ECMO at Queensland Children's Hospital has saved the lives of more than 200 children from as far north as Cooktown, west to Mt Isa and south to the Gold Coast.
The Children's Hospital Foundation has commissioned a special portable version of the ECMO - known as a "sled".
Money raised during last year's Channel Nine Telethon helped pay for the first Australian portable unit, one that can go in an aircraft, foundation CEO Rosie Simpson said.
"Close to half the children that come into Queensland Children's Hospital are from regional areas - which is why we fund innovative equipment," she said.
"The ECMO sled is equivalent to an intensive care unit but it is mobile.
"We are bringing all the technology and expertise to the patient."
BY THE NUMBERS
- Queensland Children's Hospital treated about 13,000 inpatients from regional Queensland and northern NSW over the past year.
- The Children's Hospital Foundation provides a range of support services for sick children and young people attending QCH and hospitals across Queensland.
- About $1.7 million of CHF funds has been invested in regional pediatric wards.
- More than 42 per cent of children visiting hospitals in Brisbane come from regional areas and many of these are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in Queensland.