The who’s who of the Sunshine Coast will once again congregate for a good cause for the Wishlist Spring Carnival Lunch at the Palmer Coolum Resort on September 21. The 600 guests can look forward to an afternoon of glamour with hosts Natalie Barr and Mark Baretta from Seven’s Sunrise, entertainment by The Voice’s Mahalia Barnes and an amazing selection of auction prizes while they aim to raise $118,200 for local health initiatives through Wishlist.
This year the funds raised will be directed towards purchasing an urgently-needed Ultrasound for Prostrate Biopsies, equipment that will significantly streamline the diagnoses and treatment capabilities available to prostate cancer patients on the Sunshine Coast.
Wishlist CEO, Lisa Rowe said while the past three galas have raised funds for initiatives benefiting children and youth, the event committee is excited about raising awareness for prostate cancer and men’s health at the 2012 Wishlist Spring Carnival.
“The Wishlist Spring Carnival committee recognises the importance of supporting men’s health – an issue that is often pushed to the backburner,” said Lisa.
Each year in Australia, close to 3,300 men die of prostate cancer – equal to the number of women who die from breast cancer annually. Currently there is no dedicated ultrasound for prostrate biopsies in an outpatient setting on the Coast, meaning much longer waiting lists and more trips to the hospital are required before an accurate diagnosis is possible.
“As you can imagine, waiting for diagnosis and subsequent treatment due to lack of resources impacts not only on a cancer patient’s physical wellbeing, but also their psychological state of mind,” Ms Rowe said.
“Together, we can make life better for local cancer patients and their loved ones by raising the $118,200 required to purchase this equipment as soon as possible.”
Someone who is particularly excited about the cause of this year’s fundraising gala is prostate cancer survivor Rob Tonge and the other members of the Sunshine Coast Prostate Cancer Support Group of which Rob is a co-convenor.
Mr Tonge said each member of the 400-strong group and their families have had their lives impacted forever by cancer and are thrilled to hear this equipment will soon be available in an outpatient setting locally.
“What it means to our group to hear that the Wishlist Spring Carnival proceeds are going towards this equipment is tremendous,” he said.
“It will make a real difference to people like us who have received the devastating diagnoses of prostate cancer. There are men in our group who, though they’ve never been scared of anything in their life, are terrified of having a biopsy. So the longer they have to wait and all the trips to and from the hospital make it emotionally a lot worse, particularly because they know that the earlier treatment can begin, the better the outcome.
“This equipment will dramatically improve the process we have to go through and that’s why our group is so grateful, excited and wholeheartedly behind it.”
The group met with Wishlist’s Lisa Rowe at the Palmer Coolum Resort to discuss how they can assist with fundraising at the event.