RCH Foundation News : February 2016
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Seven years ago, Tracey had no idea that her son Jack would be the healthy young man he is today.

A few months before his third birthday, she noticed that he was falling over more than his brothers ever had and she was sure that it wasn’t clumsiness. After a particularly bad tumble, Tracey took Jack to their local hospital. They treated his bumps and bruises, but couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. A trip to the GP confirmed that Jack’s condition was troubling, but no diagnosis was made. Increasingly concerned, Tracey brought her son to the RCH Emergency Department.

“It was like a breath of fresh air. Even though they couldn’t yet see what was going on with Jack, the doctors and nurses took everything I said on board.”

So began Jack’s seven-year RCH journey. Testing to determine Jack’s diagnosis — severe Rolandic epilepsy — took time because of the type of seizures he was experiencing. Focussed around the central part of the brain, Jack’s seizures also came in clusters. Therefore, Jack could go weeks without one, only to have a group or cluster of seizures occur within a short time. Predicting when the clusters would occur was impossible, so detecting this abnormal electrical activity in Jack’s brain was no small feat.


The Melbourne Children’s campus partners — the RCH, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and University of Melbourne — have partnered with Mercy Health on an exciting research project aimed at preventing allergies and infection in infants.

In recent years, the number of children affected by allergies has risen dramatically. Researchers theorise that the clean lifestyles in developed countries like Australia stop babies from coming into contact with enough good bacteria and other microbes to encourage a healthy immune system. Currently, there are no known interventions to reduce allergies.

This study, the Melbourne Infant Study: BCG for Allergy and Infection Reduction (MISBAIR), will test whether the BCG vaccine, used to protect against tuberculosis (TB), can prevent allergies and also infections other than TB. Only discontinued In Australia in the mid-1980s due to the decline of TB cases, the BCG vaccine is known to have powerful beneficial effects on the developing immune system.

A landmark study, this research could influence vaccine strategy nationally and internationally.


The Good Friday Appeal needs your help to make a difference to sick kids at the hospital. Celebrating 85 years of giving, they’re keen to make 2016 the best appeal yet!

If you’d like to lend a hand, volunteers are needed to help with local fundraising efforts. Visit the Good Friday Appeal website for more info on these and other volunteer opportunities.

Those keen to see last year’s $17.1 million fundraising total surpassed can donate now. No matter what you can manage, a donation to the Good Friday Appeal builds a brighter, healthier future for RCH kids.


Premier's Cup
The inaugural 'Premier's Cup Charity Golf Day’ hosted by the Premier of Victoria, The Hon Daniel Andrews, was held on 1 February 2016. This sold out event raised over $200,000 for the hospital. For a recap of the event,
click here.

Run for the Kids
Join Run for the Kids 2016 and have fun while helping the hospital. The annual fun run is on Sunday, March 20 and is perfect for the whole family. You can run, walk, or push a tram to the finish line. For more info, click here.