‘Giving fund’ benefits haematology patients

Calvary Mater Newcastle’s Director of Haematology, Dr Sam Yuen, and Senior Hospital Scientist, Conjoint Associate Professor Lisa Lincz, recently accepted a generous donation from Tomago Aluminium totalling $14,000.

On the day, Tomago Aluminium employee and Mater haematology patient Trevor, was on-site with his daughters for the official cheque handover.

As part of the employee-administered ‘Workplace Giving Fund’, Tomago Aluminium Communications Advisor, Katie Burns, explained that both employees and the company contribute financially.

“Currently, 74 per cent of our staff donate to the fund from their pay, with the company making an additional donation,” she said.

“Each year, staff vote to nominate which local charities will receive funding and Calvary Mater Newcastle was one of the five organisations selected in 2023.”

According to A/Prof Lincz, the haematology department has several areas of research that will benefit from this funding, ranging from basic discovery to clinical implementation of new treatments to combat the disease.

“The department was both surprised and humbled to be nominated as beneficiaries of this great scheme. As researchers, we rarely have contact with the patients that we hope will one day benefit from our work, so it is nice to know that they are thinking of us and value our efforts,” she said.

In the laboratory, the team are working closely with collaborators at the University of Newcastle to identify new cellular targets that can be used for drug development and predicting the best treatment for each patient.

“We are also testing new combinations of commonly used cancer drugs to see if a better treatment regimen can be developed for patients with leukaemia, especially in the context of relapsed disease,” A/Prof Lincz said.

A/Prof Lincz and Dr Yuen thanked Trevor and Katie for their donation towards such a valuable cause and the benefit of future Mater patients.