When you listen to Medical Laboratory Manager Penny Toland and Laboratory Director Jordan Barr talk about the brand new CBS V-5000AB Isothermal Freezer, funded by Gold Coast Hospital Foundation donors Sheila and Bernard’s Life Saving Medical Equipment Fund, their excitement levels match those of a lottery winner.
So what is so special about this freezer?
The CBS V-5000AB Isothermal Freezer has the power to help cancer patients in our community. It keeps the stem cells of patients suffering different types of blood cancers at the perfect temperature of around -190 Celsius, preserving them for future transplants that will either improve the patient’s quality of life and in best case scenarios save the patient’s life. Penny likes to describe the transplant process like setting up the garden bed.
“To put it in simple terms, it would be like preparing a garden bed by putting round up on it, getting rid of all the weeds— which in this case is the cancer cells— and then planting flowers, which are the new fresh stem cells.” Penny said.
In 2015, 116 stem cell packs were transferred from Brisbane to the Gold Coast University Hospital, allowing local patients to receive treatment on the Gold Coast. Since then the transplant program has collected a total of 1022 packs. With the addition of a third freezer in the lab, Penny, Jordan, and their team are able to help more locals suffering from blood cancers, whilst ensuring the safe storage of the current stem cells that have already been collected.
“Thankfully, through the generosity of this donation, we can now store more stem cells for people of the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales.” Penny said.
Being able to increase the scale of the stem cell program locally has a range of benefits for blood cancer patients. It means patients can receive their treatment closer to home, rather than having to drive to Brisbane, this in turn means their support networks are closer as well.
Over the next few weeks, Penny and Jordan will get the donated CBS V-5000AB Isothermal Freezer ready for action. Keep an eye out on our socials for some interesting behind-the-scenes clips into the process!
You can help Gold Coast Hospital Foundation fund integral and life-saving equipment, just like the CBS V-5000AB Isothermal Freezer! Click here to donate, and follow us on social media (Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn) to see the incredible impact your donation will have on our community.