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Queensland’s most vulnerable babies have been given a $1.5 million boost after Health Minister Shannon Fentiman MP announced the first donation to this year’s Nine Telethon for Mater Little Miracles.
Ms Fentiman visited Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane today to kickstart the appeal with the seven-figure Queensland Government donation – and to announce that this year’s Nine Telethon will be broadcast on Saturday 6 April.
The iconic Nine Telethon will shine a spotlight on Mater, Australia’s biggest maternity service, and the thousands of premature and seriously ill babies that rely on Mater’s exceptional care during their first days, weeks and months of life.
Telethon funds will be invested in cutting-edge specialist care, life-saving equipment and world-leading research at Mater, where 12,000 Queensland babies are born each year – including around 2000 who receive specialist care in Mater’s Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU).
“I am delighted to announce a $1.5 million donation for this year's Nine Telethon on April 6 – a commitment that supports Mater in its dedication to providing ongoing assistance to Queensland’s most vulnerable little lives, their mothers and their families,” Ms Fentiman said.
“This commitment not only aids the delivery of life-saving medical equipment but also propels vital research initiatives, and elevates healthcare services throughout Queensland, precisely what Queenslanders deserve.
“We feel honoured to play a role in shaping the trajectory for these precious lives, ensuring they have the best possible start in life, and look forward to following their journeys from their NCCU bed and beyond.”
Nine Queensland and Nine Northern NSW Managing Director Kylie Blucher welcomed the Queensland Government’s support for the 2024 telethon.
“Compassion and generosity is in the DNA of the Nine Telethon – which is why this cause is so close to our hearts,” Ms Blucher said.
“The Nine Telethon consistently surpasses all our expectations thanks to the remarkable support of Queenslanders.
“It’s an event that truly brings our state together and I am sure the community will rally around the resilient little fighters at Mater.”
First-time parents Tiahna and Juan Fourie, of Wavell Heights, are calling on Queenslanders to get behind the Nine Telethon to help babies like their twin boys Charlie and Oliver, who were born 14 weeks early on 29 November.
Charlie weighed 820 grams and Oliver just 675 grams. Both boys are receiving expert care in the Mater Neonatal Critical Care Unit.
“We are experiencing first-hand the benefit of having life-saving equipment in the Mater NCCU,” Mrs Fourie, 27, said.
“Charlie has already had surgery and both boys will require more before coming home.
“They will also need breathing assistance for some time.”
While in utero, the twins were diagnosed with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), a condition that can affect identical twins when they share one placenta.
“We have been here for eight weeks already,” Mrs Fourie said. “We have watched Charlie and Oliver thrive during their time at Mater Mothers’. We can’t wait to bring them home.”
Mater Foundation CEO Andrew Thomas said with one in every five Queensland babies born at a Mater hospital, the Nine Telethon would give Queenslanders a unique look behind the scenes of Mater Mothers’– and see the lives that it touches every day.
“The Nine Telethon will celebrate the life-saving care and ground-breaking research that happens at Mater – and the inspiring Mater people who make it happen,” Mr Thomas said.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the support of Nine and the Queensland Government and we can’t wait to share Mater’s most special stories with the community on April 6.”
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