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30th March 2021 Community Fundraiser Pancreatitis

Local Lions Clubs raise $30,000 for life-changing medical equipment

A man in suit outside smiling at camera with another male and female who are holding fundraising certificates.

$30,000 raised to cure people of pancreatitis

The Lions Club of Yankalilla and District has raised an incredible $30,000 to purchase two much-needed Chiller Units to help facilitate a life-changing procedure that cures people of debilitating pancreatitis.

The Chiller Units will be used in conjunction with a state-of-the-art Biospherix Chamber being established in Adelaide in 2021, to enable faster and safer Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Auto Transplantation (TP-IAT) procedures.

Pancreatitis is a debilitating hereditary condition where inflammation of the pancreas causes patients to experience severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting, often leaving adults and even children in constant pain and with very poor quality of life.

The current procedure consists of the pancreas being removed and usually flown to a Chamber interstate. The islet cells are then removed and harvested, flown back and infused into the patient’s liver, ultimately curing them of their pancreatitis.

Director of Transplant Medicine at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Professor Toby Coates (pictured left) said the Chiller Units are a vital part of TP-IAT procedures and will have significant impact for patients.

“The Chiller Units act like a portable refrigerator and are an essential part of the procedure. Once the islets are removed and isolated, they are placed in the Units to eliminate the risk of cell damage as they are brought back and injected into the patient,” Prof Coates said.

“This generous donation from the Lions Club will make it easier for TP-IAT procedures to happen right here in Adelaide, eliminating interstate travel and potential issues such as travel delays or even border closures as we’ve been experiencing during COVID-19.”

The purchase of the Chiller Units is proudly facilitated through Kidney Transplant Diabetes Research Australia, a charity part of The Hospital Research Foundation Group, which is also funding the new Adelaide-based Biospherix Chamber.

The Lions Club of Yankalilla and District along with others raised an incredible $15,000 for the Units, with the Australian Lions Foundation matching their efforts by providing a further $15,000 grant.

Michael Fogden (pictured), President of the Lions Club of Yankalilla and District said: “Prof Coates gave a presentation to our Club about his life-changing pancreatitis work and it was a no brainer to raise funds for the Chiller Units. I enlisted the clubs in District 201 C2 to assist with raising $15,000 and the Australian Lions Foundation gave me a $15,000 grant to match.”

“To contribute towards something that will be life-changing for South Australians living in constant pain is extremely rewarding.”