Port Melbourne, Australia (PressExposure) January 10, 2013 -- Losing their daughter to a rare genetic disorder in 2004 was a devastating blow to Andrew Parke and his wife Sarah. However, even in the midst of pain, the parents made a vow as they laid their child down for her final rest. They decided to do something to help the Royal Children's Hospital, where their daughter had been receiving treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, to support terminally ill children and their families. Later the same year, they established the Baby Emma Foundation, named after their child, to raise money for the hospital, through fundraisers and other events.
Andrew's business, Jim's Antennas, a premier digital antenna installer in Australia, played a vital role in the campaigns that followed and helped the couple raise $200,000 since the establishment of the foundation. The money raised by Baby Emma Foundation is used to support families having children diagnosed with terminal medical disorders. Various special projects and purchase of items by the hospital are also sponsored by the foundation.
The most recent fundraiser for the foundation was driven by Jim's Antennas at its National Conference, organised at Hamilton Island. Many franchisors, partners, franchisees and suppliers of the company came forward to support the event, including Hills, Bitek and Radio Parts Group and Matchmaster. An auction was held, where the suppliers donated both equipment and stock, to be purchased by franchisors and franchisees. One of the suppliers even went so far as to donate a pearl necklace, so that the ladies present at the event would have something to bid for. With everyone's assistance, Jim's Antennas was able to raise a significant amount of money, which was used to sponsor the purchase of a top-of-the-line ultrasound machine by the Royal Children's Hospital.
Dr Richard Leventer, one of the Paediatric Neurologists at the Royal Children's Hospital, said that the hospital was grateful to the foundation for donating the ultrasound machine. He commented that the machine would be used to conduct researches towards developing improved treatment procedures for children with terminal diseases affecting nerves or muscles, such as muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy. Such diseases claim many lives in Australia every year and proper, timely diagnosis could potentially reduce the number to a great extent.
The invasive and painful diagnostic procedures for such diseases, such as muscle and nerve biopsies, could be avoided with the help of an ultrasound machine. The technology has been successfully used for diagnosis of such disorders in adults, but Royal Children's Hospital will be the first medical institution in Australia to use it on children, Dr Leventer pointed out. "We anticipate that the use of ultrasound will enable us to provide improved clinical care to our little patients, in an outpatient setting with minimal or no discomfort", he added.
Andrew Parke has commented that he is proud of the work done by Baby Emma Foundation and highly appreciative of the constant support provided by his franchisees, franchisors, partners and suppliers. "We believe that we have made a sincere and valuable effort in support of the parents and siblings affected by the illness or loss of a child," he commented.