The Bone Marrow Cancer Trust Inc. is a Charitable Trust established in 1991 as the South Island Bone Marrow Transplant Trust Inc. Its aim was to raise funds to build the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Christchurch Hospital and Ranui House, the accommodation facility.

Ranui House has family apartments which enable families and the patient, who is often in a life threatening situation, to lead as normal a life as possible in difficult circumstances.

The Trust’s aim is to “keep the family together” during what can be an extremely stressful time.

The Trust is a small non-profit charitable organisation based in Christchurch, serving New Zealand and primarily the South Island. It is not part of a NZ national body.

A Board of eight trustees, four associate trustees and a fundraising committee run the Trust. The staff include a chief executive officer and two part-time secretaries.

What does it do?

The Trust’s main focus is patient accommodation and support through the following services :

Ranui House

The Trust owns and operates Ranui House, an accommodation facility for patients and their families who are required to travel to Christchurch from throughout the South Island for medical treatment at Christchurch hospitals.

The Bone Marrow Cancer Trust is unique in that it not only provides support and accommodation for haematology patients but also provides accommodation for patients and families from all other hospital departments including Christchurch Women’s. Often the whole family moves to Christchurch and their children go to local schools. This is especially true for renal or haematology patients as they are required to stay for long periods at a time. Their stays can sometimes be for 6 months and longer while the patient is receiving medical treatment.

Ranui is situated directly opposite the Riverside Entrance to Christchurch Hospital and Christchurch Women’s Hospital. Residents have access to a car park and the location enables patients and caregivers to walk to the hospital when required.

Everything is provided except for food and personal toiletries.

In 1996 the Trust had the foresight to purchase the land adjacent to Ranui House for future development. Demand for accommodation is steadily increasing and this is expected to continue with the centralisation of many specialist health services to Christchurch. The Trust is now fundraising to build an additional 18-apartment new accommodation facility on this property.

Support of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit

The South Island BMT Unit was the first transplant unit to be established in New Zealand and was the only unit for several years. The Trust was instrumental in establishing the Unit by providing $1.1 million of the $1.75 million required to build the Unit at Christchurch Hospital, which was opened freehold in December 1991.

The Trust continues to support the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit with additional equipment and assisting staff in attending local and overseas conferences.

Research

The Bone Marrow Cancer Trust also has a separate Research Trust which helps to fund research.

How is it funded?

The Trust does not receive government funding, but relies on donations, grants, fundraising and bequests for its income.

All fundraising is done by the Trust Board and fundraising committee who volunteer their time. By not employing a fundraiser the Trust keeps costs to a minimum and this allows all funds to go directly to the fundraising project. Regular fundraising events are held throughout the year including an annual charity golf tournament, art expo, dinners with guest speakers and garden tours. Enquiries regarding these events are always welcome.

How can I get their help?

Patients and their families who are required to come to Christchurch for medical treatment are able to contact Ranui House directly with accommodation enquiries. They are also able to ask their social worker or patient liaison at the referring hospital or doctor’s surgery to contact Ranui House on their behalf.

You can contact the Bone Marrow Cancer Trust as follows:

How much does it cost?

Accommodation may be funded if the patient meets Ministry of Health funding criteria. Patients should contact their Social Worker with regard to this. Should the accommodation not be funded, the cost is $75.00 per night per apartment. This covers the patient, primary caregiver and school age children.

Link to the Bone Marrow Cancer Trust Website

www.bmct.org.nz

The Bone Marrow Cancer Trust website contains information on the Trust, photos and information on Ranui House, the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and the Trust’s latest newsletter.

 

Author

This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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