Hope: Cancer researcher Dr Matt Dun, centre, with his RUN DIPG team mates Lucas McBeath and Tabitha McLachlan. They are running to bring the world’s attention to the deadly brain stem cancer, DIPG. Picture: Marina NeilIF Dr MattDun could spend every last cent he had on time, he would buy more.
Instead, he is running in a race against it to find the missing pieces of the puzzle that couldsave children like his own little girl, Josephine.
The University of Newcastle and HMRI biologist has spent almost a decade unearthingvital insights into some of the most devastating types of cancer, including children’s cancers.
But in February, his crusade became agonisingly personalwhen Josephine – now three – was diagnosed with a brain stem cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG.
“The average survival is about 10 months,” Dr Dunsaid. “That means that half the kids who get itwill liveless than that. About 10 per cent of kids with DIPG live for two years, and 1 per cent of kids live for five years.”
Dr Dun continues to leadleukaemia research projects, but he has also becomedrivento use his knowledge and skills to dig deeperintoDIPG–a “ferocious,” inoperable cancer that almost exclusively affects children.
Related reading: ‘Devastatingly beautiful’
“My team of researchers all see the power of what they are doing, and the potential of what they are doing,” he said.“They are working hard, and gettinggood results.I just need to make sure they have the funding to continue to unravel whatever they are looking into, whether it’s glioma or leukaemia.”
He is“cautiously optimistic” they will be able to translate some of their initial discoveries into clinical trials andtreatments for DIPG.
“Whetherit is in time for Josephine, time will tell,” Dr Dunsaid. “Clinical trials are still a little while, and a lot of money, away.”
Josephine–affectionately known as Josie–was diagnosed with DIPGafter she suddenly had trouble walking.
Hertreatment, which involved months of radiotherapy under general anaesthetic in Sydney, hadbeen traumatic for their whole family.
Sweetness and light: Josephine Dun, 3, shares a moment with her dad, Dr Matt Dun, during her treatment. He is trying to find a way to defeat DIPG.
“I can’t imagine what she’sgoing through in terms of the pain, the symptoms, the loss of mobility, the frustrations, the chemo, the drugs, the nagging of her parents to come into hospital.Being subjected to treatments and needles, and being poked and prodded by different people every five minutes,” he said. “For the moment, while she is with us, I feel like at least I cantry to look up thingsand read and try to come up with a strategy that potentially might help.
“At the moment, while we still have her, itgets me out of bed every day.”
On Sunday, Dr Dun ran the half marathon in the Lake Macquarie Running Festival as part of his training regime for the Blackmores Sydney Marathon in September.
Hehopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon alongside hisfundraising team,RUNDIPG, to bring the world’s attentionto the devastating disease.
“These children are totally innocent,” he said.
“We still have cancers out there that take our babies, and at the moment, there’s nothing we can do about it.
“We have to work together to end this.”
Dr Dun has become part of a community of DIPG parents all suffering the indescribableagony of watching their children battle an illness with “horrendous” survival rates.
Many have come to view him as a champion for the cause.
“I am uniquely placed to help, and I feel that responsibility,” he said. “Medicine is all about evidence-based practice.And there is no evidence-based practice for this. It is all an experiment.
“When it is all said and done, this is going to drive me for the rest of my life, to ensure otherfamilies have some hope. At the moment, there is none.”
DIPG’s locationin thebrain stem made it difficult to treat.
“The brain stemtransports all the signals that help people breathe and swallow and see, so any disruption –be it as small as possible, or as big as a higher grade DIPG, leads to mortality pretty quickly,” Dr Dun said. “Which is why surgery – the gold standard for a brain tumour, or any tumour – is not possible.
“So we are simply stuck trying to get drugs into a site that is really important, and a site that doesn’t facilitate the transport of drugs from the veins into the tumour.
“That is why we see these terrible survival rates.”
Dr Dun said he and his wife Phoebe, a local GP who is pregnant with their third child, were grateful for the “amazing” support of their family,friends, and community.
A recent community event –The Josie Dun Gift –raised more than $70,000.
“Everyone feels like they want to help, and they know without research dollars there are no treatments, no cures, no improved well-being. So they have taken it upon themselves to do whatever they can, in their own time, to try to help us.
Hope: Cancer researcher Dr Matt Dun in his RUN DIPG team uniform. The runners are hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon to bring the world’s attention to the deadly brain stem cancer, DIPG. Picture: Marina Neil
“It is going to help. I am sure what we’re doing at HMRI will provide some of the clues of the puzzle that will help kids and their families in the future.I feel that even after six months we have a very strong program focused on a lot of key areas that I think are absolutely critical, and are under-met, in the literature.”
Related reading: A step closer to a better result
Dr Dun’s team is looking into early biomarkers of treatment success and failure.
They are trying to discover why and how children get DIPG, andtesting therapeutics that focus on the pathways Dr Dun believes is driving it in younger kids.
Dr Dun said there had been some “solid research” happening in the field, such as one study that managed to eradicateDIPG in mice,but caused potentially fatal inflammation.
“My personal Go Fund Mepage is to have a fallback plan for when we figure out what may help Josephine,” Dr Dun Said.
“This was all brought about by conversations with researchers and clinicians in the US, who suggested if we were to go to the States for any treatment, it would be user-pay.
“One therapy requires a month in hospital. Paying day-by-day, who knows what that could cost?
“Whatever is not used is going to fund a salary, or fund research, back here at HMRI.”
Dr Dun said his team has had interest from pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and oncologists in Sydney who had come on board to help.
“Now it isabout trying to get these preliminary results as strong as possible to move into clinical studies,” he said.
“The more money we can get, the more people I can put on it.”
Biomedical research may be expensive, butthe cost of not doing it is much higher.
Dr Dun said every cent helped.
“I havejust sent a whole batch of DIPG materials for sequencing in Hong Kong, and just to get it to Hong Kong costs us $2000–that’s without the sequencing.”
If you can help, donatevia everydayhero南京明升m88官网官方网站.au/event/rundipgorgofundme南京明升m88官网官方网站/wcac68-run-dipg.
Aaron Woods is one of the high-profile props chasing game time for the Sharks.Aaron Woods has welcomed his increase in playing time as Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan tweaks an all-Origin rotation of big boppers ahead of the NRL finals.
Mid-season arrival Woods’ spike in minutes in recent weeks coincided with a decrease for fellow prop Andrew Fifita, which is believed to have been the catalyst for Fifita’s outburst at the coaches’ box last week.
While that created controversy, it’s the sort of selection headache most coaches would welcome.
Flanagan has to balance his use of starting props Fifita and Matt Prior plus skipper Paul Gallen and Woods, all of whom have played State of Origin and are capable of big minutes.
In the past three weeks, Woods has played a total of 163 minutes compared to 118 for Fifita.
Fifita’s long bench stint following an error last weekend fired him up as he returned to score a crucial try and the Sharks hope it was a sign of more to come from him.
Preparing for his first finals football in seven years, Woods said he was grateful to get more action but there were other contributing factors.
“It’s been a shock to get those extra minutes the last two weeks but we’ve had a few injuries in the game,” Woods said.
“We’ve lost two centres on the weekend so we’ve had to push our backrowers out and get a bit more minutes from our tights.
“The same thing happened in Melbourne, we lost Wade (Graham) early and had to get a few minutes from other players.
I’m enjoying any time I get on the footy field. I can’t thank Shane enough for giving me a role.”
Halfback Chad Townsend enjoys the momentum benefits of playing behind such a strong quartet.
“Earlier in the season when we had our whole starting forward pack out and Andrew (Fifita) was named captain, he was playing 80 minutes in back-to-back weeks,” Townsend said.
“So he’s shown he can play 80 minutes and still produce good numbers.
“Now we do have the luxury of having Aaron here who, since he’s been here, has been exceptional for us. I think he’s carried over 100 metres every single week he’s been here.
“He’s got extremely good go-forward and together with him and Matt Prior and also Gal, I do think we have one of the best, most experienced, forward packs in the competition.”
Meanwhile, Woods keenly anticipates ending his long finals drought.
“It’s been quite a while. I’m quite excited. I’ve been lucky enough to play Origins and Test matches but I suppose I’m really looking forward to playing semi-final footy again,” he said.
It’s sunny skies for Queensland back rower Caleb Timu who has signed for another year with the Reds.Caleb Timu admits he’s disappointed not to be part of Australia’s Bledisloe Cup campaign, but he knows what he has to do to get back in coach Michael Cheika’s good books.
The Queensland Reds back-rower made two Test appearances for the Wallabies during June’s series against Ireland, but was cut from Michael Cheika’s squad ahead of the Bledisloe Cup opener last week.
The 24-year-old was part of one of Super Rugby’s mightiest scrums this year but has been told by Cheika to improve his set-piece proficiency, and will look to do so in the National Rugby Championship with reigning champions Queensland Country.
“Set piece is something that Cheika wants me to work on as well as just a bit of game knowledge,” Timu told reporters on Thursday after inking a new one-season contract extension with the Reds.
“I think that just comes down to playing more rugby and that’s what I want to do during the NRC, get some more footy under my belt and hopefully work my way back into the team.
“Obviously, I’m definitely disappointed. Any player would want to be a part of that team and verse the All Blacks.
“But to be honest with myself, I definitely need to work on my game and hopefully I can do that and get a Test or two this year.”
Timu’s Reds teammate Lukhan Tui was unconvincing in the Australian No.6 jersey in Saturday’s 38-13 defeat to New Zealand.
Timu rates himself as a natural No.8 but believes he has something to offer the Wallabies at blindside flanker as a foil to the unmovable Michael Hooper-David Pocock combination.
“I’ve just got to apply myself, get better at my trade and work my way in there,” he said.
Meanwhile, Timu is hoping more key Queensland players commit themselves to the club for the 2019 campaign – especially Samu Kerevi, who was reportedly pondering a switch to the Brumbies.
“I’ve read a few of those things, I’m not too sure where he’s at with his negotiations,” Timu said.
“But a player of his calibre, you’d love to have him in your team and play with him.”
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick wants Tigers in the firing line to show their finals credentials when the AFL premiers take on Western Bulldogs on Saturday.
The round 23 hitout is otherwise a consequence-free afternoon for the ladder leaders.
Richmond have secured their first minor premiership in 36 years, allowing fans one last stress-free visit to the MCG this year before their September campaign begins.
The celebratory tone won’t extend to the coaching box, where Hardwick wants to see underperforming Tigers step up.
“We’ve got some guys playing really good footy at the lower level and guys that are hanging in there at the moment at AFL level,” he said.
“Once again we’re trying to find out who’s going to be the best 22.”
The Tigers were underwhelming winners on their last two visits to the MCG.
An eight-point victory over Essendon and a three-point win over Geelong a fortnight prior support Hardwick’s suggestion the Tigers are playing within themselves.
Hardwick forewarned of tough decisions for himself without a lift over the Dogs.
“I want us to play our best footy. I don’t think we’ve seen that over the last two weeks,” he said.
“We’ve been playing okay footy and getting over the line.
“A guy like Anthony Miles would probably be playing in 10 other sides.
“Sam Lloyd comes in and plays his role every week.
“We’re really blessed to have a great deal of talent that could quite easily come in and play AFL footy at any given stage.
“There are going to be some players that are stiff (come finals), no doubt about it, but that’s the nature of the game.”
Returning players will put the heat on fringe Tigers.
First-choice players Kane Lambert and Dan Butler are stuck on the injury list but should be fit for their qualifying final.
Trent Cotchin, David Astbury and Dion Prestia have all been named to face the Bulldogs, squeezing out Lloyd, Liam Baker and Ryan Garthwaite.
Prestia’s “hamstring awareness” means he will be closely monitored.
The other small matter that could be settled on Saturday is the Coleman medal.
Tigers vice-captain Jack Riewoldt (60 goals) leads the race ahead of North Melbourne’s Ben Brown (58), Sydney superstar Lance Franklin (57) and Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins (56).
Hardwick said he wasn’t bothered whether Riewoldt would claim a third award, but that attitude might not extend to his forward.
“If he wins it that’s nice. If he doesn’t win it, I won’t lose too much sleep over it,” he said.
“But he does like medals.”
Waterfront redevelopment site hits the market at Honeysuckle The latest Honeysuckle land release, far left, the site of Doma’s Huntington development, centre, and Doma’s Lume apartments under construction, far right.
The development site for sale at 45 Honeysuckle Drive.
Doma’s Huntington apartment development will be next door to the latest site for sale.
The Honeysuckle land for sale, foreground, with the 20,000 square metres expected to hit the market soon in the background.
Doma’s Huntington development at 35 Honeysuckle Drive beside a waterfront promenade.
Lume at 21 Honeysuckle Drive.
Lume at 21 Honeysuckle Drive.
Doma’s Halcyon hotel and apartment building at 42 Honeysuckle Drive beside Cottage Creek and what could become a harbourfront park.
Seawall works at Lee Wharf 4 and 5.
TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald reported in May that Hunter Development Corporation, a state government entity, was poised to sell off its last two harboursideblocks.
Colliers International will market the first of these, 5600 square metresat 45 Honeysuckle Drive, as “Lee 5” with a height limit of eight storeys. The land is beside Doma’s planned eight-storey Huntington apartment development at No.35.
A new Cottage Creek park will sit immediately to the west of the block on a site now occupied by the Hansen Yuncken building.
The final waterfront Honeysuckle land sale will covera huge 20,000-square metre sitewest of Cottage Creek to the Wickham marina. Part of that site now houses a 270-space car park.
HDC has just completed work to reclaima strip of harbour in front of 21 and 35Honeysuckle Drive, both owned by Doma, to accommodate a promenade.
The Canberra developer has started work on the Lume apartments at No.21 and will build a hotel and apartments across the road at No.42.
It is also building an apartment block in Merewether Street and a 30-storey development on the Store site in Hunter Street.
HDC said potential buyers of Lee 5 would need to consider public spaces such as the waterfront promenade, view corridors and connections through to the harbour from the city.
“We are in a growing city, and we want to make sure the buildings we plan and build today are attractive, well designed, well positioned and well integrated into the surrounding public areas,” chief operating officer Valentina Misevska said.
“Lee 5 is in immediate access to the future Honeysuckle light rail stop, as well as the Newcastle interchange.
“As we move further away from being a car-led city, this proximity to public transport is integral to future homes, jobs and public spaces,all of which could form part of this site opportunity.”
Sydney have named Lance Franklin for Saturday’s blockbuster AFL clash with Hawthorn, who will welcome back skipper Jarryd Roughead.
Roughead returns after missing the past two games with an ankle issue but the Hawks will be without key defender James Frawley (back).
Ricky Henderson and David Mirra are the other inclusions with Marc Pittonet and Conor Glass omitted.
Franklin remains in some doubt, having been on restricted duties at Sydney’s final training session of the week.
The Swans have indicated they will give Franklin until game day to show he has overcome a groin injury.
Franklin warmed up away from the Swans’ main group at the SCG on Thursday, although that has been a regular occurrence throughout a season in which the superstar has nursed a heel injury.
The gun forward, who has been inspirational in the Swans’ late-season resurgence, suffered the minor setback during the final quarter of his team’s derby victory.
Heath Grundy is the only inclusion for the Swans, replacing Robbie Fox (omitted).
The veteran backman has been sidelined for the past month while battling mental health issues but returned at reserves level last week.
A top-four finish is on the line for the winner at the SCG.
GWS will welcome back star midfielder Josh Kelly for the other game of the round contender against Melbourne on Sunday.
Zac Williams has also been named in the Giants’ extended squad and could play his first game since rupturing his achilles in January, while Ryan Griffen (hamstring) is out.
The Dees look set to field an unchanged side with a home elimination final up for grabs.
Richmond confirmed the return of Dion Prestia alongside fellow big guns Trent Cotchin and David Astbury for Saturday’s clash with the Western Bulldogs.
The Dogs will line up without Lin Jong (sternum) and Tory Dickson (hamstring).
Port Adelaide welcome back midfield bull Sam Powell-Pepper among three changes for Friday night’s game against Essendon, while a shoulder issue has sidelined Tom Rockliff.
Matthew Leuenberger and Jayden Laverde are in for the Bombers, replacing injured big man Tom Bellchambers and Matt Dea.
Geelong’s Jed Bews returns for their clash with unchanged Gold Coast while Carlton lost star draftee Paddy Dow for Saturday night’s game against Adelaide.
Collingwood will also line up unchanged against Fremantle, who welcome back Stephen Hill but have lost Michael Walters to injury.
West Coast expect forward Jack Darling to pass a concussion test and line up against Brisbane on Sunday.
Defender Lewis Jetta goes out with a calf injury but Will Schofield was named in the extended squad.
Rising star Alex Witherden is a big out for the Lions.
ADVENTURE: Richley Reserve’s $1.5 million playground will open to excited youngsters this weekend. Picture: Newcastle City CouncilA priority of mine for almost a decade as a councillor and lord mayor of Newcastle has been to protect, preserve and improve Blackbutt Reserve, the uniquely Novocastrian ‘green heart’ of our city.
I want future generations to be able to enjoy the wonderful open space, natural beauty and ever-improving amenity of Blackbutt Reserve for decades to come.
To me, our parks and playgrounds are one of the vital building blocks for creating strong, vibrant and connected local communities.
That’s why I’mproudto say that at 10am on Saturday, we will open a spectacular $1.5 million adventure playground that’s set to excite many young Novocastrians – and make Blackbutt’sRichleyReserve on the northern side of the city’s bushland jewel a major regional attraction.
As the first of its kind in Newcastle, the sprawling playground will encourage toddlers to young teens to make hundreds of decisions before taking on challenges – physically, emotionally and socially – in a flurry of fun under the gum trees.
As well as equipping them to confront risks in preparation for successful, independent lives, the playground will instil within them an appreciation for the natural environment and at the same time offer their parents and carers a new place to forge new friendships.
A focus on nature-based play has seen environmental education incorporated into the playground’s design and a broad range of play experiences included, together with shade, seating, barbecues and green space for picnics.
While kids looking for a challenge will literally climb into the tree canopy via a rope tunnel, and play with sand, rocks and sticks on the ground, necessary safety audits have been conducted to prevent unreasonable risk.
RichleyReserve’s adventure-style playground also provides much better access and inclusivity for kids with mobility challenges.
A specially-designed carousel in the middle will put wheelchair-bound children at the centre of the fun, after they’ve arrived via new access paths.
This playground is part of Blackbutt’s wider $10 million upgrade and will be followed with new amenities and a kiosk to complement the existing facilities on theCarnleyAvenue side of the reserve.
It’s also part of the City of Newcastle’s long-term strategic plan to create vibrant and activated publicspaces, andprotect and enhance our natural environment.
Adventure playgrounds stimulate young imaginations to ensure that “play time” is not overly prescribed.
They emphasise the use of natural materials in flexible formats that compliments Blackbutt Reserve’s unique bushland environment.
Landscape architect David Moir, who believes Newcastle City Council is “courageous” for buildingRichley Reserve’sbespoke facility, said it was designed with the surrounding bush front of mind.
Indeed, the timber equipment, smooth river stones and a sandpit with water fountain provide a natural adventure in keeping with the unique bushland reserve.
And clear sight lines right across the 60 metre-long playground will add to enjoyment for children and their parents alike.
Blackbutt Reserve encompasses more than 182 hectares of bushland.
Each year it draws more than 100,000 visitors to its nature trails, wildlife exhibits and recreational facilities, a number that’s only set to increase with the addition of the adventure playground.
All up, Newcastle City Council provides and maintains 116 playgrounds across our local government area to prepare kids for the challenges ahead and foster a diverse, inclusive community.
Each year up to five are renewedunder our annual works program, with at least $150,000 invested into each and every renewal project.
Stevenson Park, Mayfield West,CressingtonWay Reserve, Wallsend, and Fletcher Street Reserve, Adamstown,will all be renewed this year.
This comes after playgrounds were completely overhauled atGrahame Park, Carrington, Bull andTourleStreet Reserve, Mayfield West, Smith Park, Hamilton North, and Wallsend Park in the last financial year.
TheRichleyReserve playground will be officially opened at 10am on Saturday, September 1, amid a carnival atmosphere featuring inflatables, face painting, reptile displays and food stalls.
Nuatali Nelmes is the lord mayor of the City of Newcastle
Aisle be with you: Newcastle’s wedding pet chaperone l Photos Doggone cute: Nadine Kellett assisted at the wedding of Emma Doyle, here with her dalmations Teddy and Poppy. Picture: Woodlands Creative Photography and Film
Howling good fun: Bride and groom Cat and Mitch with their pooch Marli and their family. Picture: Beau Mack
Puppy love: Wedding pet chaperone Nadine Kellett with her pets Rose, left, and Elvis, right. Picture: Marina Neil
Furry good behaviour: Elvis, in a wedding tux on the left, and Rose, in a tutu, with Nadine Kellett. Picture: Marina Neil
Going to the chapel: Pooch Teddy. Picture: ElishaWoodlands creative photography and film
TweetFacebook Newcastle wedding pet chaperone Nadine KellettYOU’RE getting married and you want your pet to be a part of your big day. Who you gonna call? A wedding pet chaperone, that’s who.
Nadine Kellett says demand for her animal wedding chaperone skills has “ramped up” since she launched her Newcastle pet minding business Little Red Animal Care.
“I know how important pets are to their family and I wanted people to be able to have their best friend by their side at their wedding and be stress free,” she says.
Ms Kellettmeets her wedding clients ahead of their big day to discuss their pet and their requests.
“It could be walking the pet down the aisle, meeting guests on arrival or watching on the sidelines,” she says. “Then in the photos, I help the photographer get the animal to the camera and hopefully smiling, and once all that is over I may take them home and tuck them in and give them dinner orpeople might want me to look after them for the night or their honeymoon.”
Behave yourself: Nadine Kellett with her pooches Rose, left, and Elvis, right. Picture: Marina Neil
Ms Kellett’s love for pooches dates back to childhood –her grandmother raised corgis and participated in dog shows. Ms Kellett won the child dog handler award at local shows and the chance to go to the Royal Easter Show.
In more than half of the weddings she attends to chaperone pets, the clients walk down the aisle with their animals, usually dogs.
“In one, there were two big Dalmations that the bride walked with her,” she said.
Animals, she concedes, “are not always angels”, and there have been times when she’s had to gently usher them to the sidelines.
A mother of two children and two fur babies, Elvis and Rose, Ms Kellett seesnothing unusual in people wanting their pets at weddings.
“You invite mum, dad and grandma and grandpa and children so why not invite your best furry friends in the whole wide world –they are your first children, the ones you have before children,” she says.
In most weddings at which she chaperones, pets havea minimum decoration of a flower, but many don atuxedo or tutu. Ms Kellett also offers a pet wedding costume service for clients.
Joy division: “I just love seeing the joy and appreciation on the owner’s face after they’ve been able to have their precious fur babies with them on the day,” says Nadine Kellett of her job as a wedding pet chaperone. Picture: Marina Neil
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John Walsh is taken from NSW Supreme Court earlier this month. Photo: AAPA NSW triple-murderer already in jail until he dies has received another life sentence for “the cold-blooded calculated” murder of a fellow prisoner with a sandwich-press.
John Walsh, 79, pleaded guilty to murdering Frank Townsend in their Long Bay prison cell in the aged care unit for elderly and frail offenders in early January 2017.
In the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice Lucy McCallum – who previously sentenced him for murdering his wife and two grandchildren in 2008 – imposed another life sentence.
She noted his lack of remorse and the danger he still poses to others, despite being an old man.
“He is incapable of remorse,” she said.
“He describes acts of murder as if he were explaining how to change a tyre.”
In his police interview after he killed Townsend, Walsh described stepping forward with both hands, carrying the sandwich press in a pillow case, and “choom, onto his face”.
“I don’t work in anger, I work in tactical … cold rage,” he said.
In June 2008, Walsh stabbed his wife and bludgeoned her and his seven-year-old grandson with a hammer.
He drowned his five-year-old granddaughter in a bath at the Cowra home and also drowned the family dog.
Walsh’s daughter came to collect the children and fought off his axe attack but suffered serious head injuries.
When asked what he was thinking when he hit Townsend, Walsh replied: “I don’t think I was thinking anything.”
“All I remember is bang, bang, bang … I shut it out probably,” he told police.
“The only thing I can’t shut out is, my own family … I don’t know why that’s happened because there was no anger, no drugs, no booze, just that depressing silence and I went and killed my wife.
“Maybe some people shouldn’t be born.”