Neurological Foundation - Chair of Neurosurgery

Spreading Neurosurgery word

June 2012

Her face has become increasingly familiar in Invercargill this last week – and you can expect to see much more of this Dunedin mum as she continues with fundraising efforts around Southland next month.

As campaign manager for the Chair of Neurosurgery campaign, Irene Mosley is on a mission to get the message out that the neurosurgery unit at Dunedin is just as important for Southlanders.

And no-one understands this better than Mrs Mosley.

While she has held marketing roles with health and community organisations in Balclutha in the past, this time the project was far more personal, she said yesterday.

Her son, was diagnosed with a rare juvenile nasal angiofibroma at age 12 and underwent three surgeries in four years – two in New Zealand and one in Australia – to remove the tumour.

The fear and emotional upheaval the family experienced is clearly still fresh for Mrs Mosley.

Thankfully, the outcome was positive – Her son, now 21, is healthy and living and working in the south.

Mrs Mosley said sharing such a personal experience in front of community groups was difficult in the beginning. But she understands that people connect to her story, and often come up to her afterwards to share their own experiences with the neurosurgery unit.

"I could never sell something I didn't believe in," she said.

"This is not just a job to me. I've had personal experience with this, and it's made me proud of what this is."

Having successfully raised $2.26 million since the campaign began in January, there is still a push to get the remaining funds to reach the $3 million goal to make sure the Chair of Neurosurgery in Dunedin is sustainable, she said.

She likens it to the paediatrics professorship position at the University of Otago that is still financed in part from a fund set up 100 years ago.

This fund would ensure a future for neurosurgery in the south, following the retention of the unit in Dunedin in 2010.

"I've never considered myself a fundraiser. But this is a product the community needs – I'm spreading the message."

An appeal envelope for the Chair of Neurosurgery campaign will be in The Southland Times on Monday, June 4.

Public donations to the campaign can be made at any National Bank or ANZ branch.

Donations by mail: Freepost 2064, Neurosurgery Campaign, PO Box 914, Dunedin, 9054. By internet banking: Neurosurgery campaign 060287013330105