Oncology unit will take name from local

By Mike Dinsdale

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Jim Carney
Jim Carney

Northland's new cancer treatment unit will be named after prominent Whangarei businessman and philanthropist Jim Carney.

The oncology unit will be built at Whangarei Hospital from funds raised by Project Promise and will be called the Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre in memory of Mr Carney who died in November 2000.

Mr Carney was best-known in Whangarei for his role in the construction of Refining NZ's Marsden Point Oil Refinery, as a long-standing and influential member of the former Northland Harbour Board, for his nine-year stint as a Whangarei City Councillor, and for his charitable work.

This included contributions as vice-president of the Crippled Children's' Association and as chairman of the St Mary's Hospital management committee.

The centre will be built with funds raised by the Northland Community Foundation's Project Promise initiative and similar investment by the Northland District Health Board.

Just over 500,000 has been raised for the centre since the Northland Community Foundation announced its final Project Promise fund-raising push at the start of September.

Most of this has come from bequests by Northland Community Foundation Trustees and an anonymous donor, and a new donation by the Carney family Trust which had already contributed heavily to Project Promise.

"We are deeply grateful to the Trustees and beneficiaries of the Carney Trust for their support," Northland Community Foundation chairman Richard Ayton said.

"Their generosity of spirit has been absolutely central to what Project Promise has achieved to date so our decision to name the building after Jim was, I think, an obvious one."

The Project Promise fund now stands at $2.51 million and there are still five weeks remaining for Northlanders to contribute the remaining $490,000 needed to ensure the project goes ahead.

The planned Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre will provide day-stay treatment for cancer patients, including initial consultations, chemotherapy treatments and follow-up from a team of medical experts including other related nursing and support services.

Adults who need radiation treatment or those with complex cases requiring specialist care will still need to travel to Auckland and children may still receive some of their treatment at Starship Children's Hospital, which has a specialised child cancer unit.

Assuming the project can proceed, construction is scheduled to start in December with the first patients being treated there in October next year.

More information about Project Promise can be found at www.northlandcommunityfoundation.org.nz or www.facebook.com/ProjectPromiseNorthland

Meanwhile, Westmount School's Kaipara campus in Maungaturoto raised $27,000 for Project Promise and Whangarei-based oncologist Peter Beattie has made a personal gift as well.

- Northern Advocate

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