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With a goal of raising $150,000, the 13th annual 800 CHAB Family First Radiothon will be taking place May 2 and 3.

Broadcasting live from the Dr FH Wigmore Hospital for 36 hours, money raised this year will go toward purchasing a new anesthetic machine and Boston scientific phneumatic lithotripsy unit.

Moose Jaw Health Foundation executive director Kelly McElree explained the need for the lithotripsy unit.

“It’s used for kidney stones and gall stones,” MeElree said. “So the lithotripsy unit is unique because it uses a form of compressed air to break the stones, and then it uses ultrasonic waves to pulverise it and extract it.”

Kidney stones and gall stones can be extremely painful to those living with them.

“There’s nothing worse than living with constant pain,” he said. “There really isn’t. It makes life miserable. For medical staff that have to treat this, they know how painful it is for people. We need this here.”

McElree said they used to have an older unit but that broke down a few years ago.

“They haven’t had this service for a few years in our community and we’re going to change that,” McElree said. “With the help of our donors at the Family First Radiothon... we’re going to make it happen.”

The hospital currently does not have a lithotripsy unit, and has seven anesthetic machines – three of which are old. The lithotripsy unit

“Our surgeon, Dr. (Gerritt) Van Wyk is a very busy man and he wants to bring this here and we’re all for it,” said McElree. “I think it would be a fabulous thing to bring this lithotripsy unit to our community.”

McElree said the volunteer board of the foundation are committed to the kind of innovation needed as technology improves.

“You have to embrace the change and find ways of helping people get the treatment they need faster,” McElree said. “So they can have their medical treatments close to home and they don’t have to travel.”

He said that through the generousity of the people who donate and volunteer and the business community, they’ve made miracles happen with the Radiothon.

Volunteers will be needed for the event. They can get in touch with volunteer co-ordinator Ken Hawkes at 694-5587.

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