North Shore Times : November 26th 2010
7 NORTH SHORE TIMES, NOVEMBER 26, 2010 NEWS 3317610AA THE PRE-CHRISTMAS $100 (OR LESS) SHOW UNTIL 5 DECEMBER Norman King Square, Ernie Mays Street Northcote Shopping Centre Ph 480 9633 www.northart.co.nz Open daily 10am-4pm Original items of art and craft ideal Christmas gifts CASH and CARRY Forced back on to painful injection Pain in the gut: Blood cancer patient Chris McRae is tired of injecting himself with a painful form of medication. Photo: BEN WATSON By MICHELLE ROBINSON A blood cancer patient who took himself off his painful medication has no choice but to continue using it. Chris McRae, 73, has myelodysplastic syn- drome, a blood cancer where too much iron is stored in his bone mar- row, preventing it from getting into his blood stream. For three years the Glenfield pensioner has had to inject himself in the stomach overnight, five times a week with a painful medication to remove the excess iron. Without it his iron levels could soar, poten- tially damaging his liver or causing a heart attack. Mr McRae s haematol- ogist at North Shore Hospital, David Simp- son, has been calling on Pharmac to fund a tablet form of the drug. The injectable drug crystallises in Mr McRae s stomach, caus- ing painful swelling at the injection site. He stopped taking it seven weeks ago in the hope of mortgaging his family home to afford the $28,000 for a year s supply of the tablet form of the drug. But his mortgage application was declined as he was deemed unable to make repayments. The drug is available in Britain, United States, Canada and Australia, he says. Pharmac assessed two types of tablet for funding and one is avail- able for people born with anaemic conditions. It could be widened to include those with age- related conditions in future, Pharmac com- munications manager Simon England says. In the meantime Mr McRae is back on the injections but he hopes it won t be for long. I won t be staying on it for three years, I prob- ably won t be bloody alive in three years so it doesn t matter. But I want to be as comfort- able as I can. Volunteers celebrating 125 years By MICHELLE ROBINSON The brigade today: Devonport's volunteers are gearing up for 125th anniversary celebrations on December 4 and 5. Old boys: The Devonport Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1895, with Captain George Stude in the helmet, centre front, and Devonport Borough mayor Ewen Alison in the light coloured suit. ' Volunteer firefighters are trained in everything from basic hose and ladder drills to the use of breathing apparatus, chemical protection suits, fighting all types of fires from small grass fires to fires in large factories and warehouses. ' Station officer Andrew Keith Volunteer firefighters have been helping keep Devonport safe for 125 years. The Devonport Volunteer Fire Brigade is celebrating its anniversary over December 4 and 5 with modern and vin- tage engines featuring in the Devonport Christmas Parade on the fifth. Among them will be the suburb s first fire engine, the Model T Ford purchased in 1916. The 15-member brigade s newest engine is a 1989 Mitsubishi, one of two appliances at the Devonport Fire Station, supporting the professional firefighters who provide fulltime cover to the area. Volunteers are on call on weekdays from 5pm until 7am and 24 hours on weekends and public holidays. Devonport s biggest fire gutted nine shops and seven houses in Victoria Rd in 1888. The hook and ladder brig- ade at the time could do little to stop it spreading. Today the brigade is far better equipped, station officer Andrew Keith says. Volunteer firefighters are trained in everything from basic hose and ladder drills to the use of breathing appar- atus, chemical protection suits, fighting all types of fires from small grass fires to fires in large factories and warehouses. All members are trained in first aid as well as vehicle crash procedures and other rescue techniques. Two volunteers have died in the brigade s history. Richard Ridings died after collapsing at a movie theatre fire in Clarence St in 1913. Deputy superintendent Jules LeScelle was killed when the fire engine crashed on a callout in 1924which turned out to be a false alarm. Memorial plaques are being placed to commemorate both firemen as part of anni- versary events. Their graves in Bayswater are also being restored by the brigade. The brigade s look- ing for photographs, medals, uniforms and other memor- abilia to borrow or keep for its records. Past members can email email@example.com or visit www.dvfb.org.nz for more information. The brigade has limited vacancies for fit reliable people living south of Taka- puna Grammar. Visit the website for more details.
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