St John of God Bunbury Hospital gearing up for the Great South West Bed Race

The Great South West Bed Race: St John of God Bunbury Hospital chief executive Mark Grimes with the Great South West Bed Race organisers Kristy Cochrane and Lizzie Gaffney. Photo: Emily Sharp.
The Great South West Bed Race: St John of God Bunbury Hospital chief executive Mark Grimes with the Great South West Bed Race organisers Kristy Cochrane and Lizzie Gaffney. Photo: Emily Sharp.

A spectacle of fancy dress and elite athleticism will roll into Bunbury’s CBD on April 7 to raise awareness of medical services in the South West and money for specialised equipment.

The Great South West Bed Race will take over the roads and have teams running past many of Bunbury’s sites and attractions on a 2.3km loop.

The event raises funds for St John of God Bunbury Hospital Cancer and Cardiac Services in the South West, with teams of four, plus a bed bug and two subs giving a $2,000 entry fee.

Chief executive Mark Grimes said the hospital had been providing chemotherapy to South West residents for almost 20 years. 

“We know the data shows that regional health outcomes are poorer and if you can provide the technology, the facilities, all the infrastructure and the doctors then regional people can access those services and the outcomes are better,” he said.  

“We thought we would do the Great South West Bed Race to raise awareness not only to Bunbury people but to the South West that they really do have state of the art, comparable services around cancer care. 

“If people can access these services then their health outcomes should be better, the survival rate from cancer should be better for people that live in the region because the services are closer to home.”

The inaugural 2017 event raised $30,000, which was used to purchase a dignicap – a device for cancer patients to wear during treatment that helps to reduce hair loss. 

Funds raised from the event will ensure patients in the South West receive care closer to home, relieving them of the need to travel to Perth to receive treatment.

“The bed race is meant to be a bit of fun that involves, industries and businesses – last year was a fantastic success, we’re expecting it to be bigger and better,” Mr Grimes said. 

“Every dollar raised goes into cancer services – it’s a fundraising venture but the primary purpose is to raise awareness.

“Chief executives, directors and managers will be pushed around as bedbugs, it’s a fun day, if you can’t do the fundraising just get down there on the day and support.”

For more information contact 9722 1621.

To register a team visit greatsouthwestbedrace.org.au.