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Source: Bone Marrow Cancer Trust

The Bone Marrow Cancer Trust has appointed experienced health charity boss Mandy Kennedy as CEO, as the organisation embarks on its largest building project to date.

The Trust funds life-saving and world-class cancer research and provides patient and family accommodation. Patients and families can stay at the Trusts’ 26-apartment complex Ranui House, with plans to more than double its accommodation capacity in the next two years.

Trust Chairman Max Bremner says they’re delighted to have attracted someone of Mandy’s calibre to lead the organisation as it enters the most exciting period of growth since opening Ranui House 30 years ago.

“Mandy is an exceptional talent, with strong strategic and financial capabilities sitting alongside an incredible empathy and compassion for the people who walk through our doors every day. She has an infectious energy and enthusiasm and is strongly connected to the Trust’s mission. We’re incredibly privileged to have her lead our team into what will be very exciting years ahead,” says Max.

Mandy Kennedy comes to the Trust from her previous roles leading Ronald McDonald House South Island and, before that, the Queenstown Trails Trust.

Mandy says it’s a privilege to take the helm of such a courageous, pioneering organisation.

“The Bone Marrow Cancer Trust’s mission is close to my heart, as the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit they created supported my dad through his illness 16 years ago. I know first-hand just how meaningful the Trust’s mahi is and what a difference it makes to individuals, families and communities.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the donors and supporters whose passion has taken the organisation to where it is today, and I’m honoured to lead the Trust into the future as we strive to ensure we provide the very best accommodation and support to every individual and family in need,” says Mandy.

The Bone Marrow Cancer Trust owns and runs Ranui House, a home away from home for patients and their families receiving medical treatment at Christchurch hospitals. Patients of any age, and with any medical condition, can receive the accommodation and support the House provides.

The Trust has also recently begun construction of Ranui Apartments, a 43-unit apartment complex on Selwyn Street due to be completed in early 2024.

In the last 12 months, the Trust has supported more than 1,080 patients and their families as they’ve received medical treatment, with demand for their accommodation services increasing. The development of Ranui Apartments will see the Bone Marrow Cancer Trust become the largest provider in the South Island of accommodation for patients and families receiving medical treatment.

The Bone Marrow Cancer Trust is aiming to secure 100% of the funding for the build and fit-out costs of Ranui Apartments, so no lending will be required to complete the $18m development.

As well as its Ranui Apartments development, the Bone Marrow Cancer Trust is planning a refurbishment of the interior and exterior of the nine-room ‘Little Ranui’ – one of its two existing complexes on Cambridge Terrace.

To understand the real impact of the Bone Marrow Cancer Trust on individuals and families, read Kelvin Sadler’s story here. Kelvin is a stock agent from Waimate who recently stayed at Ranui House with his family while receiving a life-changing kidney transplant, with a kidney donated by his brother.

About the Bone Marrow Cancer Trust

The Bone Marrow Cancer Trust was established in 1990 by an insightful and courageous group of haematologists, medical specialists, and driven volunteers. Their purpose was to raise funds to establish the first bone marrow transplant unit in New Zealand to be based at Christchurch Hospital.

The Trust raised $1.1 million and the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Christchurch Hospital was opened in 1991. That same year the Trust purchased land opposite the Hospital to provide accommodation for patients. Ranui House opened in 1993 with six apartments, expanding to nine apartments two years later. In 2008 another complex was built on the site, known as ‘Big Ranui’, expanding the Trust’s capacity to the 26 apartments it has today.

Ranui House supports patients and their families no matter their medical treatment, providing accommodation, support, and meals, where required. Patients can be inpatients or outpatients and can stay at Ranui House as long as they need.

In the year to March 2022, stays at Ranui House were for haematology (28%), oncology (17%), cardiology (11%), general surgery (10%), and nephrology (6%), with the remainder covering gastro, ENT, ICU, orthopaedic, NICU, vascular and respiratory. 30% of families are from Canterbury with 22% from Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough, 21% from the West Coast, 20% from Otago/Southland, and the remainder from the North Island or the Chatham Islands.

The Trust also funds life-saving and world-class cancer research through its annual grants programme via the Bone Marrow Cancer Research Trust.