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Ruby's Teatowel 2015

Latest Charity Teatowel Sales Clean Up Over $400K for Starship

Ruby Seeto's latest Pink Lemonade tea towel design, produced in collaboration with Wallace Cotton, has raised $45,084 for Starship, taking the total tally for the eight year campaign to more than $400,000 in support of our national children's hospital.

The gorgeous summery design featured lemons and vines and a simple recipe: "Pink Lemonade for Starship". While the design is bright and fun, the funds raised will support a serious cause for young cancer patients - setting up an ovarian tissue cryopreservation banking protocol for New Zealand Paediatric Haematology/Oncology Services. This will ensure the option of ovarian tissue cryopreservation and storage is made available to all eligible girls within a nationally available and approved programme.

Ovarian tissue cryopreservation is the only means of preserving fertility for pre-pubertal girls who are at high risk of infertility related to cancer treatment. While international and New Zealand recommendations are that this technology be made available to girls in this high risk group, it is not currently funded in New Zealand. This means until now only those with the personal resources to pay for the processing and storage of the tissue are able to benefit from the service.

The Starship Foundation funding will be used to support the costs associated with retrieval of ovarian tissue (via laparoscopic surgery at the time of central line insertion or other standard procedure), processing of the tissue at Fertility Associates, ongoing storage of the tissue at Fertility Associates for five years, and training of technical staff.

It is anticipated that this protocol will remain open to accrual until such time as ovarian tissue cryopreservation for eligible patients is included in the service specifications for DHBs, at which time the procedure will become a publically funded item (anticipated wait approximately 5 years). 

Ruby's Starship journey began in 2006 when at nine years of age she was diagnosed with a rare cancer and had major surgery to remove a 1.6kg tumour from her liver. She then went on to spend 12 months at Starship Hospital undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment.

Hitting $400,000 is a huge milestone for the tea towel campaign. We couldn't be happier with the result of this fruitful collaboration between Ruby Seeto and Wallace Cotton, and the impact it has had on the many children and their families who need Starship just like Ruby and her family did.

Brad Clark, Chief Executive, Starship Foundation

The cancer survivor produced her first tea towel at home and these were sold to the Seetos' friends and family. Wallace Cotton came on board in 2009 and since then the campaign has blossomed, with more than $400,000 raised for Starship to date.

We are delighted that our customers continue to support Starship through the purchase of this latest tea towel and proud to continue our relationship with Ruby for the benefit of New Zealand's children.

Paul Wallace, Wallace CottonDirector

Pink Lemonade tea towels are still available to purchase in-store and online The $10 tea towels are 100% thick cotton and $6 from every sale (all the proceeds after costs) goes to the Starship Foundation. A new Ruby Starship Collection tea towel design will be released later this year.

You can keep up with Ruby and her tea towels on her Facebook page

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