The Trek itself is said to be breathtaking! A 12 day exploration through one of the historic highways of Japan—the Nakasendo, known as ‘the road through the mountains’.
Beginning in Kyoto, for a city sightseeing tour before weaving through trees, parks and small villages, the team enjoyed fine regional cuisine along the way—prepared by the friendly Japanese locals. The trail crossed through towns Magome, Tsumago and Narai towards Tokyo, where the group finished by exploring its museums, grand temples, atmospheric zen gardens and fascinating modern sci-fi streetscapes.
The Mater Adventure Trek raised over $185 000 in 2019 which was contributed to Mater Little Miracles for further research into magnesium sulphate therapy. This therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, such as cerebral palsy, in pre-term infants.
Mater has already undertaken a pilot study of 100 mothers and babies led by Associate Professor Paul Dawson and Dr Elizabeth Hurrion at Mater Research. The study found that premature babies rapidly become deficient in nutrient sulphate, which is important for brain development. However, this deficiency could be prevented in most infants if those babies vulnerable to sulphate deficiency can be identified and administered a protective dose of sulphate after birth.
To further this research, Mater is collaborating with other Queensland hospitals to recruit another 1,500 babies over the next five years. These babies will be followed up after two years, helping researchers to determine if blood levels of nutrient sulphate at one week after birth correlate to infant development.
Mater is the first hospital in the world to have conducted this validated sulphate testing. For more insights into the work being done, visit materlittlemiracles.org.au/where-your-money-goes/research
As QXR have four practices within the Mater Hospital in Brisbane, we were extremely proud to assist in making this year’s trek possible!