Royal Manchester Children's Hospital chosen as our Charity for The Spring Ball 2016!

8th December 2015

After careful consideration from many worthy causes, The Red Sea Pedestrians are delighted to announce that our Spring Ball will be in aid of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity! The ball will be taking place at The Lowry on the 19th March 2016.


The ball is a fantastic event that is hosted every year to raise money for worthy causes in the North West. Our ball will be hosting over 120 guests and will look to raise over £100,000 for the sixth year running!


The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity is about making a difference to the thousands of children they see every year. The charity do this by supporting projects that provide state-of-the-art and specialised equipment to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of children. They support research that can help better understand children’s illnesses and provide the treatments of the future.


For more infomation on the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Chairty, please visit:

The Project


There are three aspects to this project - together these aspects will dramatically improve the chances of survival for children with brain tumours.


  • BK 5000 Intraoperative Ultrasound Machine

This technology has only just been launched and if we are able to purchase it, we will be one of the first units in the world to use it.  It offers unparalleled image quality to allow real-time imaging of paediatric brain tumours, facilitating their safe removal.  The machine is also the only one to digitally link with our existing Brainlab image guidance system (this is a computer guided system for navigating inside a child’s head).  This new technology significantly increases the accuracy and resolution of the imaging, something that can make a big difference when surgically removing tumours.  This precision will mean safer and more successful operations for children.


  • Brainlab Fibre Tracking System

This fibre tracking system allows our surgeons to find a safe route into a child’s brain and achieve successful removal of the tumour.  It works by allowing surgeons to identify the individual pathways of the patient’s brain and indicate the exact position between a child’s tumour and the distorted ‘normal’ fibres of the brain surrounding it.  These ‘normal’ fibres can then be uploaded into an operative microscope so they can be easily identified and preserved as the tumour is being removed. 


In particular this new system would transform the way our surgeons would approach the more complex, high-risk surgery such as a tumour in the brainstem.  The brainstem is the most vital and difficult location in the brain to undertake an operation.  This is because it forms the connection between the brain and the spinal cord; it maintains vital control of the heart and coordinates many important reflexes.  Often operations in this area are impossible because of the risk of damaging normal ‘fibres’, with a significant risk to the child’s life. 


  • 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA)

The 5-ALA is a medicine that is given to patients before their operation to remove a brain tumour.  The 5-ALA attaches to the tumour and causes it to fluoresce under ultraviolet light down an operative microscope allowing the tumour to be identified separately to normal brain.  Recently the hospital was the first in the UK to perform an operation on a child using 5-ALA guidance.  This child had a tumour attached to the main area of the brain controlling movements and they had previously had two operations to attempt to removal the tumour that were unsuccessful.  Using 5-ALA the surgeons were able to completely remove the tumour without causing any damage to the critical adjacent normal areas of the brain.  5-ALA is currently only licensed for use in adults (it is therefore not currently available on the NHS).