More than $16,000 was raised for the Dunedin neurosurgery
campaign in Arrowtown on Saturday night, making it the
largest fundraiser for the cause in the Queenstown area.
Chair of neurosurgery campaign project manager Irene Mosley
said the sold-out Brains and Brawn night, which included a
dinner, an auction and rugby on a cinema screen, "exceeded
Mark Wilson, of Queenstown, said he "benefited greatly" from
the brain surgery he had in Dunedin in 2009 and on Saturday
night he put his fingers behind the fundraiser to help
Mr Wilson, an accomplished pianist who has been blind since
birth, said a series of seizures led to the discovery of a
"It was just my good fortune that they had the right person
there at the time," Mr Wilson said of his surgeon, who he
said was primarily based in Afghanistan with the British
The Brains and Brawn fundraiser was organised by Jillian
Jardine, of Remarkables Station, and Mr Wilson said he was
the "logical choice" as musician.
Mr Wilson said he was thrilled to be part of the campaign to
raise $3 million to fund a neurosurgery position in Dunedin.
"The hope of setting up the neurological chair to get that
degree of support is vitally important.
"I have benefited greatly with the surgery I had in 2009 and
everybody else should be entitled to the same degree of care
I had and it should not be seen as a luxury."
His grade two tumour was life-threatening and he said the
fact he was able to participate in the fundraiser was
testament to neurological research.
"It was only two years ago that neurology was under a great
cloud with the real possibility that it was going to be
shifted away [from Dunedin]."
The cause was also important to his wife, Emma, who lost her
first husband to a brain tumour.
"He was diagnosed 12 years ago and there was no operation
"Now he would be operated on and potentially would be around
today," Mrs Wilson said.
Medical research continued to advance and "we need more
people researching and operating and finding out what can be
done", she said.
The $16,000 added to more than $2.6 million raised through