To the public, ACRF ambassador Jamie Simpson appears much like the other super-fit athletes that make up his team at the South Sydney Rabbitohs of the National Rugby League competition. We all know professional athletes sacrifice and overcome barriers to reach the pinnacle of their sport. But very few have overcome obstacles as daunting as Jamie’s in his bid to fulfil his dream of playing in the world’s best rugby league competition.
As a 15 year-old growing up in Rockhampton, Queensland, Jamie was faced with the toughest challenge anyone can confront: Cancer. After finding lumps in his groin, Jamie consulted with his family GP. Following a series of tests he received the worst possible news. His GP informed him he had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of lymphoma common in teenagers which originates from white blood cells and is spread throughout the body through the lymph nodes. To a 15 year-old with dreams of sporting glory just years away it was the worst possible news.
Facing this terrible disease head-on, Jamie underwent a series of chemotherapy treatments as well as a stem cell transplant. Encouragement from family and friends, as well as from legendary rugby league coach Wayne Bennett, provided him with the personal motivation needed to overcome this disease. Ultimately he beat the cancer and has continued to live a normal healthy life.
Jamie’s story highlights the importance of scientific research in combating cancer. Without the selfless and tireless work of cancer researchers the world over, treatments such as chemotherapy would never have developed and lives would have been lost. Across Australia, ACRF-funded cancer researchers are devoting their lives to finding breakthroughs and, hopefully one day, finding a cure for cancer.
The Australian Cancer Research Foundation is fully committed to the goal of finding those breakthroughs. Its funding of innovative, groundbreaking research such as Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine developed by Prof Ian Frazer, is just one example of the world-class research the organisation has been funding for twenty five years.
As one who has beaten cancer, Jamie has a first-hand understanding of the importance of research in helping those living with cancer.
“Without the great work of cancer researchers I would not have achieved my dream of playing in the NRL. The Australian Cancer Research Foundation is 100% committed to funding the best cancer research in Australia.”
Chief Executive David Brettell is excited to announce Jamie as the newest ACRF Ambassador.
“The ACRF is thrilled to have Jamie on board. His story is truly inspirational to not only cancer survivors, but for all of us. I’m looking forward to watching him and the Rabbitohs achieve great things in coming years.”
Jamie’s story is the best possible example of how cancer research can transform lives. We are proud to name him as our newest ambassador.