Rosie’s story: Why I support cancer research

b846d8_067ec229e34b4b7c809d5e07242a14fe“It was 2007 and I was enjoying retirement after 30 years in nursing. But I had been experiencing stomach pain and weight loss for a few months. I’d ignored my friend’s continued pleas to see a doctor. Even though I knew there was a problem, I was in denial.

I finally had a gastroscopy procedure which confirmed I had stomach cancer. The first words that came out of my mouth were ‘How long have I got?’ and I remember feeling calm. My husband Jeff and I immediately broke the news to our children, both of whom were living overseas. Without delay, they flew home to be by my side and also support their father.

Over the next few weeks, I went through many different tests. A biopsy from my stomach showed it was a “rare lymphoid tissue lymphoma” and could be treated by antibiotics and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, a few weeks later another gastroscopy revealed the cancer was unaffected by antibiotics and it had spread through my stomach and developed into a high-grade lymphoma. The next move was a CAT scan to map out my stomach. I had to be given four minuscule tattoos as reference markers for my radiation treatment and I couldn’t wait to tell my son-in-law, who has a large tattoo on his arm, that now I had tattoos too!

It was humour that often helped me get through each day. It was a frightening time but I was so hell-bent on fighting for my survival. It’s amazing how the body and mind can cope through such a nightmare.

In early March, I started four weeks of daily radiation treatments. The treatments were successful and I was in remission until late June when I found a lump on the left side of my neck. A biopsy confirmed it was an aggressive type of cancer known as ‘diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.’ Surgery could only remove part of the node as it had adhered to my jugular vein so I began chemotherapy in August to help treat it. It was a particularly daunting time. I was nauseous, lost my sense of smell and taste and developed blisters in my mouth. I also became very forgetful, especially pots cooking on the stove. The loss of body hair made me feel very self-conscious. Thank goodness for wigs!

To deal with the side effects of my cancer treatment, I started composing music and lyrics. I never thought in my wildest dream, I would compose the story of my cancer experiences through music. It became the best medicine for me, taking me to another world where I could disassociate my cancer pain and any other discomforts from my various treatments.

After two months, the chemo treatment was finally over and I was back in remission in October 2008. I continued for another month on fortnightly MabThera IV treatment to kill off any stray cancer cells that might have been floating around my body. In March 2009 I had the best 60th birthday gift given to me, which was an offer to have my stem cells collected and stored for future use. but I hope I never have to use them!

The chemotherapy did affect my immune system badly and in 2010 I was placed on monthly IV Intragam Therapy to help rebuild it. Finally, the good news came in 2011. The oncologist informed me that I was cured, but there was a caveat – cancer may come back in about ten years. My reply was, “I’m not going to worry about the future as new and better treatments will be found.”

After experiencing cancer myself and losing friends who were not so lucky, I wanted to support cancer research. I know that researchers are working on new and improved treatments that will one day make our fear of cancer a thing of the past. After looking at various Australian cancer organisations I came across ACRF and was very impressed with how it functioned. Donations go towards grants that buy state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment for the best cancer researcher projects around the country.

I have raised money for ACRF in many different ways over the years. I’ve sold my handmade chocolates, jams and musical pattern placemats and serviettes. I’ve also hosted morning teas and organised garage sales with my husband and a few friends. One of my favourite fundraising activities so far has been creating my album ‘Chrysalis’, a musical storybook of cancer experiences. Proceeds from the sale of this CD go towards ACRF. I wanted to make a touching and uplifting album written from the heart to help others who are going through similar experiences. I want to support others who need to talk about their feelings and frustrations when going through cancer. Anyone interested is welcome to visit my website and interact with me. Hopefully, they will realise they are not alone.” – ACRF supporter, Rosie Lee

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Gypsys Gift: fighting cancer with music

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, current cancer research, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, regular giving, gemma ameera, jimi may, gypsys gift Gemma and her fiancé, Jimi, started the band Gypsys Gift five years ago. Since then, the duo have won an Australian Independent Music Award, achieved rotation on Foxtel’s CMC and will shortly release their highly anticipated, debut album Chapters.

Over the weekend, the band unveiled the new music video for their single, Feed the Fire, alongside a special announcement.

“We do not ask that you buy our new song – we’re doing things a little differently this time. In support of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, we aim to create awareness of cancer research with the release of Feed the Fire. Our ONLY intention is to raise as much money as possible for cancer research. All funds raised will go directly to ACRF, and this will be an ongoing campaign for us.” said Gemma.

“The last couple of years have been both incredible and heartbreaking for Jimi and I. We have travelled the world and experienced remarkable growth, but we have also been on a tough road.

Two Christmases ago we were faced with the hard news that my Mum, Joanne, was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer.

Mum underwent multiple major surgeries to remove half her liver, gall bladder, part of the bowel and lymph nodes. She then went through six months of chemotherapy treatment as a further measure to prevent the cancer coming back.

Joanne and Gemma 2This was a whole new world for my entire family. We felt very much in the dark as we had no experience and no understanding of what anything meant. It’s safe to say the journey was hard on all of us, especially on my Mum, step-dad and two brothers who lived through this every day.

Slowly things began to feel normal again as Mum was recovering day by day. Although the physical and emotional scars of the cancer had not entirely faded, my Mum, being the warrior that she is, was soaring to better days.

Then out of the blue, while I was on my way to a songwriting session, I received a phone call that would once again change the lives of myself and family.

Mum had been re-diagnosed with terminal cancer of the liver. Hearing the news was like being in a movie. A fear that I have never felt, and didn’t quite comprehend, washed over me – I was now faced with losing my mother when she was only 48 years old.

They say, as an adult you must carry on. But this time, it’s not been the case. This is now my life. I often describe it as living in a permanent nightmarish limbo-land.

We all have our good days and our bad days, but my Mum has kept us all positive and moving forward. She has spent her entire life putting everyone else before herself, and even now, she wishes for nothing more than everyone else’s happiness.

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, current cancer research, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, regular giving, gemma ameera, jimi may, gypsys giftMum has been fighting cancer for a couple of years now – in true grace. Her resilience, strength and courage is unfathomable and we stand by her side while she battles through this.

This illness has turned the life of myself and my loved ones upside down, and this happens every day to families all over the world. Cancer does not discriminate; almost everyone has been touched by this illness in some way or another.

This painful journey has inspired Jimi and me to help put an end to cancer, and we will not cure cancer without research. This is why we feel so passionately about ACRF. It is my belief that they are by far one of the most compassionate and forward-thinking foundations we know.

We are determined to raise money for the research that we all so desperately need to stop this illness. Every little bit helps and I truly believe it raises the spirits of those struggling with cancer too. Great things happen when people work together.” ACRF supporters, Gemma & Jimi, Gypsys Gift.

To support Gemma and Jimi, click here.

Ajith’s cycle challenge for cancer research

Ajith

“My name is Ajith, I’m 54 years old and based in Melbourne. In September I’ll be taking on a solo cycle challenge to fundraise for cancer research. I’m inspired by the work of Australian Cancer Research Foundation and I want to do my part to help give scientists the equipment they need to do their lifesaving work.

I have known a few people who have been affected by cancer, two of them were very close to me. These friends lived a very healthy lifestyle – they made sure to exercise regularly, eat nutritious food and they weren’t smokers. Yet cancer still impacted these people’s lives.

These experiences with cancer have shown me just how important it is to support organisations like the ACRF so that we can gain a better understanding of cancer and develop proactive and preventative measures to avoid all types of this disease.

In a few months’ time, I’ll be travelling to Spain to cycle a historic pilgrim route called El Camino de Santiago, which is also known by the English names: Way of St. James and Road to Santiago. The trail is in Galicia in north-western Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the Saint are buried.

For me, this is a personal challenge. The 700-kilometre trail across a mix of flat, hilly, gravel roads will take me approximately 16 days to travel if I cycle for 4-6 hours per day.

I have been cycling for 20 years and love to be outdoors in the fresh air discovering nature and taking in beautiful sights.

I am looking forward to being on this cycle tour. I really enjoy travelling. I have been to more than 70 countries in the world and I love to meet new people along the way and experience various local cuisines, and this time I’ll also be raising funds for a cause close to my heart,” ACRF supporter Ajith.

Ashleigh’s Dinner for a Difference

DFAD“My name is Ashleigh Mills, I’m a 26-year-old living in Sydney. In June 2015, a few months after finally saying goodbye to six years of tertiary education, I started my first permanent full-time role at a legal firm – Holding Redlich. At that time, everything seemed to be going according to plan.

Then, one night on a weekend away with friends I felt a weird sensation in my throat. A friend who had heard this complaint noticed that there was a visible lump on the side of my neck. I had absolutely no idea where it came from, or what it was, but I was pretty quick to assure her that it was nothing – obviously.

I’d been to the doctor about the sensation in my throat a few times, but each time I was told that it was likely a response to stress – something that I didn’t question.

When my friends noticed a lump I assumed that it would be nothing and told them so. Thankfully, they didn’t take no for an answer and made sure I went to the medical centre the following day. One week later the biopsy results were in.

That lump turned out to be cancerous and I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. For someone who had always planned their day down to the nth degree, the diagnosis came as a stark reminder that no-one can ever really know what life has in store around the corner.

I still can’t really comprehend everything that happened in the months following my diagnosis. But I remember that for me, one of the hardest things was learning how to deal with telling the people you care about most. In mentioning the word cancer, a subconscious fear sweeps across people’s eyes for just a moment and, as the affected person, you can’t escape how it makes you feel.

That’s the thing with cancer, it doesn’t follow a script and it certainly doesn’t come with a manual. You can’t always control it, but you can control the way you respond to it. It is easy to fear cancer but I don’t think we can afford to. We need to replace that fear with action because every moment is truly important.

By August 2015, my thyroid had been removed and I had commenced radioactive iodine therapy.

While thyroid cancer itself is often highly treatable, many cancers are not and each year too many people lose control of their lives to a disease that poses more questions than answers.

Cancer remains the second biggest killer in Australia. It is an awful and indiscriminate disease, but it is not invincible. Nor should we accept it to be.

20160618_184447With that in mind, I decided that I needed to do something in the fight to end cancer and that I needed to do it fast. I approached the Australian Cancer Research Foundation with a small idea and it grew into something much, much bigger. Then last Saturday night, after months of planning, I hosted a charity black tie gala event called Dinner for a Difference. We raised over $26,000.

Honoured premium sponsors and partners on the evening, Toy ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us, said:  ‘The support from the attendees was overwhelming, most of the guests knew Ashleigh personally and most had a very strong connection with her. It was such an exciting night filled with great positivity and joy. The effort that was put in by Ashleigh and all those involved was outstanding and it was so great that all the hard work paid off’.

I chose to support the ACRF because I immediately felt buoyed by the focus of the organisation to end cancer – for good. While I appreciate the importance of programs that are targeted towards raising awareness of the disease and providing post-diagnosis assistance, I truly believe that the key is research.

To me, cancer research is more than important, it’s absolutely crucial. By funding cancer research, we are getting closer to a breakthrough that will change the way we think about cancer and the many lives that it continues to affect. Thanks to ACRF and its supporters, cancer researchers are being armed with the tools that they need to make breakthroughs.

Thank you to everyone who joined forces with me to support the ACRF, including all 180 guests who attended and Holding Redlich who generously signed on as a gold sponsor of the event. Thank you for believing that together we could make a difference. I am so blown away by everybody’s generosity – blown away and inspired to do more.” – ACRF supporter, Ashleigh Mills.

Stevie saddles up for cancer research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, cancer scientists, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Fundraiser“Dad was a typical country guy. He was always dressed in a flannel shirt with his shoulder-length hair tied into a ponytail.

Nine years ago we lost him to lung cancer. I was just 12-years-old and my older sister was 15. Since then, my family has participated in various events to help raise funds for cancer research, including an annual charity walk.

This year, I was inspired to do something a little different. I’d recently been thinking about the loving horse my dad left to my sister and me when he passed away. I realised this beautiful horse is one of the last things I have of my dad. So I decided I would plan a Horse-riding Fundraiser to honour him and support cancer research.

His horse is named Boston and they had a really beautiful connection – my dad adored her and you could tell that she really loved him too. She would always come right over when he called her. My sister and I now look after her. She’s a very quiet and gentle horse, but she’s also the boss – and she knows it!

Our family has always had a love for horses. Both my parents rode – mum used to ride in competitions all the time, but dad did it just for the love of it. When my sister and I were growing up we loved listening to all their horse stories and going on rides with them. It was so special to have that time together and I’ll always cherish those memories.

I now have a beautiful one-year-old daughter and it saddens me to know that she’ll never get to meet her pop and that my dad will never get to meet his granddaughter. I hope that together we can make great memories of horse-riding too. Even before she could walk we would sit with her on the back of Boston and gently lead her around, she loved it.

I’ll actually be riding Boston on the day of the charity ride. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy a day with these beautiful animals and show their support for cancer research. People are encouraged to bring their horses along. We’ll be organising market stalls and entertainment to help make the day as fun as possible.

The fundraiser will be held at Chapman Valley Horse Riding. They have generously donated the use of their 8,000 acres to the cause. It’s located in Howes Valley, which is an hour drive from Pokolbin and a two-hour drive from Sydney and Newcastle. There will also be a camping area for people to stay overnight and make a weekend of it.

The only fee for the day will be $35 per person to ride and $10 per car to camp on the grounds.

Cancer research is a cause close to my heart and being able to do this in the memory of my dad means the world to me. I’m so proud to be doing my part to help support the amazing researchers who are working to end cancer.” ACRF supporter, Stevie Lee Ackley

To register or learn more about the event, please contact Stevie directly at stevie.ackley@hotmail.com. If you can’t attend but would like to help Stevie reach her fundraising goal, click here.

Introducing our 2016 City2Surf Ambassador!

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We’re excited to announce our first ever Team ACRF City2Surf Ambassador, Jessica Broome.

Jess is an incredibly positive young woman with a close connection to cancer research. We are honoured to have her join us this year as our Ambassador.

The last time Jess ran with Team ACRF was in 2014. Her Dad had been diagnosed with cancer eight years earlier, and she ran in support of his journey. After crossing the finish line, having raised over $1,600 for cancer research, she celebrated with a toast to her Dad.

This year Jess will be running again.

“I’m passionate about cancer research because I lost my Dad to cancer in April this year.

A month before we lost him, I watched him walk up the hospital hallway and achieve the massive goal he had been working towards with his physio team. It seemed impossible to most of us, but he was always determined to get better.

He was a fighter, not just as a fireman, but in the way he refused to give up.

We were fortunate that he qualified for numerous medical trials which managed to get him through each year. For ten years they kept coming back with something new, like a magic trick that the researchers would pull out of a hat.

Each new trial medication that came around, he would give it a go – no matter what. There were many years where we thought to ourselves: ‘This is it. This is the last Christmas, this is the last father’s day’…but it never was.

Thanks to those trials our family was able to spend more precious time with him, which meant so much to us.

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, cancer fun run, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, City2Surf, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, fun run, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, marathon, Running for Cancer Research, SydneyDad loved to travel, so we were able to get in some extra holidays together. He also had the chance to ensure his family, including his now 94-year-old Mum, would be okay. We even managed to squeeze in a few more parties with him!

Mum and I were playing all his favourite songs on his last day, one of those songs was Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett. We were dancing around his bed like mad women.They say that hearing is the last thing to go, so I just know this would have made him happy.

He suffered many different cancers over the last ten years, but it was brain cancer that took him in the end. I feel that was the worst for him to go through. I’d really like to see a trial medication to treat this, other than steroids and pain killers. I know researchers are going to get there in time.

This is why I have decided to participate in this year’s City2Surf for cancer research. It’s a great way to support a great cause.

I’m not the best runner, but I really enjoy it. I think it will probably be quite a challenge as I haven’t been running for quite a while. My Dad was always telling me to get back into it, so now I’m doing it!

I think he would really love that I’m getting involved. He always liked to make sure he thanked people when they helped him. So this is my thank you on his behalf.

I’ll know I’ll probably cry through the finish line, but afterwards, I plan to throw one hell of a party! That’s how he would do it!” Jessica Broome ACRF City2Surf Ambassador

 

 

 

New genome sequencing technologies for childhood cancer patients

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Australian children with high-risk cancer will have access to new genome sequencing technologies that could help guide their treatment thanks to the Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project.

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program launched in September 2015 and is currently one of the most detailed genetic and biological analyses of children’s cancer globally. The Lions Kids Cancer Genome project will serve as an important new component to the program as it expands its efforts.

Whole genome sequencing will take place following diagnosis or relapse of cancers with the poorest prognoses, such as brain tumours.

Sequencing looks at each child’s entire genome and its 20,000+ genes in order to define the genetic changes associated with a given cancer. This makes it possible to develop personalised cancer treatment by integrating genetic information with other biological and clinical data.

In addition, the study will identify genetic changes in each child’s DNA that might predispose a person to cancer, helping to build up a database of genetic risk factors that could assist with prevention and treatment strategies in the future.

At any one time in Australia, over 2,000 children, adolescents, and young adults, are on active treatment for cancer or at risk of relapse. In most cases, the treatments used are general, non-targeted, cytotoxic drugs and the side effects from treatment can be serious and lifelong.

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program is a national initiative of Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI) and The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, giving hope to children with the highest risk of treatment failure or relapse. Genome sequencing and analysis for the project will be carried out at Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics.

The Lions Kids Cancer Genome Project is supported by the Lions Club International Foundation and by the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation. The project will roll out through the Zero Childhood Cancer Program to children’s hospitals across Australia in 2017.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) welcomes the new initiative and partnership which will contribute towards improving children’s quality of life and ending all childhood cancers.

ACRF has supported Children’s Cancer Institute, including the Zero Childhood Program, by providing three grants, totalling AUD $5.1million, towards cutting edge cancer research equipment and technology. ACRF has also supported cancer research at Garvan Institute of Medical Research, including the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, with three grants, totalling AUD $6.13million.

The original news post was published on the CCI and Garvan websites.

A taste of hope

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, charity foundation, corporate giving, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, corporate donations, workplace giving, corporate charity donationsACRF corporate supporter, Bob Warner, is the owner of Betta Buy Wine. He has been funding cancer research since 2010.

“Ending cancer is one of the paramount issues in health today. Sadly, I have had many close friends who have lost their lives to this terrible disease.

Cancer can affect any one of us – children, the fit and healthy, and the aged alike. It knows no boundaries. We must help to bring it to an end.

Here at Betta Buy Wine we thought it was time to, again, support our friends at the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) to help raise funds for vital cancer research.

When we delved into the history of fundraising we found that many wineries around the world have been involved in raising funds for an assortment of different community causes.

So we decided to source a selection of fantastic wines that are among the top boutique wineries in Australia. And to encourage people to support ACRF, we’ve discounted them. When customers purchase from this range, we will donate $25 from the sale to ACRF.

I have been supporting the ACRF for a number of years because I know that the dollars raised go to where funding is needed the most.

By supporting our wine fundraiser you will receive great value, and at the same time help end cancer. We hope everyone enjoys these magnificent wines and the goodwill feeling that goes along with supporting a worthwhile cause.

I would encourage everyone to get on board and support cancer research in any way they can, because every dollar counts.” Bob Warner, ACRF Corporate Supporter – Betta Buy Wine

Celebrating a special group of people

20150809_104807This week, Volunteering Australia are celebrating all the benefits that volunteers bring to Australia with the theme Give Happy, Live Happy. And we want to take this opportunity to thank all the ACRF volunteers who play a large part in our mission to end cancer.

“There is so much more to volunteering than simply giving your time and skills to help others,” says Brett Williamson, OAM, CEO Volunteering Australia. “This week we say thank you to the six million Australian volunteers and celebrate that they are living healthier, happier and more meaningful lives by volunteering.”

Associate Professor Dr Thomas Nielsen, University of Canberra, says “Volunteering is a core part of the community and plays a critical role in Australian society, and in Australia’s economy. Volunteers form a formidable workforce powering many essential community services and supports.”

This is certainly true at the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. Our volutneers play a vital role and so we are extremely grateful for all that they do. With their help, we can continue to reduce the impact of cancer by funding world-class cancer research.

A special thank you goes out to the individuals that give their support in our office and to the ACRF cheer squad who encourage our runners at marathon events. We are also very appreciative of the amazing Cancerian Committees who host events across the country to raise funds, and to our corporate partners who volunteer their time to and share their professional skills.

Volunteering is a positive and inspiring way to help any cause and your enthusiasm, positivity and a dedication are the only qualifications you need!

If you would like to find out more about how you can volunteer with the ACRF, click here. To register interest for ACRF volunteering opportunities please email info@acrf.com.au or call us on 1300 884 988 to see what is available.

I’m still standing

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“Ian and I will have been married for 46 years next month. We have spent very little time apart in those years. We have three adult children and four grandchildren. We both grew up in the country but spent some time in Brisbane before settling in the rural town of D’Aguilar, Queensland.

On Valentine’s Day in 2004, a year after we moved, I found a lump and was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I had to undergo a major operation and travel to the city for daily radium treatments. Not only did cancer have a physical impact on my body, but it also affected me emotionally and financially. For a number of years after, I suffered panic attacks and became a recluse which made it incredibly difficult to work. Six years after my first diagnosis the breast cancer was back.

Thankfully we managed to get through it all together. We never used to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but we do now because I am all clear and have been for six years now.

However, our fight against this disease wasn’t over. A week before Christmas in 2014, Ian went to see the doctor in severe pain and he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The doctors told him that unfortunately there was nothing they could do for him and that he should go home and get his affairs in order and enjoy what time he had left.

After we had got all of our affairs in order, our son suggested we have a “wake” as Ian was always saying how unfair it was that you’re not there to party with your friends and family when you die. So we had a pre-departure wake last year. It was just what we both needed – over 120 people came and it was a fantastic day.

During the day of celebrations, Ian told everyone to save the date for an ‘I’m Still Standing’ celebration in 2016 as he would still be here. And he was right.

Because Ian was keeping well, his doctors did an endless amount of scans, blood tests, and biopsies and discovered that he had a Neuroendocrine Tumour. This is a slow-growing form of pancreatic cancer, but it is still terminal. It has been an endless roller coaster ride of emotions, with a lot of twists and turns, but we are grateful for this extra time to enjoy together.

Cancer is an insidious disease that affects so many people. In the past five years, we’ve lost two brothers-in-law, I very recently lost my brother, and now I’m losing a good friend, and my husband – all to terminal cancer.

I nearly lost Ian at Christmas this year, but the fantastic staff at the Redcliffe Oncology performed a miracle and like Ian had promised, he is still here. My darling Ian is such a fighter, so I have decided to make his “I’m Still Standing” celebration day into a fundraiser for cancer research. I wanted to make a difference and help the dedicated and hardworking researchers bring an end to cancer.

We have been very humbled by the wonderful love and support of family and friends and even strangers. While I have been organising the fundraiser I have been blown away by people’s generosity. Thank you to everyone who has kindly helped this day come together. It’s going to be a fantastic event filled with lots of music, laughter, great prizes and everyone is welcome. We’ll also hold an auction, a cut and colour for cancer and have an open mic for anyone who wants to sing on the day.

I would really encourage others to donate or fundraise for cancer research because you may one day help save someone you love!

I hope that maybe our story will give someone else some comfort in their own struggle with cancer.” ACRF supporter, Carol Robinson

 

The Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove thank ACRF supporters

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Over the years, they have earned a reputation for staging some of the most sought after and glamorous events on the Canberra social calendar, which includes their prestigious annual Gala Dinner. The ACRF is very grateful for the efforts of this incredible group of volunteer fundraisers.

Last week the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove hosted a reception to recognise the efforts of this committee and thank them for their generous contributions to cancer research over the years. Below you will find his speech.

“On behalf of Lynne and I, I welcome you to Government House. Everyone here knows what a terrible disease cancer is. It kills nearly 50,000 Australians every year.

And we all know someone, a relative or friend, whose life has been deeply affected by it. What we need to do is beat this disease. We often hear the phrase ‘imagine a world without cancer’. Well, wouldn’t that be a great thing? But imagination only goes so far.

A world without cancer can be achieved but it will be achieved through research: world-class research that helps us to better prevent and diagnose cancers and develop new treatments and cures. This is what will beat cancer. This is what will save lives.

This is what drove the ACRF’s founders, Sonia McMahon and Sir Peter Abeles, and it is what lies at the very heart of your work and the work of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Canberra Cancerians, Canberra Cancerians Committee, Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, University of Queensland, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Government House, Canberra Cancerians Gala Dinner, Canberra Cancerians Annual BallToday is about recognising the Canberra Cancerians and the foundation they support.

It is about saying thank you. Thank you for the $121 million in grants provided by the ACRF to hospitals, universities and researchers across Australia. Thank you for helping researchers at the University of Queensland find new ways to detect lung cancer before it gets a chance to spread. Thank you for supporting the John Curtin School of Medical Research to see if our native plants may hold the answers to new cures and treatments.

I could go on and on, but in short it will suffice to say that thanks to supporters like you, the foundation has transformed the scale and scope of cancer research in this country.

So take a moment to be proud of yourselves and all that you do—because what you do is remarkable, it is making a difference and it is appreciated by so many.

You are giving back, you are saving lives and you are part of a wonderful community and a wonderful foundation that is tackling cancer—head on.

And as tough as cancer may be, we’ll beat it, you’ll beat it—because not even cancer is a match for the spirit and determination I see in this room.”- His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)

Mark’s eyes are on the finish line

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, Cancer Research, cancer fundraising, cancer fun run, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, marathon, Running for Cancer Research, Types of cancer, Kidney cancer, Australian Running Festival, Canberra Times Australian Running Festival“I am 44 years old and have lived in Australia now for over 10 years. Last year, I had a very big scare when I was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had to have my kidney removed as a result.

Discovering the cancer was completely incidental. I had no symptoms or impaired renal function. About eight months ago I was admitted to the hospital with lower bowel pain. The doctors performed a CT scan and found that I had colitis.

They also noticed something that looked like a cyst in my right kidney. They advised me to get it investigated further so a few weeks later I had another scan. The result came back as “consistent with a cystic renal cell carcinoma.” It was in the very centre of my kidney.

It was just two months from when we first saw the mass, to when I underwent surgery to remove my whole kidney. In that time the mass had doubled in size and the final pathology found that it was a grade 2 cystic renal cell carcinoma.

Whilst I have enjoyed a good recovery and my prognosis is very good, there are many people and families who are not so fortunate. We need better diagnosis and treatments to help battle this terrible illness that has struck down so many of our loved ones. To help raise funds for cancer research, I decided to run in the Australian Running Festival’s Canberra Times half marathon.

In 2015, I participated in the half marathon to prove to myself that I could still be healthy and active after a spinal fusion I’d had a few years earlier. This year I’ll be motivated to raise funds for cancer research, not only because of my own battle but for all my family and friends who have battled cancer, many of whom have sadly passed away.

I want to try for a personal best but I have had to make big changes to my training. The biggest being that that I have only had eight weeks to prepare. Prior to that, I was not allowed to do any exercise, as I had to allow the stomach muscles to completely heal. It will make this year’s half marathon very challenging for me but running is not just about the physical activity, it also takes mental endurance.

I hope that we can encourage more people to support cancer research so that the teams of scientists – the unsung heroes in this battle, can achieve breakthroughs that save lives.

Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me over the past six months as I have recovered and to those who have so generously donated to my page.” – ACRF supporter, Mark Potten.

To support Mark’s fundraising page, click here.

Michelle faces her fears to honour her brother

MichelleACRF supporter Michelle Ross will be facing her fear to help end cancer. “Three years ago, my brother Robbie found out that he had cancer at just 27 years old. His doctors found a large tumour in his leg that had to be surgically removed. Although the surgery left him with permanent nerve damage from his ankle down, he had received the all clear.

Unfortunately, his battle was not over. Two years later he began having back troubles and a scan revealed that cancer had returned. This time, it was in his shoulders, his femurs, his lower back and his chest. He fought through a major shoulder replacement which resulted in the loss of almost all movement in his arm. This was followed by months of radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

Last year, just before Christmas, we received the good news that he was again in remission.

Watching my brother go through this had really touched my heart. It was amazing to see all the support the hard working nurses and doctors gave Robbie. So to say thank you, I decided to help raise funds for cancer research.

Robbie has been facing what would be anyone’s worst fear. In honour of his courage, I wanted to attempt to face one of my fears and jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet. I signed up to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation’s JUMP! tandem skydiving program.

Since I’ve signed up, Robbie’s health has worsened. He started having back pain again and after a recent scan, doctors found that the cancer had returned for a third time in the vertebras of his lower back and he’s had to undergo more chemotherapy.

Two weeks ago his legs gave way and he had a fall. The cancer has paralysed him from his belly button down and he can no longer walk.

My family has come together with so much strength and love to support my brother through this hard time. Robbie is now in a wheelchair full-time and my parents have moved in to care for him at his home in Sydney.

I want to help find a cure for families in the future. No one should have to go through what my brother and so many people are going through.

I am so thankful for the amazing fundraising support that I have received from my friends and even strangers. Too many people you talk to in the street, know a family member or friend going through cancer and I hope that one day we end cancer once and for all.” ACRF supporter, Michelle Ross

To support Michelle visit: https://jump.everydayhero.com/au/michelle 

Jake takes on Mt Aspiring for cancer research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, corporate giving, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, charity adventure, trekking adventureACRF supporter, Jake Hesson, has first-hand experience of the devastating effect of cancer on families. He recently embarked on a unique fundraising challenge to raise funds for a cause close to his heart.

“Almost all of us, at some point in time, will be touched by cancer. Over the past 2 years, this disease has significantly affected a number of my family members, as well as my friends and their families. I recently lost two uncles and an aunt to cancer and now my father is also undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer.

I became inspired by the work of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation and wanted to help make a difference for families suffering from cancer. My brother is a cancer researcher so I know just how important charitable grants, like the ACRF grants, are to the scientific community.

I chose to combine my love of alpine mountaineering with fundraising and decided to take on New Zealand’s Mt Aspiring. Not only is this mountain one of the most beautiful in the world, it was also going to be a very physical challenge.

I’ve been climbing since 2012 and have done a number of trekking trips. However, I had never climbed anything as technically difficult as this and certainly nothing quite as exposed! I did the trip with just one very experienced (and very patient) guide.

The highlight of my trip was definitely the isolation, absolute silence and beauty of the mountains. One night I woke up at 3:30 am and when I stepped out of the tent I looked at the summit and the Milky Way.  It was all brighter than I had ever seen. It seemed to be coming directly from the top of the mountain.

My advice to others thinking about supporting cancer research is to just do it! It doesn’t matter how you are planning to raise funds, the important thing is to try. Every donation contributes to advancements in cancer research and the sense of achievement and pride you will feel is really worth it.

I’d like to make a special note of gratitude to my employer, QBE (Australia) and the QBE Foundation for matching the sums I raised and donating almost $3,000 directly to ACRF.” – Jake Hesson, ACRF supporter.

Thank you to Jake and QBE for their generous contributions to cancer research. Corporate Matching Schemes are a great way for you make the most of your fundraising efforts. If you have been involved in a fundraising event for ACRF, it could be worth asking your employer if they offer a Corporate Matching Scheme.

Shave to Save supports cancer research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Types of cancer, End cancer, Head shave, head shave for cancer research, shave for the cure, shave for cancer, had shave for cancer, shave for cancer researchYoung Western Australian siblings, Prem and Mansi Aghera, together with their friends, Amee Bhuva and Ravi Ghodasara, raised over $6,000 for cancer research. We spoke to Prem about their amazing ‘Shave to Save’ fundraiser.

“My sister, Mansi was affected by cancer some time ago, so cancer research is a cause close to home. Mansi wanted this fundraiser to be a tribute to those who aren’t as lucky as her and to help researchers bring an end cancer. We know first-hand how cancer affects patients and their families and we wanted to help prevent more families from going through what we had to.

Apart from raising money, we also thought it was equally important to show solidarity with current cancer patients. We know that sometimes patients who lose their hair feel embarrassed and try to cover up. We hoped that by shaving our heads and proudly strutting around with our new looks that we could encourage people going through treatment to feel confident, with or without hair.

We wanted to spread awareness of the importance of cancer research and get as many people involved as possible. By choosing to shave our head we attracted a lot of interest in our community.

The ‘Shave to Save’ fundraiser was our way of showing everyone who is battling this disease that our community is standing with them – and we were overwhelmed by the support. Honestly, I don’t know why we didn’t do this sooner! We are truly humbled by the incredible support we’ve received over the past few months and we hope we’ve made a positive impact.

We chose to support the ACRF because the main aim of the foundation is to eradicate cancer altogether, and that’s our ultimate aim too. While there is a long road ahead, we have seen the impact a small fundraiser can have.

I believe that if people unite together we will continue to get closer to a future without cancer.” – ACRF supporter, Prem Aghera

FDC conquered the Rottnest Island Swim for Cancer Research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, corporate giving, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, Fundraising Stories, fundraising, give to charity, Types of cancer, Rottnest Channel Swim, Rottnest Island, The Rottnest Channel SwimThank you to our corporate supporters, FDC! A team from the Western Australian construction business took on the 19km Rottnest Swim challenge late last month.

Their swimmers – Mark, Monique, Sveta and April along with support crew Ed, Jason and John were all very excited to be fundraising for a cause close to their hearts.

“A number of people in our office have recently been touched by different types of cancer. So we chose to compete in this challenge to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation because they are committed to ending all types of cancer.

We received wonderful support from our work colleagues, friends, families and extended community. We encouraged everyone we knew to get behind our team and help us reach our target by donating their spare change or coffee money to cancer research. Together we were able to raise close to $3,000 for a charity we value so highly.

The highlights on the day were all of us working together and having a laugh, everyone was very supportive – team members and competitors alike. This made our experience very enjoyable and we have been talking about doing the race again next year.

Most of us know someone that is either fighting cancer or has been directly affected by it in one way or another. With the shocking stats out there we are proud that we could do our bit to help researchers find a cure for all cancers.” – ACRF supporter, April Moir

To support the team, visit their everyday hero page.

Photo supplied by Aussies in Action.

A motorcycle trek in memory of two great men

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, leukaemia, Types of cancer, Motorcycle challengeACRF supporter, Daniel Kranz is a 36-year-old father of two. He lives with his wife, Hannah, in Tinonee. In addition to recently starting his own skateboard manufacturing business, he is also busy planning an epic postie trek to honour two special men whom he lost to cancer.

“The Jindaboonda Postie Trek is a motorcycle ride of over 3,000km to raise funds for cancer research in memory of Dennis Jeffers (Jindaboonda). Last year pancreatic cancer took this awesome husband, father, son, grandfather, uncle and mate away from us. And what’s worse is Den wasn’t the first person I’ve lost to cancer. In 2001, I lost my Grandad, Murray Kranz, to leukaemia.

Den and I were always trying to organise a ride together but unfortunately that never happened.

Losing him so suddenly left our family utterly shell-shocked. I wanted to make something positive out of something so negative and organise this epic ride to celebrate the memory of him, my Grandad and everyone else who is afflicted by cancer. And what better way to help a family heal, than to get everyone together doing something these men loved, and in the process raise funds to help fight the disease that took them away.

A love of motorcycling wasn’t the only similarity between Den and Murray. They were both devoted family men who were respected and adored by everyone that knew them. We are told time and again by numerous people how positive their impact was on the community and how dearly missed they are. They were fine examples of how to be a good human being.

Both men were also very passionate about their careers. Den was an ecologist and ‘Jindaboonda’ was the name given to him by the members of the Biripi community after he worked with them extensively, teaching them about native plant seed propagation and bush regeneration.

Murray was a mechanic and in his retirement he restored several old 40s and 50s motorcycles. I guess once motorcycling is in your blood – you’re hooked for life. Anyone who rides a motorcycle will agree with me that it’s about as close to complete freedom as you can get.

Over 20 riders have registered for the trek so far. A large crew of extended family and close friends will also be following in support vehicles. I think all those postie bikes riding in group formation through town should get quite a lot of attention for the cause!

We’ve even had a few people who obtained their licences just to take part in the trek. One such rider is Emma. She lost her mum to cancer three and half years ago, and there was no way she was missing out on doing the ride.

We chose to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation because it was important to us that we raise funds for an organisation that contributes to the research of all forms of cancer. When we approached the ACRF, they were so helpful and assisted me to get the ball rolling. It’s been a positive experience right from the start.

We’re all working hard to fundraise as much as we can in the memory our loved ones, and in the process, we’re having an adventure and healing together.

Thank you to all the participants, to everyone who has donated and sponsored us, and to all those who have helped us out so far.” – Daniel Kranz, ACRF supporter.

To support the Jindaboonda Postie Trek, click here.

 

What research did for breast cancer patient, Shona

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, Breast Cancer, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, cancer fun run, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, current cancer research, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Running for Cancer Research, Canberra, Canberra Times Australian Running Festival“My name is Shona. I’m a mother of two young girls, aged 6 and 10, and a police officer from Canberra. In November last year, a week after my 39th birthday, I discovered a lump in my left breast.

I had never been diligent about self-checking. I always thought I was too young to contemplate breast cancer but I had a feeling that this lump hadn’t been there before. I reluctantly went to see my GP in the hope she would tell me it was nothing to worry about – she didn’t.

She sent me in for testing and two days later I was booked in for an ultrasound and biopsy. The results came back the following day and I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma.

The next few days were all a whirlwind and it felt like my feet didn’t touch the ground. I was quickly referred to a breast cancer surgeon and put in contact with a breast care nurse at Calvary Hospital.

Within two weeks of my diagnosis, I underwent a mastectomy. I will be forever grateful that my lymph nodes were clear and I was sent home from the hospital three days later. I recovered from the operation with absolutely no complications and was able to return to work a few weeks later.

My medical team suggested that I have Oncotype DX testing to determine what treatment plan I would need. I only realised how important this testing was when the results came back and showed I wouldn’t have to undergo chemotherapy. Without the testing, my oncologist would have recommended chemotherapy. I am undergoing endocrine therapy, which is not without side effects, but thankfully they are minimal. Which means that I’ll be well enough to run in the Australian Running Festival half marathon in April to raise funds for cancer research.

I have now been given the all clear and I consider myself very lucky. Sadly I lost my grandmother to bowel cancer and two amazing women in my extended family to breast cancer. I am the first woman in my immediate family to undergo treatment for breast cancer and I never want to see my sisters or daughters go through what I had to.

I’m astounded by the overwhelming support I have received from my family, friends and especially my colleagues. I am so proud of my fellow brothers and sisters in blue, their generous donations have contributed to over 90% of my current fundraising total. We really try to support each other during the tough times – they are my extended family and I love them all.

I will carry scars into the future as a testament to my battle but I am determined to not let cancer kill me. I have two amazing and beautiful daughters that need their mum and I am supported by the most incredible man I call my husband. This has been a tough time for me and my family but I am thankful that I am one of the lucky ones.

Early detection and superb medical intervention means I will survive. I hope that by sharing my story I can make people aware of the importance of early detection and self-breast checks, and help raise funds for cancer research.” – ACRF supporter, Shona Davis.

Click here to support Shona’s Canberra Times Half Marathon.

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Basia and Gary’s Story

Basia&GaryFamily“I was pacing the lounge room floor feeding Grayce when I heard a car door slam out the front. Just for a second, I thought he’d come home, that he had been out for dinner with the boys, that the last six months had disappeared.

It felt nice, for one second, like it used to be. I hope there are other fleeting moments like that. Because just for a second, I was in that other life and I remembered how it felt to be happy.

I lost my husband, Gary, to oesophageal cancer 19 days after we were married. Our third child, Grayce, was born four weeks later.

Though our time together was short we managed to fit a lot of life into those years. We also had lots of quiet moments, just enjoying spending time with each other.

He was very hands-on around the house and with the children. There was nothing he loved more than to potter around on the weekends doing the jobs he had listed during the week, fixing things and finding better ways of doing things and then we would have our coffee mid-morning sitting in the backyard.

We would email each other every day at work – just a few words here and there, or an interesting article. I miss all the little things that made our lives so much fun. The touch of his skin, a thousand gestures.

Gary’s battle with cancer started on the 2nd of July and lasted for twelve and a half weeks. As the cancer ate away at Gary, I thought he looked more beautiful. His spirit, grace and dignity shone through more with each passing day.

He was the perfect patient. He never complained and would try and help me help him as much as possible, even trying to lift and move his legs with his hands, and I would tell him off each time.

That’s why we decided to call our daughter Grayce with a ‘y’ – grace for how much of it shone through him during this battle. The four letters of Gary’s name are carried on in the name of his daughter.

That was his next goal, and what he told the doctors at his last oncology appointment. He wanted to meet his daughter.

In the end I couldn’t ask it of him. I knew he could hear everything I was saying. I lay down on the bed next to him and put his right hand on top of my belly. I told him I loved him so. I said, ‘I don’t want to let you go but I have to. It’s time for you to go.’

He opened his eyes and deliberately blinked at me for the first time in hours. Then he took two more breaths and went.

I still cannot bring myself to stretch out across the whole bed. It will mean finally admitting to myself that he won’t be riding his bike home and pushing it through the open door. That he won’t be bending down to hug the kids as they come running to greet him, squealing with delight. I know those things cannot happen but I still see them. I wish them. I live them in my head.

They say memories are golden. Well maybe that’s true, but I never wanted memories, I only wanted you.” – ACRF Supporter, Basia

We can’t bring Basia’s husband back to her but we can stand beside her while she continues to battle cancer through supporting research. To help her in her mission to protect others from having to go through what she went through click below.

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Cancer research to improve radiotherapy treatment

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research Grants, cancer scientists, charity foundation, donate to charity, current cancer research, Fighting cancer, Fundraising StoriesThe radiotherapy research team at Ingham Institute is one of only three research teams in the world to develop a new technological concept and design to improve targeted radiotherapy.

The technology, called MRI-Linac, combines an MRI magnet with a Linac Accelerator (a radiation cancer treatment machine) to improve the accuracy and precision of radiotherapy treatment for cancer.

Radiotherapy is a mode of cancer treatment that uses a Linear Accelerator to produce X-rays that kill or damage tumours to stop them from growing. However, in doing this, the radiation process may also damage normal tissue in the way of the radiation beam during the treatment. Improving the accuracy of treatment will result in better treatment outcomes and fewer side effects for cancer patients.

Until now the MRI and the Linac have worked separately. By joining them together as the MRI-Linac, the Ingham Institute has a system that enables a real-time view of tumours that stretches way beyond basic anatomy, including the chemical structure of tumours and normal tissues. The unique design of the system gives Ingham Institute scientists and cancer researchers the ability to position the treatment or radiation beam in two different arrangements which will improve accuracy further.

“Radiation treatments for cancer must take into account changes that can occur to the location and shape of tumours, which move as a result of breathing, swallowing and other normal body changes. This is where the strength of the MRI-Linac system comes into play, as it is the only system that will enable us to target the tumour with the radiation beam much more accurately in real-time and have control over the radiation dose,” said Associate Professor Gary Liney, Senior MRI Physicist at the Ingham Institute.

In 2014, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation provided a grant of AUD 2.5 million for the creation of The ACRF Image-X Institute at the Ingham Institute. The research is in its early days and the clinical applications of the new treatment are 5-10 years away.

A little girl with big dreams

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, cancer research fundraising, charity foundation, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, Types of cancer

At only seven years old, Leah Paterson is one of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation’s youngest supporters. She’s been working to raise funds for cancer research in honour of her great-grandmother who is currently undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Leah has earned a place as a finalist in the Junior Miss Diamond Australia 2016 pageant. The contest encourages participants to be part of a cause that helps others and teaches them how to fundraise for charity.

As part of her quest to gain the title, Leah is required to represent her local area and choose a charity to partner with. Leah chose to support cancer research through the ACRF as her family has been touched by the horrible disease twice in the past few years.

“My great-grandmother has been going through treatment for pancreatic cancer. And my mum also lost her uncle a few years ago to the same cancer. I am raising money so researchers can help fix people like my great-grandma by finding stronger ways to fight cancer,” said Leah.

Leah is hoping to raise close to $2,000 before the pageant grand final in April. To help reach her target she been raising awareness about cancer research by doing various fundraising activities throughout her school and community.

Leah’s mother and great-grandmother are very proud of Leah’s commitment to a cause so close to their hearts. “This contest is different to typical pageant competitions, it focuses on promoting community values and helps teach children that there is so much more to beauty than physical appearance,” said Leah’s mother, Sara.

 

Lee Bektash is on the fast-track to end cancer

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, charity foundation, corporate giving, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories

Lee Bektash is a Victorian drag racing driver for Team Mopar and he’s put his support behind the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. The Pro-Stock Star and his team donated their prize money from last week’s race at Calder Park to help fast-track better treatments and detection for cancer.

Lee achieved the top speed of the Pro Stock Race, reaching an incredible 200.65 mph (323 km/h).

“This is something that I have wanted to do for a little while. I lost my first cousin to cancer six months ago and our family had also lost another relative to cancer just last year.

Cancer affects everyone and we want to be a part of helping to find cures so that as few families as possible are affected like we have been. The cures are out there, we just need to find them!

We decided to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation because it is a private organisation, relying on the power of the community in order to provide Australia’s best cancer research teams with the technologies and facilities they need to fast-track discoveries.

I’ve been so proud of our team’s efforts over the last few seasons, we’ve had good results because of the support we’ve received. Our weekend at Calder Park gave us a great opportunity to put some money to good use – and there is no better cause than this!

The ACRF funds and supports the analysis and testing of new treatment, diagnostic and preventative measures for all types of cancer. It keeps Australian scientists at the forefront of medical research and brings us ever closer to the cures.

This is a privilege for the Team Mopar Australia crew, we put everything into our races in the hope that we can give something back!”

A big thank you to Lee and the team for their generous support!

 

Toby’s Beard Shave for Cancer Research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Types of cancer, shave for the cure, be brave and shave, shave my hair for cancer, head shave for cancer research“My name is Toby and I’m 29. I was diagnosed with rectal cancer in October 2014. Prior to my diagnosis, I was a very active and healthy person – I enjoyed running and hitting the gym, I never smoked and drank only on occasion. There was also no history of rectal cancer in my family – so the diagnosis came as quite a shock.

Since then I have received multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, as well as some major operations so doctors could remove the cancer, create a temporary ileostomy, and then reverse it.

I’m currently recovering from the reversal surgery and getting used to my new “plumbing.” I will still need to go to follow-up appointments every three months or so but fortunately I was given the all clear late last year.

A couple of months before I was diagnosed I started growing a beard. Once everybody got over the initial shock of my diagnosis, questions began turning to my beard and when I was going to shave it.

My beard had become a comfort for me through all of this, so if I was going to shave – it had to be for a good reason! I started thinking about the idea of shaving it off for charity and because I received so much support, I felt that I should do something to give back.

Cancer is too common and this has become even more obvious since I was diagnosed. Almost everyone I meet has a story of someone close to them who has been affected by cancer. I feel like I am one of the lucky ones and I wanted something good to come from my experience.

On Australia day, I’ll be holding a celebration and shaving ceremony at our local bowls club. I’ll be putting on a big barbeque to say thank you to all my friends and family who supported me and donated to my cause. I’ll also be raffling off some great prizes from generous local businesses, as well as the honour of who will get to make the first cut of the shave!

I really hope that someday, no one will have to go through what I and so many others have been through. Finding a cure or a gentler form of treatment is the ultimate goal and that is why I decided to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

Every little bit helps to bring us closer to finding a cure or developing better treatments that will make it easier on those diagnosed, and their family.” – ACRF Supporter, Toby Stodart.

To support Toby’s Beard Shave for Cancer, click here.

I’m a walking testimony to cancer research

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, Cancer Research, cancer research fundraising, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, Types of cancer, cancer scientistsPamela Kirby supports cancer research because she has seen the life-saving benefits first-hand.

“My cancer journey started in September 2010. I was first diagnosed with bowel cancer and an operation was quickly scheduled for November. It was during my treatment process that I was also diagnosed with stage 1 primary lung cancer.

Within a few weeks I was back in surgery for a major lung cancer operation. That was the hardest to recover from and it was followed by four and a half months of chemotherapy treatment.

Unfortunately, the bad news continued and in 2013 three more lesions were discovered on my lung. By May 2014 I had suffered a major seizure and my doctors told me I had developed secondary brain cancer that spread from my lungs.

Cancer has been a challenge from day one, but it has been really empowering to fight this battle and I believe I am much stronger now. After five years of intensive treatment and lengthy hospital stays, the prognosis is looking good for me and I’m feeling much better.

I am so thankful for my highly skilled oncologist Dr Nick Pavalakis and his team. Using the treatment options and testing resources cancer research has made available to them, they were able to learn more about my cancer, find out which treatments would work best for me and help manage some of the unbearable side-effects.

From my experience I learned just how vital cancer research was and how significantly it impacts current patient treatments. I’m a walking testimony to the progress researchers are making.

Whilst undergoing treatment I wanted to inspire others affected by cancer and show them that they have the strength to fight through this battle too. I decided to organise a fundraising event to help contribute towards cancer research.

I held a Ladies Night Out at our local bowling club. It was a great evening of tequila tasting, 60’s music, a fashion parade, raffles, candle demonstrations and an auction. I’m really proud that we were able to raise close to $4000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

My health has greatly improved and we’re now looking forward to the future and a special holiday in Hawaii in just a few weeks. I still need to get scans every three months, which are stressful as waiting for the results is always a torment. But I believe remaining positive has really helped me on this journey and I am thankful to have been supported by my wonderful friends and family and a highly skilled medical team. Every new day I get to spend with my amazing husband Brian, our kids and grandkids is sheer joy.” – Pamela Kirby, ACRF Supporter

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Pedalling for cancer research in memory of Penny

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, cancer research fundraising, Cancer Research, Challenge, charity challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, spin challenge, cycle challenge
Kirsten, Amber, Angie and Rachel

 

In May 2015 ACRF supporter, Kirsten lost her mother, Penny, after a two-year battle with lung cancer. To honour Penny, Kirsten and her good friend Rachel began planning a garden party to support cancer research. When her friend Angie received the invitation, she put her hand up to help with the fundraising efforts.

“Kirsten absolutely adored her Mum and it has been a difficult time for her and her family. As soon as I heard about the fundraiser I wanted to do my part to help, so I decided to hold an epic 24-hour spin challenge,” said Angie.

“I got to work organising my ‘Pedalling for Penny’ event. The local community really got behind me. I received such generous support from my local 24-hour gym and many local businesses that each sponsored a one-hour block of my ride or donated their services.

From 10 am on Saturday 7th November to 10 am on Sunday 8th November I cycled continuously around the clock. In that time, I accomplished the equivalent distance of riding from the Sunshine Coast to Newcastle.

I love being active and I’m very social, so it was very mentally challenging for me to be seated in one place for such a long time – I am very thankful I had so much wonderful support around me the whole time. It melted my heart to have my husband, my sons and friends there cheering me on. And it was great to see my community come out to support me too! Other gym members and sponsors cycled alongside me for an hour and shared their stories of loved ones who had been affected by cancer. Even the police stopped by to visit and make sure I was doing okay.

It was an honour to ride for Penny and to support Kirsten and her family. Penny was the most beautiful person filled with an enormous amount of love and I felt her by my side throughout this journey.

Sadly so many people are touched by cancer, and as a registered nurse I often see the awful effect it has on patients and their families. I am so proud that I was able to do this challenge and raise funds for cancer research to help put an end to this awful disease.”

Kirsten along with her good friends Rachel and Angie have raised a total of $6,698.50 for cancer research.

To support Angie, click here.

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Young cyclist takes on Mount Kosciuszko for cancer research

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ACRF supporter, Ben Coulter is a 19-year-old cycling enthusiast from Cairns. In October, he successfully rode solo and unsupported from Melbourne all the way to Sydney via Mount Kosciuszko to support cancer research.

“I wanted to give something back to the community and, because cancer impacts so many lives, I decided to raise funds for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

I’m very passionate about road cycling and mountain biking. I love riding because it’s such a good release. I’ve been working professionally in the biking industry for around three years now and I really enjoy it.

Over the 16-day journey, I covered around 1,700 kilometres and climbed over 24,000 vertical meters! I chose the route via Mount Kosciuszko because it was a huge challenge. It was mostly steep climbs and I thought the harder, the better, as I knew it was going to be the most rewarding for me to achieve.

In the past, I’ve completed a few other big rides including the 720 kilometre Cairns to Karumba and the 320 kilometre Cairns to Cooktown. However these rides were all supported and we rode in groups. The Sydney to Melbourne challenge was my first solo, unsupported journey and I plan on doing many more.

My favourite areas along the way were probably Corryong or Marysville in Victoria – I love the beautiful, crisp alpine environment and the scenery made for a great ride. One of the most memorable highlights from my trip included cycling the mountain ranges around the Tolmie area. It was such a great feeling making the climb to the top of the Dead Horse Gap just outside of Thredbo and cycling to the top of Mount Kosciuszko.

I would highly recommend doing a solo charity ride. If you’re thinking about taking on any charity challenge for the ACRF, my advice is to make sure you’re prepared and then give it all you’ve got! Embrace the challenge and when it gets tough, remember why you are doing it.”

Click here to support Ben.

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The Norman Foo Fund

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In memory of his late uncle, ACRF Supporter Timothy Lim has embarked on an intense training regimen to help prepare him for the Busselton Ironman Triathlon this Sunday, December 6th.

“My uncle, Norman Foo lost his three and a half year battle with lung cancer in the early hours of July 24, 2015. He was a father, a husband, a grandfather, an academic, and a genuine human being. He was positive and brave to the end.”

In Australia, lung cancer is one of the five most commonly diagnosed cancers and causes more deaths than any other type of cancer. It only has a 5-year survival rate of about 14%.

“One of his final wishes was that we donate to charities in lieu of flowers at his funeral. Through my fundraiser, the Norman Foo Fund, I hope to raise over $10,000 to help the ACRF fund research to end cancer.”

With the help of generous family and friends, Tim has already achieved more than half of his initial fundraising target!

“Uncle Norman has always been such an inspiration to me. I have been in awe of his bravery, optimism, and ability to endure. To champion my fundraising effort, I will be attempting my first full Ironman-distance triathlon. It will consist of a 3.8km swim, followed by an 180km bike ride, and finished with a 42.2km run. This will be a true test of my physical and mental endurance.”

Tim is a 30-year-old engineer from Brisbane who considers himself pretty ordinary. “I enjoy food, frolicking in the sunshine…and not being at work.” And when he’s not working his 9-5 he’s been putting in an extraordinary effort into his fitness and training. Already this year, Tim ran 42km at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival and completed his first triathlon in Noosa. He pushes his limits in weekly swim squad sessions and long distance cycling. With one month to go to the Busselton Ironman, he is feeling fit and strong.

To help support Tim and his Norman Foo Fundraiser, click here.

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Trekking the Larapinta Trail for Cancer Research

A few weeks ago, dedicated ACRF supporter, John Pratt returned home from an epic Larapinta Charity Challenge in the Northern Territory.

Before we got a chance to hear all about his trip, this avid trekker was back in his hiking boots, taking on a section of the Heysen Trail in South Australia for a second time – an impressive way to celebrate his recent 74th birthday.

The ACRF Larapinta charity challenge is one of the seven Great Walks of Australia. “In 2014 I completed the 1200km Heysen Trail and this opportunity to walk the Larapinta Trail seemed too good to pass up. Not only would I be supporting a cause I’ve contributed to for several years, I would get to experience hiking parts of the iconic Larapinta trail and have an opportunity to be on the summit of Mount Sonder to see the sunrise.”

Over the six-day trip, John and a group of 4 leaders and 15 other hikers covered between six and sixteen kilometres each day over a variety of terrain. They were treated to the beautiful sights of an ancient land, taking in the scenic landscapes including the vast flood plains, the razorback rocky outcrops and narrow canyons where sheltered pockets of delicate ferns and twisted gum trees grow from the dry rivers of sand.

After their long days of trekking, the group were able to relax in style in exclusive wilderness campsites. The little taste of luxury ‘glamping’ added to the trekkers enjoyment of the Larapinta Trail, offering lounge and dining facilities, hot showers, eco-toilet facilities, solar lighting, and camera battery charging ports. “The facilities at the semi-permanent campsites were good and all the food was excellent, including the lunches the leaders carried and prepared out on the Trail.“

“Everything went smoothly – it was well organised and well led. For me, the best part of the trip was experiencing highlights of the Larapinta Trail along with a selection of features near its route (like Ormiston Gorge and Pound) with a group of like-minded people who blended together very well.”

The Larapinta Trail is just one of many fundraisers John has accomplished. His advice to others considering signing up for a charity challenge is to just go for it! “Make sure you’re physically and mentally prepared as it will make the experience much more enjoyable,” says John.

John, who lost a close friend to cancer last year, has raised over $2,000 for cancer research in addition to his long-term regular giving. Click here to show your support for John.

There are many ways to get involved in an adventure charity challenge. We provide one-to-one fundraising support along the way to help you reach your fundraising target. Learn more about charity challenges and fundraising.

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Fighting cancer with fitness

ACRF, Australian Cancer Research Foundation, cancer charity, cancer fundraising, cancer fun run, cancer research fundraising, charity challenge, Challenge, charity foundation, donate to charity, Fighting cancer, Funding research, Fundraiser, fundraising, Fundraising Stories, give to charity, Types of cancer

In April, dedicated ACRF supporter, Jodie Gardiner ran in the Australian Running Festival in Canberra and raised over $2,200. Now she’s working her way through a unique fundraising challenge she set for herself called ‘Fighting Cancer with Fitness.’ Jodie hopes to complete 100 workouts before her 42nd birthday while raising funds for a cause close to her heart.

“This year I lost my step-sister, Rachael to liver cancer. My step-mum was diagnosed and is fighting lung cancer. My aunty was diagnosed and is fighting breast cancer. Last year I also lost my uncle to cancer. This is an insidious disease and I’ve had enough.

In losing my step-sister Rachael, we didn’t just lose one woman we lost several because she was the center of so many universes. We always got on like a house on fire and shared a lot of similarities in our lives – we were both public servants who also qualified as a personal trainer and we each had two sons.

Rachael was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer called Sarcomatoid Hepatocellular Carcinoma. After ten months of treatment, she lost her battle. She was only 36 years old, leaving behind her loving husband, Paul and their two young sons.

Rachael was a great mother, it broke her heart that she would not be there to see her children grow up. She worried that her sons wouldn’t remember her, so she asked her family to promise to help make sure they would never forget her.

Paul has been an absolute tower of strength for his sons and is making every effort to ensure they still see their grandparents and that they will always remember their mum.

I am fortunate to have some great memories of Rachael. I worked at a gym with her a few years ago. We had an absolute ball working together – we learned so much about each other and became really close.

Rachael was such a fun, energetic and vibrant woman. She had such a passion for health and exercise, and her love of fitness inspired me to get my personal training qualifications. I remember not long after Rachael was diagnosed, her sister Kylie was attempting her first 10km fun run. Rachael and her family were waiting on the sidelines to cheer Kylie on.

Suddenly, Rachael ran out from the crowd to jog alongside her sister. Rachael motivated Kylie through the final kilometres and they crossed the finish line holding hands. It was a very special moment that I’m glad I got to witness and I think it beautifully sums up what sort of a person she was.

Losing her to cancer made us all realise that life is short and it has certainly made us all stop and smell the roses a little. Everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with some form of cancer, I’m fighting for all of them.”

Click here if you would like to support Jodie.

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Making a Difference in Michael’s Name

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“My family has been touched by cancer a few times, but the two that hurt the most were the loss of my mother and then my husband.

My mother was recently retired when she told me she had found a lump in her breast. After lots of convincing, my sisters and I finally got her to visit the doctor. What she hadn’t told us was that she had first noticed the lump six months ago and by then it had grown extremely large. This was 20 years ago and there weren’t many options available to her at the time. After fighting through 15 months of gruelling treatment she sadly lost her battle with breast cancer.

Years later, Michael, my wonderful husband and the father of our four sons was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at 54 years old. We were really shocked as he had always enjoyed good health and was not showing any symptoms other than an itchy feeling under the skin. Our doctor however, did not suspect good news and the blood test proved it.

Michael endured a lot to try and beat the cancer. He went through one and a half rounds of chemo and underwent a very high risk operation called a Whipple procedure. Thankfully he made it through but it was a long, hard road to recovery after the extensive surgery.

Thanks to the expertise of the doctors and their teams things began to look more positive, but we were only able to spend an extra 22 months with Michael before he passed away at 56 years old.

I donate in Michael’s name each month and hope that my little bit will make a difference so we can find a cure for all cancers. I chose to support the Australian Cancer Research Foundation because it’s a non-profit organisation that awards grants to the most ground-breaking research teams in Australia. I know my donations will help cancer researchers to continue fast-tracking discoveries for the future.”

– Jannelle Scerri, Regular Giver of the Month

Learn more about becoming a regular giver.

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Erin Prepares To JUMP! For Cancer Research

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ACRF Supporter, Erin Headington has a passion for helping people and isn’t afraid of taking on a challenge. In December, shortly after she graduates university as a Registered Nurse, Erin will take the plunge and skydive for cancer research.

“I’m making the jump in honour of my cousin who was diagnosed with lymphoma in June. It was a huge shock at first as she was just 24 years old. We’re only a year and half apart and we have a very close relationship. It’s really horrible knowing she has been having a really tough time with the side-effects of chemotherapy.

Her mother, father and brother have not been coping well with the diagnoses. Their family have experienced a lot of loss in the last 3 years and are now coming to terms with my cousin fighting cancer at such a young age.

I decided to do something to support my cousin and her family so I began researching ways to help cancer patients. When I came across the ACRF I thought that raising money for cancer research would be a good way to do my part to help find a cure. I want to prevent others from enduring this devastating disease in the future.

The ACRF JUMP! skydiving challenge really appealed to me as I’ve always been a thrill-seeker at heart. It’s great to know there are so many different ways to get involved – especially since I could never picture myself running in a marathon.

I would really encourage others to find a fun and achievable challenge that suits them too. At the moment I’m very busy managing two jobs and studying full time – so if I can do it, anyone can!”

Show Erin your support. Erin will also be raising funds for the ACRF with a sausage sizzle out the front of Woolworths Shellharbour on Sunday 22 November between 10am-2pm.

 

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Isabella’s Crazy Hair Day for Cancer Research

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An outstanding young student from Victoria wanted to honour her late grandfather by raising money for cancer research. Isabella is in year six and decided that the best way to make a big impact was to get her whole school involved – so she approached the vice principal about organising a crazy hair day.

“Isabella came to see me at the start of the term to share her enthusiasm for wanting to make a difference to the lives of people living with cancer. Her passion for this cause was obvious and she had really done her research,” said Vice Principal Stuart Boyle.

“As adults, we are all educators and it’s often how we respond to young people that teaches them the most. I’m truly impressed by Isabella wanting to take on the responsibility of organising a whole school fundraiser.”

Isabella was so proud to be able to do her part to end an illness that had affected her family in such a horrible way. She spent the term organising every detail of the event herself.

She put signs up around the school to promote the event, made sure it was advertised in the weekly school newsletter and spoke at her assembly about the ACRF and why she felt it was important to support cancer research.

She wanted all the students to come to school with their hair teased, coloured and gelled into fun and unique hair styles – and the crazier, the better, because she had even prepared prizes for the ‘best hair’ winners to be drawn at an assembly on the day.

Everyone was invited to participate and students brought along a gold coin donation to show their support for cancer research.

Together Isabella and her primary school were able to raise a fantastic total of $471.10. We thank Isabella for all the hard work she put into supporting the ACRF.

If Isabella’s story has inspired you to organising an event for cancer research, check out our A-Z of Fundraising Ideas.

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Brave ACRF supporters skydive for cancer research

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With Father’s day right around the corner, we’re looking back at some of the unique ways ACRF supporters have chosen to celebrate this special day.

Last year the ACRF held a Father’s Day jump in Wollongong where an extremely brave and inspirational team of four siblings did the jump in memory of their father.

As the year progressed we discovered how Father’s Day was just one of many reasons that our supporters chose to take on this challenge.

Susanne Richter was inspired to raise money for Cancer Research as her grandma, grandpa and dad all fought different kinds of cancer.

“My dad successfully fought prostate cancer,” says Susanne. “He is now well and enjoying his retirement but getting there has been really tough. I made the decision to jump for ACRF because there is still so much research that needs to be done to ensure that everyone’s story has a happy ending like my dad’s.”

Susanne jumped with 10 other ACRF supporters who went above and beyond, raising more than $34,000 for world-class cancer research.

“I am so happy to support such a wonderful cause and I am very proud of us and the incredible amount of money that was raised. This was definitely an experience I will never forget!”

ACRF jumper and cancer survivor, Maria De Virgilio, shared her thoughts on why she took the plunge and how she feels that she is living proof that that cancer research will save lives.

“Cancer does not have to be a death sentence, it’s an illness and it’s one we are getting better at fighting with new treatments, and support groups, and most importantly ongoing research.” She teamed up with her sister Teresa and best friend Vicky to celebrate her strength and pay tribute to her friends and family who also battled the disease.

Where as Krystyna Pollard chose to make the jump as brave gesture in support of her mother’s fight against pancreatic cancer.

“I hope that by flinging myself out of a plane I can not only raise money so someone, somewhere can perhaps find a cure for this disease, but so I can face some fear of my own and overcome it. Just like mum is,” says Krystyna.

We are inspired by each and every one of these amazing Jumpers– we cannot thank them enough for their bravery, determination and generosity.

 

A dedicated daughter and determined mum runs toward the cures for cancer

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Carol Tannous-Sleiman is setting an incredible example for her three young children. Having just run in the 2015 London Marathon in memory of her father, she is already gearing up for another race and continues to raise funds for cancer research.

“The ACRF is an important charity for me and taking on fundraising challenges is something that I do on behalf of my father, my family and my children.”

In the lead up to London she raised an astonishing $11,000. “I can’t thank everyone enough, I’m very humbled that people have donated and are here to support me. Not only does it mean a lot to me, it really means a lot to the many survivors and families out there who have lost love ones to cancer.”

Her and her team of 29 staff from Greenwood Early Education Centre have been gearing up to run in this year’s City2Surf. Together they’re working with a personal trainer and planning a number of fun fundraisers in the lead up to the race, including an international party for both the kids and the parents to get involved in.

Over the years Carol has participated in many famous Marathons, including Paris, Chicago and New York. London was her twelfth Full Marathon and another to cross of the Bucket List.

“London was definitely in the top five – why not do a nice run, for a good cause, in a beautiful city like London?!”

Before having kids, Carol had never pictured herself as a runner. To keep fit she enjoyed a daily 8km walk. “Strangely enough, it was actually my busy lifestyle that provided me with the impetus to start running. With the demands of work and parenthood, I needed to find a more time efficient form of exercise. So I thought, why don’t I just run instead of walk?” Since then she’s never looked back, and has continued to move from strength to strength.

Her first real test was to run the 14km City2Surf and before long she found herself participating in 21km Half Marathons. She finally took on the full 42.2km at the Melbourne Marathon. “When you finally cross that line, it is the biggest sense of achievement. You get very tearful, it’s amazing I’m so excited to share in that moment with my team.”

Click here to show Carol your support.
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James and Kirsty have their eyes on the finish line

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For us, this year is about not letting anything come between us and our dreams – this was the advice my Dad, Mick always gave me.”

This September, James Robson and fiancé Kirsty Donovan will be heading to Europe to run in the Berlin Marathon.

James has been a dedicated ACRF supporter for many years. “While my Dad was receiving chemotherapy treatment back in the UK, I felt like there wasn’t a lot I could do from 12,000 miles away, so I decided to raise as much money as possible to help eradicate this disease.”

“For years I ran in his honour. I ran Iron Man challenges, half marathons and more; running to prevent the sadness, raising money to give every step more meaning in the hopes that Dad might survive his cancer.”

“After three long years of fighting brain tumours, Dad lost his battle with the disease and passed away. I was on a plane home to him as soon as I received the phone call and was able to make it in time to say goodbye. It will be almost a year but it still feels like yesterday.”

“Now I am running in his memory. The ACRF is very close to our hearts and running to raise funds is a way for us to take on a personal challenge at the same time as hitting back at cancer.”

With the help of generous family and friends the couple have raised an astounding $25,000.

James and Kirsty continually strive to move onwards and upwards. With each event they participate in, they continue to challenge both their physical and mental endurance.

“People all over the world are fighting for their lives and they have no rest, so we’ve decided to carry on going to really make a difference and help more people.”

Already this year, they took on the Sydney Half Marathon. “Together we hope to keep going for the full 42km until we reach the Brandenburg Gate.”

We wish James and Kirsty the best of luck, and thank them for their ongoing support.

Click here to show your support for James and Kirsty.
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Kelmscott Police Officers set to scale Mt Fuji in honour of fallen friends

Fundraising News
Mt. Fuji, Japan viewed from Chureito Pagoda in the autumn.

 

This September, Western Australian Police Officers Oliver, Anita, Wendy and Tanya will be on route to Japan preparing for an experience of a lifetime. They will be hiking the country’s tallest mountain – Mount Fuji, in an effort to raise funds for cancer research and honour their fallen friends.

The past two years have been difficult ones for the Kelmscott Local Police Team. They’ve had to watch two of their brothers in blue, Larry McCarthy and Gary Husain, lose their battle with cancer.

“We’re a really close-knit crew and have been working together for a number of years. It was really difficult losing our friends. They were both really hard working and loyal men. They were always doing their best for our community.”

Experienced hiker and Senior Sergeant, Oliver Lund, will be leading the team on their ascent. And as someone who has already successfully scaled one of the world’s most challenging summits – Mt Kilimanjaro, he will be the perfect man for the job.

“We’re taking on this challenge for a number of reasons. Not only is it going to be a great team-building exercise, but it will also be a really special way to remember our friends and raise funds for a cause that has affected us so deeply. Cancer is never too far from our minds as so many families in our community are facing the disease.”

They decided that Mount Fuji would be the safest for the crew of first-time hikers, but at 3776 meters above sea level, it’s still considered one of the more challenging climbs.

“It’ll require quite a lot of strength and endurance. We like to keep fit as possible for work, and participate in regular police training days – but we’ve all really stepped it up in preparation for the climb.”

“Depending on how the weather treats us we’re planning on setting off in the evening and planning our trek so that we will finally reach the peak at dawn. Watching the sunrise from the top will be such an amazing experience.”

The team hopes to raise awareness of the ACRF Fundraising program “The more people that know about the ACRF Online Fundraising Program, the greater the impact we can have so we’re doing everything we can!”

To show your support these brave officers click here.
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Running for S.T.E.F – Elderene is on a mission to Stop Tumours Ending Friendships

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Earlier this year, Stephanie Barker was preparing to run the Mackay half marathon when she realised something wasn’t right. Just days after running 10km, she was flown to Townsville for treatment for an aggressive grade four brain tumour.

“I was totally unaware of what it was to have a tumour, or a mass, or brain cancer, I am so lucky the emergency room doctor was able to stabilise me in Mackay. Once stable, I was flown to the Townsville Hospital where I underwent major brain surgery.”

Before the surgery, Stephanie’s brain tumour was the size of an orange, which meant that she could only spend two weeks at home over Easter before heading back to Townsville to undergo six more weeks of daily radiation and chemotherapy.

It was there she met Elderene, a Senior Radiation Therapist and soon to be friend. “We were surprised to find that we have so much in common, we are both originally from Africa and had spent time living in England before getting married and making the move to sunny Queensland.”

The similarities didn’t end there – Stef and Elderene also share a passion for running. “I had been training for the Mackay run before being diagnosed but, unfortunately, doctors advised me not to run.”

“Being the character that I am, I started joking that Elderene should run in my place.” What Stef didn’t know at the time was that Elderene had actually completed 22 full marathons. “Unlike me she’s a veteran of distance – I’m in awe of her as I have to drag myself over the line in a half marathon.” Elderene assured her that 42.2km is nothing compared to having to battle a grade four brain tumour.”

A few days later, Elderene had some big news for Stef, “Elderene was bursting with excitement as she told me that she had been given a spot in the 2016 London Marathon, and that she would be running for me!”

“I am still stunned, so overwhelmed! Elderene had taken me so seriously that she is now going to travel 16,000km at her expense to run for me in the London Marathon.”

‘S.T.E.F’ became an inspiring acronym for the ‘Running for Stef’ Fundraising Campaign: Stop Tumours Ending Friendships. Elderene explained that raising money and awareness made her feel like she was playing her part.

“I want to see a cure for cancer in my lifetime and my aim is to raise $10,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation for Stef and the thousands of people who are battling cancer.”

Click here to support Elderene.

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ACRF announces special $10 million Anniversary Grant.

Westmead-LEUKAEMIA-LAB-300x154This year, Australia’s best cancers researchers will make exciting leaps forward in their work and we are excited to be contributing to this progress.

The first of our grant rounds for 2015 is now open, calling for applications for a special Anniversary Grant of $10 million.

This major grant is being offered to foster cutting-edge ideas in Australia’s cancer research circles. It commemorates the ACRF’s 30 year anniversary in keeping with the mission of the Foundation:  to promote bold and significant advances in the prevention, early detection, treatment and/or management of cancer.

It has been created to stimulate collaborative cancer research – bringing together expertise from around Australia and the world towards a shared and powerful research goal.

Detailed, written applications for the 2015 Anniversary Grant will be accepted up to COB on Friday 1 May, 2015.

A special expert panel, nominated by the ACRF’s Medical Research Advisory Committee (MRAC) will review the applications for scientific merit and select a shortlist to proceed to interview and, if deemed appropriate, a site visit.

We look forward to receiving outstanding applications from Australia’s best research teams, and will be sure to keep you informed on where your wonderful support will be making a difference this year.

For more information about our grants please click here.

Researchers develop antibody to target cancerous ovarian cells.

59910457_m1320934-pancreatic_cancer_-300x168Researchers from the Mater Research Institute-University of Queensland (MRI-UQ) have developed an antibody drug, in pre-clinical trials, which attacks cancerous ovarian cells.

The drug has been found to successfully target a specific protein which is present only on the surface of cancerous ovarian cells, not on normal ovarian cells.

Associate Professor John Hooper said, “One of the really interesting things is that while normal ovaries don’t produce this protein, the tumours of about 90 per cent of patients do.”

By targeting this protein, the drug will also help limit the serious side-effects of traditional treatments.

“We can attack the cancerous cells while having little impact on the normal ovarian cells, and that reduces the side-effects, which is obviously of great interest to patients” Associate Professor Hooper said.

“Another thing we found with this protein is that it sits on the surface of the cancerous cells so it’s much easier for the drug to target it.”

While the study is still in its early stages, the research team are taking leaps and bounds towards a better understanding of how to attack ovarian cancer, which is currently the second most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancer in Australia.

In the project’s next phase, researchers will study how the antibody responds to patient samples to further determine its effectiveness.

More information about this discovery can be found here.

Discovery of four pancreatic cancer sub-types raises hope for future treatments.

Cancer ResearchACRF funding has enabled a new discovery which will improve pancreatic cancer treatments of the near future.

Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), and QIMR Berghofer Institute of Medical Research collaborated with researchers from the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre in Scotland, to analyse the complete genetic code of pancreatic tumours in 100 patients.

The team identified and mapped out the extensive and damaging genetic changes – finding four key subgroups which differentiate pancreatic tumours by their gene arrangements: ‘stable’, ‘locally rearranged’, ‘scattered’ and ‘unstable’.

Professor Sean Grimmond from IMB said, “Having access to these detailed genetic maps could help doctors in the future determine which chemotherapy drug a patient should get, based on their cancer’s genome.”

This discovery already promises to improve the treatment of at least one of these groups after the researchers noticed an existing class of chemotherapy drugs, used to treat some breast cancers, may also work on patients whose pancreatic tumours have the “unstable” genomes.

The team of researchers realised the significance of their discovery when they found four out of five study patients with this genetic signature responded to the DNA-damaging drugs.

“Two of them had an exceptional response, which happens very, very rarely in pancreatic cancer. Their tumours went away completely,” said the co-leader of the group, Andrew Biankin, who conducted the work at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Dr Nicola Waddell from QIMR Berghofer (previously from IMB) said pancreatic cancer remained one of the most complex cancers to treat, with a survival rate that has not improved considerably in the last 50 years.

“Our study identified four major genomic subtypes in pancreatic cancer, revealed two new driver genes not previously associated with pancreatic cancer, and reaffirmed the importance of five key genes,” said Dr, Waddell.

The team at IMB plan to begin a clinical trial in the UK, selecting patients for targeted treatments based on their genomic testing.

The ACRF is proud to have supported each the Australian research centres involved in this study with funding over many years. 

Brave head shaves raise funds and honour loved ones.

charity challengeOver the past few months we’ve had some very brave supporters choose to lose their long locks in support and honour of loved ones.

Last year, Cristelle should have been happily celebrating her 26th birthday. Instead her family were rocked by the news that Cristelle’s mother had been diagnosed with breast and lung cancer.

Motivated by her mother’s strength and determination during her surgery and treatments, Cristelle grew her beautiful long hair even longer in order to cut it for charity in December.

Cristelle said, “I have been inspired to grow my hair to make a wig for someone who has lost their hair, just like my Mum did. She is such a strong woman, a fighter.”

On top of cutting and donating her hair, Cristelle also chose to fundraise for cancer research smashing her $2,500 target and raising a most generous $6,914!

Another recent head shave took place just after one of WA’s most famous swim events: the Rottnest Channel Swim.

Cabe Paparone and his three mates took on the challenging swim and, although they were met with some pretty rough conditions, managed to finish in seven hours and 41 minutes. What a fantastic effort!

Cabe’s (very excited) friends and family then took to the clippers to shave off that mane he had been growing for 3 years, in honour and memory of his father who sadly passed away in September.

Through a giant fundraising effort, which saw him organise fundraising events in the lead up to his swim, Cabe raised over $7,500 for cancer research! What a legend!

We’d like to thank Cristelle and Cabe for such an amazing effort. We are inspired and humbled by their dedication and generosity

If you are interested in fundraising for cancer research through shaving, cutting or colouring your hair please click here for more information.

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Boot scootin’ for Misty Molly Muffin raises funds to help end cancer.

47a4cc01b3127cce98548b87da4d00000015100RcNGzRq4aYSome boot scootin’ fun has led to a most generous fundraising event, in memory of a beloved pet.

Misty Molly Muffin, the Silkyhuahua, sadly passed away in 2014 and in her memory the owners of line-dancing studio, Bossy Boots Dancin’ Fun, raised a most generous $6,000 for cancer research in Australia.

Throughout 2014, David and Janene Lawson organised a series of fun line-dancing socials, with a portion of the door entry, and profits from the raffles helping to speed up cancer research discoveries.

But David and Janene didn’t stop there, they also organised fundraising at their annual Cruisin’ Country event, as well as at the Sydney Country Music Festival, and they also collected some extremely generous donations from their students.

Over the years, Bossy Boots Dancin’ Fun have danced up a storm in fundraising events, contributing a total of $9,320 to cancer research since 2010. We couldn’t be more grateful for their ongoing support.

We would like to extend our deepest sympathies for the loss of Misty Molly Muffin and also say thank you so very much to David, Janene, their most generous students and all those who attended their socials.

We’re very humbled by their generosity and thank them very much for their support.

To see photos from the Cruisin’ Country event please visit the Bossy Boots Dancin’ Fun website here.

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Who is The One?

TheOne, ACRF, Fighting CancerNext week on February 4, people around the world will be getting involved in World Cancer Day, joining forces to show that cancer, its treatments and its cures are not beyond us.

A cancer free future is within our reach and we as a global community have the power to achieve this.

Fittingly, World Cancer Day’s 2015 tagline also ties in with some extremely exciting events happening at the ACRF. Next week is set to be a very momentous one.

Over many months, an incredible team of people – digital agencies, media outlets, Australian cancer researchers, and more – have been busily supporting the ACRF to produce a truly inspiring and original campaign.

It’s a campaign we hope will create a new movement towards increased support for cancer research.

While we can’t say too much to spoil the surprise, our campaign uses the latest in digital and social technology to give you – our supporters – a unique interactive experience.

We want to show you just how important you are in this fight against cancer.

The new campaign will feature alongside a series of websites that the ACRF has been developing in collaboration with Australian scientists, research centres, other not-for-profits, and like-minded organisations.

This community-based initiative is the next step towards putting an end to cancer. Its focus is to generate more awareness and funding for cancer research and we are so excited to get our supporters involved.

We look forward to staying in touch with you on new developments and for those on social, be sure to follow #WhoIsTheOne . Thank you for your ongoing and loyal support for cancer research.


Campaign supporters (what an amazing list of super generous organisations!):

ARI Registry Services
Australian Radio Network
Bang PR
Children’s Medical Research Institute
Commercial Radio Australia
Fairfax Media
Fairfax Radio
Foxtel
Hoyts Cinema
JC Decaux
King & Wood Mallesons
M&C Saatchi
Nine Network
Ooh! Media
Seven Network
Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)
Sticky Digital

New Year. New Goals. Welcome to 2015.

Calendar with booksWe’re so excited to be starting off 2015 with some great opportunities for supporters to get involved in and help reach those New Year’s resolutions!

If you’re interested in bringing some positive karma to your 2015, read up on some of our great fundraising opportunities below:

Lose it

In 2014 we saw many brave, wonderful supporters shave or cut off their lovely long hair to help raise funds for cancer research. Many of our head-shave heroes did so in support of loved ones battling cancer, or in memory of those they have sadly lost.

They raised an incredible amount for cancer research in Australia and many, in addition to this most generous act of bravery, donated their lovely hair to the Beautiful Lengths program, which makes wigs for patients currently being treated for cancer.

So, if you feel like you’re due for a change in the hair department, why not make a fundraising goal out of it? You can read more about our head-shave program here.

Move it

Many people add at least one health and fitness goal to their New Year’s resolutions. Fitness fundraising doesn’t have to be about running a marathon – there are so many other ways you can be active while raising funds for cancer research!

This year we have a fantastic, and very exclusive, opportunity for 10 fundraisers to travel to France and take on one of the stages of the world famous Tour de France! The ACRF is the only Australian charity providing spots in L’Etape du Tour.

If cycling isn’t one of your strengths, that’s ok – we have so many fitness and endurance events coming up! Take a look at our events calendar to see what’s on.

Plan it

If you’re not much of a fitness event lover, but feel like you still want to do something, put your events planning skills to the test and organise a fundraising event for cancer research!

From local events such as a true-blue Aussie sausage sizzle, to big fancy gala balls, the sky is the limit when it comes to what you want to do to help put an end to cancer for future generations.

Our wonderful fundraising team is always available to talk through any ideas you may have and help you organise or sort through the nitty-gritty details. 

Work it

Many of us working full-time can find it hard to create time outside of work to help our favourite causes. But did you know that by simply opting to donate on a regular basis you’ll be providing our amazing cancer researchers with a stable future to continue their life-saving work?

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to give back to the community in 2015 why not sign up to be a Workplace Giver?

And if work isn’t on the cards, but you still like the sound of regular gifts to cancer research, you can sign up as an ACRF Partner in the Cure. Our regular giving program is a great way to ensure you’re doing your part to help end cancer.

Whatever your goals for 2015 may be, we wish you a happy, peaceful and prosperous year and thank you very much for your dedication to helping us reach our goal – to end cancer for good.

Cabe to lose his locks after Rottnest fundraising swim.

Cabe imageThe Rottnest Channel Swim in WA is set to end its 25th event with a very close shave.

Cabe Paparone, at just 23 years old, has decided the February 2015 swim will be the day he loses his lovely locks that he has been growing for the last three years.

Cabe had originally decided to compete in the 2012 swim. However, when Cabe’s dad Claude was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer, he withdrew to help his dad instead.

Very sadly, Claude passed away aged 52 in September this year.

“On what will almost be three years to the day that dad was diagnosed, I will be swimming the 2015 Rottnest Swim in a team with three other mates and shaving my hair once we have completed the crossing,” said Cabe.

Once Cabe and his team of three other mates complete the 19.7km swim, he will have his head shaved on the beach.

“As soon as he got sick I decided to grow it,” Cabe said. “I was only going to grow it for a year, but thought no one would donate any money so I’d better keep on growing it.”

Cabe already has several eager volunteers putting their hands up to take part in the chop. Behind the clippers will be Cabe’s sister Romy, and brothers Marco and Jack.

Cabe told us his reason for supporting cancer research is because “we would like to contribute to research that assists people living with cancer to achieve the best care and treatment available.”

We’d like to extend our deepest sympathies to Cabe and his family for their loss, but also say a very big thank you taking on two amazing challenges in the New Year.

Thank you Cabe.

For more information you can see Cabe’s fundraising page here.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas

From all of us here at the ACRF, we wish you and your loved ones a very happy and safe holiday this Christmas. Whatever you may be doing we hope you are surrounded by lots of laughter and smiles.

Because of you, our amazing supporters, we surpassed $100 million in grants funding this year –   what a great way to end 2014! We’re looking forward to an even better 2015, helping cancer researchers in their mission to end cancer.

Please note we will be taking a short break over the Christmas holiday, with our office closing at COB Tuesday 23 December, 2014 and reopening on Monday 5 January, 2015.

If you would like to get a kick-start on those good 2015 vibes, please feel free to donate via our secure web portal where our online donation elves will be working hard to process your Christmas donations and issue your receipts ASAP.

As a final thank you for all your support this year we’ve put together this short video below. We look forward to staying in touch throughout 2015.

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World first brain cancer trial raises hopes for patients and families.

59910457_m1320934-pancreatic_cancer_-300x168A world-first trial will test an experimental brain cancer treatment which targets the surface of tumour cells expressing a cancer protein called EphA3.

The drug has already shown successful results in phase I clinical trials for leukaemia patients, and cancer scientists are now keen to test its effectiveness on solid tumours.

This world-first clinical trial on patients suffering from recurrent Glioblastoma (GBM) resulted from major discoveries by a team of scientists at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) and Monash University.

Dr Bryan Day and Dr Brett Stringer, who led the research at QIMR Berghofer, said the study builds on work carried out by the collaborative research team for over more than a decade.

“The protein – EphA3 – was discovered by QIMR Berghofer scientist Professor Andrew Boyd in 1992,” said Dr Day.

Dr Stringer said the upcoming GBM trial would be the first test of the drug against solid tumours, as opposed to blood cancers.

“Unfortunately most new drugs tested for GBM have returned disappointing results and patients have very few treatment options,” he said.

“Once we begin recruiting, this study will have an immediate impact by giving patients access to an innovative treatment which has shown great potential in laboratory testing.”

GBM is the most common primary adult brain cancer and is almost always fatal, killing about 1,000 Australians every year.

Dr Day and Dr Stringer said this trial gives researchers an excellent start to developing a much-needed treatment for patients with aggressive GBM.

“The study will determine how patients tolerate the drug and how their tumours respond,” they said.

“There is also a very important imaging component with brain scans to be performed to detect the borders of the tumours and determine how much of the drug crosses from the blood into the brain to reach the tumour.”

#GivingTuesday – a day Tue give

GivingTuesdayAustralia-Heart

#GivingTuesday is a global charity challenge celebrating and providing opportunities for all of us to give. Charity giving can be equally as rewarding for the giver as it is for the recipient, so on #GivingTuesday we encourage you to jump on the band wagon. It’s like the world will be giving itself a big hug!

What can you do this #GivingTuesday?

Whether you give your Mum a call, give your pet a treat or give your boss a coffee, it doesn’t matter what you give it only matters that you give.

Give yourself a challenge

Why do so many people wait until January 1st to make resolutions? We want you to start early, on December 2nd, by registering for a 2015 charity challenge event. Not daring enough for you? Use #GivingTuesday as a chance to recruit a team to participate and raise money for cancer research with you. Search events here.

What can your workplace do?

Employees

Now is the time to let your employer know about the generous gifts you’ve made to charity this year and ask them to match your giving. With one email, you can double the impact you’ve had in 2014. If you haven’t given as much as you think you could, ask your employer about Workplace Giving. You can make a pre-tax monthly donation to charity through your payroll.

Employers

Share why your company supports Australian cancer research via the company LinkedIn page and intranet with a link to the ACRF donation page, ask your employees for matching submissions, organise a volunteering day or hold a #GivingTuesday party to thank everyone for their superb efforts this year. You could even challenge your employees to support charity by matching $2 for every $1 donated on #GivingTuesday.

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Blood test could predict risk of non-hereditary breast cancer

bloodtestA simple blood test could soon be made possible to predict those at risk of non-hereditary breast cancer.

Breast cancer can be caused by many factors, including gene mutations which are passed from parents onto their children. For example, the hereditary breast cancer gene, BRCA1, accounts for around 10% of breast cancer cases. The majority of cases however, are caused by factors not yet entirely understood.

But researchers are beginning to make headway. An epigenetic signature has been identified across all women who carry the mutated BRCA1 gene. Strikingly, researchers have found the same signature was discovered in the blood of women without the BRCA1 mutation but who went on to develop breast cancer, making it a potential early marker of women’s cancer in the general population.

Cancer scientists now understand that mutations within genes are not the only contributors to the development of disease. The arrangement and expression of our genes has a major impact, and this is overseen by the process of epigenetics.

One of the most studied epigenetic mechanisms is a process called DNA methylation, which was the focus of this particular study.

Researchers looked at the DNA methylation signature in the blood of women both with and without BRCA1 mutations. When the signature was applied to the samples from both of these groups, the women who had developed non-hereditary cancers were found to have the same DNA methylation signature as those with the hereditary gene.

Professor Martin Widschwendter, the study’s lead author and head of the UCL Department of Women’s Cancer, says: “We identified an epigenetic signature in women with a mutated BRCA1 gene that was linked to increased cancer risk and lower survival rates. Surprisingly, we found the same signature in large cohorts of women without the BRCA1 mutation and it was able to predict breast cancer risk several years before diagnosis.”

Further research is required to find out whether this epigenetic signature is just an indicator of breast cancer risk or is involved in the actual development of breast cancer. Work is now also being undertaken to use these findings in clinical trials.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Potential early intervention for those susceptible to pancreatic cancer

Biankin-Andrew-3Australian clinical researchers have found that early detection may be possible for people who are genetically susceptible to pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer has been found to be a very slow growing disease in the early stages, taking between 10 and 20 years to develop. A very “broad window” therefore exists for intervention, provided certain genetic factors are detected early.

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s Dr Jeremy Humphris and Professor Andrew Biankin (Professor Biankin is also Regius Professor of Surgery at the University of Glasgow), analysed medical histories and tumour samples taken from 766 pancreatic cancer patients, operated on between 1994 and 2012. They found that roughly 9% of these patients had a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with pancreatic cancer.

Patients with a close relative who developed pancreatic cancer were more likely to develop cancer in their life-time and 71 per cent of children whose parents had pancreatic cancer were found to have developed the same cancer but 10 years earlier than the parent’s own diagnosis age (known as ‘anticipation’).

These genetic factors, as well as the knowledge that the greatest known risk factors are cigarette smoking, diabetes, obesity and, to a lesser extent, alcohol consumption should make it possible for scientists and GPs to identify novel susceptibility genes, and at the same time design risk management and screening programs for the genetically susceptible group.

“Our findings suggest that when we’re assessing someone, it’s important to understand the family history – not just of pancreatic cancer, but other malignancies too,” said Dr Humphris.

“Smoking led to a much earlier onset of disease, so obviously you would counsel against smoking, especially in those who are genetically susceptible.”

Pancreatic cancer is a lethal disease with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5%. This very low survival rate is generally due to the fact that diagnosis comes only after the disease is advanced or has spread – making a case for early detection methods.

Professor Biankin said “a better understanding of the clinical features of genetically at-risk individuals will help us identify susceptibility genes as well as those who might benefit from genetic counselling and screening for detection of early disease”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Millions in private funding set for top cancer scientists in Australia

cancer scientistEvery year the Australian Cancer Research Foundation provides multi-million dollar grants to support research projects of the highest calibre in Australia.

Last week the ACRF Research Advisory Committee met with the six shortlisted applicants to hear more about their proposed projects for research funding. Chaired by Prof. Ian Fraser AC, the Committee is made up of 14 esteemed cancer scientists.

“There has been a particular interest this year in new technology for looking for molecules which fingerprint cancer cells, and for the genetic mistakes that fingerprint cancer cells,” said Prof. Frazer, following the grant interviews.

This year Committee member, A/Prof. Connie Trimble from John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA, travelled to Australia to join our panel of judges over the two day interview process.  Her experience and perspective on the international research stage will ensure that the successful ACRF grant recipients represent the cutting-edge of world research.

The shortlisted research groups, which were selected based on their significant potential to make an impact on cancer diagnosis, treatment and/or cure, represent a need for almost $25.M in funding.

The six shortlisted applicants are from all over Australia, covering research into all cancers. These are:

  1. Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, VIC
    Develop a purpose-built facility specialising in developing new targeted therapies for all types of cancer.
  2. Monash Institute of Medical Research – Prince Henry Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
    Expansion of an existing ACRF centre to tackle issues such as early detection, tumour diversity and drug resistance.
  3. University of Queensland Centre for Advanced Imaging, Brisbane, QLD
    A facility specialising in the development and validation of novel molecular imaging agents for cancer.
  4. Children’s Cancer Institute, Sydney, NSW
    Create an integrated and dedicated child cancer precision medicine centre, focused on delivering personalised therapies for Australian children at high risk of treatment failure.
  5. Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW
    Build a space housing super-computer resources for a team of bioinformatics scientists, working towards the analysis of biological changes due to cancer treatment and disease progression.
  6. Sydney University Central Clinical School, Sydney, NSW
    Develop an ACRF imaging centre which will pioneer targeted radiotherapy and provide an opportunity for academia, medicine, industry and government to collaborate on the science and clinical practice of cancer treatment.

The recipients of the 2014 grants will be announced in November. If you would like to read more about our grants process or to find out our past grants recipients please click here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Will Ashley rides 3,200km in solo adventure for cancer research.

Will AshleyWe first met Will Ashley when, at the age of 16, he cycled from Coffs Harbour to Sydney with his best mate in tribute to a very special breast cancer survivor, Will’s mum.

The next year, Will rallied two other adventurers, including his brother Jo, to kayak over 2000Km down the Murray River and raise even more funds for world-class cancer research in Australia. We thought the amazing spirit and generosity of Will Ashley must have no end. And we were right:

Just last week, Will completed yet another epic fitness challenge in support of the ACRF.

At the beginning of September, he rode off on his bike from the Daly Waters Pub in the Northern Territory. In front of him stretched a four week solo journey, which would bring him back his home in Coffs Harbour, NSW.

The days were hot, long and often frustrating – juggling knee injuries, much-needed rest days, and stiflingly hot weather. But Will says the challenge was worth it.

“It was a wonderful ride,” he said.

“Especially North West Queensland where the country was so barren.

“There were a few hiccups. I injured my knee and had to hitch a ride to a physio, but all in all it was an awesome experience.”

At night Will would set up camp on park benches or on a beach and then as dawn broke he’d jump back on his bike and start all over again.

Each day Will pedalled for about 10 to 12 hours, and in the final stretch from Ballina to Coffs Harbour he also had traffic to dodge.

Will planned to raise $10,000 for cancer research in the lead up to, and during, his 3,200km trip. In addition to this most generous goal, Will also stopped in at schools along the way to talk to the students about goal-setting, and healthy lifestyles. Will wanted to show them anything is possible if they want to try and make a difference.

Will arrived back in Coffs Harbour last week, riding into his old school hall at Bishop Druitt College, packed full of students, teachers and family who were eager to congratulate him.

We’d like to thank Will for this amazing fundraiser. His dedication and generosity is truly humbling and his efforts in raising $10,000 by himself is truly an inspiration.

If you would like to find out more about Wills ride you can read about it here. Will also kept a video blog of each of his days – you can watch them here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Deb want’s to challenge you to Live A Little!

fight cancerWe have some pretty amazing supporters here at the Australian Cancer Research Foundation! Deb McNaughton, who has already raised $8,500 for cancer research, has begun a social challenge for 2014 called “Live a Little”.

After one week, Deb has already raised over $2,000 towards her $5,000 goal.

The basic idea around the “Live a Little” 2014 challenge is to do something you wouldn’t usually do; something out of the ordinary.

Deb explains that people who want to take part in the challenge can make it extreme or simple, crazy or kind, scary or funny, ridiculous or revolting. Most of all…they need to MAKE IT COUNT!

If you’re interested in living a little and getting involved in the “Live a Little 2014 Challenge” here’s what you can do:

  • Upload a photo/video of you (individual or group) ‘living a little’ to Facebook or Instagram.
  • Remember to tag with #livealittle
  • Donate to: http://give.everydayhero.com/au/live-a-little
  • Challenge/nominate as many friends as you like to make a difference and LIVE A LITTLE – because you can!

Get on board with the Live a Little challenge now and help fight cancer. A big thank you to Deb for creating this great fundraising challenge![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Norm “Bugs off” for the very last time.

1534775_722288464517659_156405772683906801_oThe Bug Off Cancer beetle that we’ve all come to love has, this week, set off on it’s very last Bug Off Cancer fundraising journey.

This time Norm and his support team have headed south to Tassy to take in the beautiful scenery of Australia’s apple isle, and for a whirlwind week of fundraising with the locals.

Before leaving home, Norm had already raised over $5,000 for cancer research in Australia and he hopes to reach $10,000 by the end of his journey. If he achieves his target, Norm’s total fundraising efforts will stand at almost $40,000!

Norm started his Bug Off Cancer fundraising mission five years ago when he decided he wanted to do something, anything, to help rid the world of this terrible disease.

Having lost both parents and other relatives to cancer over the years, and knowing others that have this insidious disease, Norm decided to combine his love of VW beetles with a fundraising idea and Bug Off Cancer was created.

As Norm travels back to Sydney we’d like to wish him all the best on this last leg of his journey and send out a massive congratulations for his efforts in fundraising such an incredible amount for cancer research in Australia.

The ACRF is always proud of, and very humbled by, our fundraisers and their dedication to support such a cause. To Norm, we thank you for everything you have done to help the ACRF fight cancer and wish the Bug Off Cancer Beetle a very happy retirement![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Team ACRF takes on Blackmores Sydney Running Festival

cancer fun runMore than 34,000 runners and walkers flooded over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge on Sunday 21 September to take on the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival events.

The ACRF was humbled that 400 of those people were participating in support of cancer research. They were running in memory or support of loved ones, and tackling the challenge of either the full or half marathons or enjoying the atmosphere and scenery of the shorter bridge and family funs.

Together, our amazing supporters have generated over $40,000 for cancer research in Australia at the Blackmores event and we are so very grateful for the dedication and massive support we have received!

Our highest fundraisers for the event included Nikki and Joey, who ran for cancer research in memory of a very close friend, Sarah. Sarah recently passed away from a rare type of bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma .

The girls set themselves the gruelling challenge of running the half-marathon course in Sarah’s memory. Not only did they smash through the course but they also smashed their fundraising target, raising over an incredible $11,000!

Nikki and Joey represent so many wonderful runners, each of whom had an emotional reason to go the extra mile. We thank them so very much for their dedication and support. We’re incredibly humbled.

Along with our amazing runners we also had 15 volunteers who arrived at the crack of dawn to help the event run by setting-up and manning the drinks station.

We’d like to send a big thank you to our volunteers, including our teams from the UNSW Volunteer Army and corporate supporters Excelian, Makinson d’Apice and Leighton.

We hope you had a memorable and most enjoyable day![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Cancer scientists can now explain a third of the inherited risk of prostate cancer

tao-research-mainAn exciting discovery during a major international study has revealed cancer scientists can now identify men at a 6-fold increased risk of prostate cancer.

Cancer scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, together with researchers in Cambridge, and California found 23 new genetic variants associated with increased risk of the disease.

The study means that scientists can now explain 33% of the inherited origins of prostate cancer in European men and will contribute to determining whether these genetic markers can improve on other tests for the disease.

Professor Ros Eeles, Professor of Oncogenetics at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said, “Our study tells us more about the effect of the genetic hand that men are dealt on their risk of prostate cancer.

“We know that there are a few major genes that are rare and significantly affect prostate cancer risk, but what we are now learning is that there are many other common genetic variants that individually have only a small effect on risk, but collectively can be very important.”

They are now investigating whether genetic testing could help diagnose more men at risk of developing dangerous forms of prostate cancer that need urgent treatment – something that the current test is unable to determine.

“Building on previous research, this study gives a more complete list of these factors, bringing us closer to knowing who may need screening for prostate cancer and which men may benefit from early treatment. More work needs to be done, but identifying these genetic factors will allow us to better understand the disease and maybe even develop new treatments,” said Professor Eeles.

In Australia, 22,000 men die from cancer every year and one in two Australian men will get cancer in their lifetime – that’s 20% more men than women who will be touched by this terrible disease.

This September is Blue September, an annual campaign that encourages all Australians to face up to cancer in men and promotes research into men’s cancers.

If you are able to make a donation to men’s cancer research this September and help speed up research discoveries like this, we thank you so very much.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Tattoo for Cancer – Raising Money for Cancer Research

Thirroul tattoo artist Wayne Cartwright had long been keen to do something for charity, and after going over his own experiences with cancer he came up with a unique way to raise money for cancer research.

Tattoo for Cancer

His unconventional cancer fundraising event, Tattoo for Cancer, was held last Sunday at Soul Expression with Wayne and four fellow skin artists donating their time to ink courageous volunteers with a cancer inspired tattoo. Together, they raised an incredible $10,000 for the ACRF.

Wayne, the owner of Soul Expression, said interest leading up to the event had been immense with many people eager to get a permanent ode to their cancer experience.

“It’s a very emotional subject for a lot of people. I’ve done plenty of similar tattoos in the past and they always have so much meaning.” Wayne said.

“It could be someone who has been touched by cancer or a survivor and they get the tattoo to remind them of their journey; it’s often their first tattoo and the most important.”

The local community rallied behind the event with a local butcher donating 800 sausages for the day and, along with the skin artists working hard to get through as many tattoos as they could, many retailers donated prizes for the silent auction and raffle.

Wayne reassured all those that missed out not to worry as the massive turnout meant that hopefully they can do it again next year on an even bigger scale!

A huge thank you and congratulations to Wayne and everyone who contributed to the day! We’re so very grateful for your efforts and support.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Nikki and Joey – Fundraising for a Friend

Here at ACRF we are extremely humbled to have such fantastic and loyal supporters that continue to go above andNikki_Joey_Sarah_Web beyond in their efforts to raise money for cancer research. Sadly, many of our supporters have been touched by cancer personally, and their heartbreak and grief are what drives them to make a difference in the hope that nobody has to experience what they’ve gone through.

We’re incredibly humbled to share with you Nikki and Joey’s story – a story which has driven two ladies to fight cancer through research, in memory of their friend.

Last year Nikki and Joey met Sarah, a girl from America who was interning at Baseball Australia, where Nikki worked. The three girls hit it off instantly. Sarah was bubbly, happy and had a zest for life.

After returning home to Philadelphia, Sarah was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma – a rare type of bone cancer that usually occurs in children and young adults.

“It was such a shock when we found out and it made us want to make a difference, even if it was small,” Nikki and Joey wrote when they found out about Sarah’s cancer.

“Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer and there is still so much more research to be done. Sarah is a strong individual and we know she will kick cancers butt.”

The girls set themselves the challenge of running the half marathon in the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival in September, and they’ve already smashed their fundraising efforts by more than doubling their target so far. Feel free to click on the above link to view their fundraising page and add a message of support.

In the midst of their training, Nikki planned to visit Sarah in Philadelphia to boost her spirits while she was receiving treatment. However in a heartbreaking turn of events, Sarah’s condition deteriorated and she passed away a few days before Nikki arrived. At her funeral, Nikki met all of Sarah’s family and friends and through her grief decided that she wanted to plan another event to raise as much money as possible for cancer research.

Together with their Mum, Nikki and Joey are now busily organising their fundraising event for next month, so keep your eyes on our Events Calendar where we’ll bring you all the details of the night very soon. We’d like to thank Nikki and Joey for sharing this story with us, and send our condolences for their terrible loss.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Charity Challenge supports cancer research

P8070001Last week, guests from leading beverage company and long-term ACRF supporter Lion Co. took part in a Hidden Door Charity Challenge, where they completed a series of challenges to earn funds for the ACRF while also working towards their annual corporate team building aims.

During the 3 hour event, the teams battled throughout Sydney in a fun and competitive afternoon that included a mystery brand food taste, testing their knowledge in with lateral thinking brain teasers and showing off their moves in an 80’s-inspired dance challenge!

Charity Challenges are a fun way for businesses to support cancer research as well as staff engagement and at the ACRF we have a number of challenge options. Regular team-building exercises have been proven to improve staff motivation and mood by promoting skills in leadership, negotiation and analysis. They also encourage staff bonding and create a positive atmosphere.

We have partnered with Hidden Door to provide ‘Amazing Race’ style Charity Challenges, where teams convert points into donations for cancer research, and the mouth-watering Wholefood Cook Off culinary experience. Click here to sign up or find out more about our Hidden Door Charity Challenges.

If you or your company are looking for something a little more adventurous, check out our International Charity Challenges or our Fitness Charity Challenges.[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_fade” interval=”0″ images=”22332,22337,22336,22335,22333,22334,22331,22330,22338″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

ACRF runners raise over $115K at City2Surf 2014!

IMG_3283It’s one of our favourite events of the year: the Sun Herald City2Surf – and it took place on Sunday, with more than 80,000 runners hitting the streets of Sydney for this spirited community race.

Thanks to the amazing work of 270 runners, Team ACRF has had its most successful City2Surf ever, raising over $115,000 towards cutting-edge cancer research! We’re overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters – and hope they’ll take the chance to grab a few final donations with fundraising pages open for another four weeks.

Many of team ACRF’s runners have been affected by cancer. One supporter in particular, Fi, ran in support of her best friend Glenno, who is battling advanced melanoma. Fi is a cancer survivor herself, having been diagnosed with colorectal cancer four years’ ago.

Fi told us that she ran for Glenno because the challenge of Heartbreak Hill was nothing compared to what Glenno faces and she wanted to support him in any way possible. Fi has so far raised over $3,500 for cancer search.

As well as many new runners, we were thrilled to welcome back The Shirl’s Girls running team and David Griffith’s Ann’s Angels.

After running the gruelling 14km, our top supporters were treated to a BBQ at the exclusive ACRF beach chalet, which was sponsored by Steggles. Complimentary massages were also on offer, perfect for post-race relaxation.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the City2Surf or supported a friend, co-worker or family member, without you this incredible achievement would not have been possible!

We hope you all had a fun and enjoyable experience – check out our photos from the day![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_fade” interval=”0″ images=”22257,22258,22259,22260,22261,22262,22264,22265,22266,22267,22268,22269,22270,22271,22272,22273,22274,22275,22276,22277,22278,22279,22280,22281,22282″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

ACRF Charity Golf Day tees up fundraising success!

golf_dayThe ACRF has held its annual Charity Golf Day, giving businesses and supporters a chance to tee up a day of friendly competition for a great cause! The event took place at the exclusive New South Wales Golf Club in La Perouse, which offered stunning views, undulating fairways and challenging greens.

The Charity Golf Day had a fantastic turnout – 65 people participated, with a great mix of individual fundraisers and corporate teams. A pod of dolphins even turned up off the coast! Competition was fierce but friendly, with over $16,000 raised from day in support of world-class cancer research.

Congratulations to David Archer’s team, which came first and have vowed to return in 2015 to defend their title. Individuals Michael Milakovic won the trophy for Nearest to Pin and Todd Archer for Longest Drive.

We would like to thank everyone who took part – to our long-term supporters such as David Archer, Goodman Group and Lion Co., and to our new friends whom we hope to see again in the very near future.

Our silent auction is open for another week. Please register and continue the bidding! http://galabid.com/auction/acrfgolf[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_fade” interval=”0″ images=”22133,22134,22138,22139,22140,22142,22143,22144,22145,22146,22147,22148″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

World No Tobacco Day

134128418-Quit-smoking_51ae76fa8dbbb-300x199Every 31st of May, The World Health Organisation (WHO) marks World No Tobacco Day, to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use, and advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

Tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of which more than 600 000 are non-smokers succumbing to second-hand smoke.

Lung cancer, which can be associated with smoking tobacco, is one of the most common causes of cancer death for men and women in Australia.

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ACRF supporters Run For A Reason and raise over $70,000!

From the serious runners to The Incredible Hulk, thousands of runners hit the pavement to take part in the fifth annual HBF Run For A Reason in Perth on Sunday.

A record number of people took part with nearly 30,000 runners – some in costume, others decked out in t-shirts displaying the faces or names of loved ones they were running for – taking on the 4km and 12km courses.

The ACRF was lucky enough to have 104 runners support cancer research in Australia, with team ACRF raising over $70,000! We would like to send a big thank you to all of our fundraisers for all their hard work and fundraising efforts!

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ACRF Canberra supporters tour the John Curtin School of Medical Research

Last week our valued supporters in Canberra attended an afternoon tour of the esteemed John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR).

Our 27 guests were treated to a lovely afternoon tea, where they heard from respected ACRF board member, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC (ret’d) as well as head of the Cancer and Vascular Biology Group, at JCSMR, and 2014 Canberra Citizen of the Year, Professor Chris Parish.

Our supporters were then split into two groups and taken on a tour around the John Curtin School of Medical Research.

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Skin Cancer Prevention – Promising Results

A study by researchers at Brisbane’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has revealed some very promising statistics about one of Australia’s most deadly cancers – Melanoma.

With an estimated 12,000 people diagnosed with melanoma in 2012 it is Australia’s third most common cancer type.

The study, which analysed melanoma cases among 15 to 24 year olds in Queensland from 1982 to 2010, has shown there has been a five per cent a year decline among teenagers and young adults developing the disease from the mid-1990s to 2010.

Additionally, for people aged 20 to 24, the rate has fallen from 25 cases per 100,000 in 1996 to 14 per 100,000 in 2010.

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Half marathon runners raise over $83K for cancer research in Aus!

12,000 runners hit the pavement on Sunday for the 23rd annual Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon

Competitors, geared up for their 21.1 km journey, were seen off by official event ambassador Stephanie Rice, who fired the starting gun.

Runners were presented with a beautiful morning in Sydney as they raced, jogged or walked their way from St Mary’s Cathedral, past some of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation was lucky enough to have 83 dedicated runners choose to be a part of the ACRF Half marathon team! And what a fantastic job they all did!

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ACRF welcomes distinguished scientist and businessman, Dr. Ian Brown, as new CEO

Today we are very excited to announce the appointment of distinguished scientist and businessman, Dr Ian Brown, as the new leader of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

Dr Brown will succeed long-serving CEO David Brettell who retires from ACRF on 10 July 2014.

Dr. Brown was the former CEO and Managing Director of the highly successful Clover Corporation, which focused on bio-delivery systems for nutritionally important ingredients and which is publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Chairman of the ACRF, Mr. Tom Dery said, “Dr. Brown comes to us with considerable international experience.  His business acumen will help take ACRF to another level and we’re tremendously excited by the potential to further accelerate our contribution to world-class cancer research. We look forward to building on our crucial role in funding scientific breakthroughs of the future”

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Newly-discovered gene linked to oesophageal cancer leads to potential new treatments

A newly-discovered gene linked to oesophageal cancer holds the promise of new treatments for this notoriously difficult-to-fight disease.

Researchers at Cambridge University in the UK have found a gene called TRIM44 which plays a key role in the development of oesophageal cancer. The discovery of this gene has also led to finding the disease’s key driver.

The new research has revealed that when multiple copies (called over-expressions) of the TRIM44 gene are found in a patient this leads to higher activity of the mTOR gene, which regulates cell growth and division – a process that, when uncontrolled, can lead to cancer.

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New leader for top Australian cancer research funding body

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has appointed distinguished scientist and businessman Dr. Ian Brown as its new Chief Executive.

ACRF’s research grants, which will top the $100 million mark this year, have provided Australia’s best cancer scientists with the technologies, equipment and infrastructure needed to speed up discoveries and stay at the forefront of medical research.

ACRF Chairman Tom Dery said the foundation was thrilled to welcome Dr Brown who is currently an adjunct professor at Flinders University in Adelaide and special visiting professor at the University of Colorado in the US.

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ACRF hosts successful Corporate Social Responsibility breakfast event!

It’s all about creating shared value amongst stakeholders.

At least that was the topic of today’s successful Corporate Social Responsibility breakfast event with almost 50 corporate attendees looking forward to listening to this hot-topic discussion.

The ACRF was lucky enough to secure Deloitte’s Non-for-profit special group National Director, Tharani Jegatheeswaran, as the keynote speaker; as well as a panel discussion of leaders in the field of corporate philanthropy, including: Wendy Mason, Head of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation, Commonwealth Bank, Ro Coroneos, Manager, Community and Social Strategy, Barangaroo South, Lend Lease, Chris Drayton, Partner, Makinson & d’Apice Lawyers.

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Saying thank you to our cancer charity volunteers during National Volunteer Week

This week we celebrate the power of volunteering with National Volunteer Week in Australia.

We would like to highlight the value our cancer charity volunteers bring to our communities and society. We are very thankful, humbled and honoured when members of our community, a group or a corporate partner chooses to dedicate their time and effort into volunteering for us.

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Promising results in world-first trials for aggressive brain cancer treatment

A major breakthrough in the treatment of aggressive brain cancer called Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), using immunology has been made by scientists at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant brain cancer, diagnosed in about 800 Australians every year with, unfortunately very low five year survival rates.

The research used immunology to attack the cancer, and found that of the study participants lived much longer than the six-month prognosis normally given to a patient with recurrent GBM. Some patients showed no signs of disease progression at all.

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Have a Cuppa for Cancer and help fund research into prevention, diagnosis and cures!

This month, why not get a group together for a morning (or afternoon) tea party and support world-class cancer research?

With cancer being labelled the world’s number one killer – affecting people of all ages and backgrounds, the ACRF is often approached by community groups who wish to raise funds for cancer research.

We are humbled and motivated by this dedication and so we’ve thought of a fun and inspirational way you and your community group can join in the fight against all cancers – and the Cuppa for Cancer event was born!

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Streetsmart Marketing helps “Secure the future” for cancer research in Australia!

Strength in Numbers“Secure the Future” was a three day super-conference that took place in February in Sydney and Brisbane. In a massive act of generosity, the event organisers donated the cost of the base ticketing price to world-class cancer research in Australia!

Mal Emery, CEO of Streetsmart Marketing and Co-Founder of “StreetSmart Business School” chose the Australian Cancer Research Foundation as the beneficiary of this event and has raised an incredible $70,000 through ticket sales, to help in the fight against cancer.

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Community set to brew a world record for charity

Local beer lovers will be gathering together this Sunday as a potential world record is set to be brewed in Brunswick, Melbourne.

The Thunder Road Brewing Company will be holding its third community day this Sunday, May 4 and this time will have a charity brew to raise money for the Australian Cancer Research ­Foundation.

Anyone who wants to try their hand as a brewer, members of the community and all-round beer lovers can come along on the day and, for a $10 donation, help with tasks including grinding the malt, adding hops and temperature control.

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Monster raffle and sausage sizzle brings community together for research

Natasha Tiedt has astounded us with what can only be achieved by the power of the community.

Together with her colleagues at Lynch’s Pub in Narooma, NSW, Natasha has organised a fantastic cancer fundraising raffle and sausage sizzle – rallying families and businesses within the community to contribute an incredibly generous $7,400+ for world-class cancer research!

Natasha instigated the monster raffle event to raise funds for world-class cancer research in Australia after seeing members of her own family and the Lynch’s Pub family and patrons fight various battles with cancer.

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Powerful predictor discovered for aggressive breast cancers will ensure more effective treatment

A new, more powerful predictor for aggressive breast cancers, discovered by Dr Fares Al-Ejeh at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, will give women a more accurate prognosis and ensure they are receiving the most effective treatment for their breast-cancer type.

Every woman’s breast cancer has its own individual gene fingerprint – a specific combination of genes. Dr Al-Ejeh’s research has found new gene “signatures” which can predict likely survival across breast cancer cases.

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10-year trial of melanoma vaccine shows most promising outcomes to date

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered a new trial vaccine which offers the most promising treatment to date for advanced melanoma.

Known as ‘vaccinia melanoma cell lysate’ (VMCL), this new trial treatment was given regularly to 54 South Australian patients with advanced, inoperable melanoma over a 10-year period. The vaccine has been found to increase patient survival rates, with the ability to stop or reverse the cancer in some patients.

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International marathon season has kicked off!

We’ve just finished cheering on our group of amazing runners as they took on the streets of Paris and London for their epic marathon charity challenges. Together, they raised over $70,000 for world-class cancer research – incredible!!

Now, having witness some of the buzz, marathon runners all over the world are gearing up to secure a spot in next year’s international marathons.

Places for both the London and Paris Marathon are hard to come by. Last year the London Marathon ballot closed in record time, after 125,000 applications were received in less than 12 hours. Only 40,000 odd will get selected to take on the exciting course.

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Claire loses her luscious red locks for cancer research

When your hair is almost long enough to sit on, it’s a big deal to trim an inch or two let alone shave it all off!

However, Claire Purio from Fremantle did just that. She took a number 2 razer to her long red hair at the Mt Claremont Famers Market on March 22, and through this brave gesture of support for her father, who is still grieving the loss of his mother, Claire raised almost $3,500 for cancer research.

Claire’s story into why she is shaving her head is incredibly touching.

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#NoMakeUpSelfie campaign for cancer research

In just a few days we were overwhelmed with support for the #NoMakeUpSelfie campaign for cancer research. The power of social media is incredible!

In just over a week the #NoMakeUpSelfie supporters helped raise over $25,000 for cancer research in Australia!

The #NoMakeUpSelfie campaign for cancer research was one of the biggest viral social media campaigns for 2014. Women all over the world are posting makeup-free selfies online with the hashtag #nomakeupselfie, before making a donation to cancer research, and spreading the word by nominating their friends to do the same.

The campaign started over in the UK with Cancer Research UK using the movement to raise vital dollars for cancer research – and now it has reached Australian shores!

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Fighting cancer during NSW Seniors Week

Saturday 15 March to Sunday 23 March marks NSW Seniors Week, during which we are getting in touch with a very special group of people who are fighting cancer as volunteers, donors and supporters!

NSW Senior’s Week is an annual celebration featuring hundreds of events held across NSW by government, community and commercial organisations.

There’s something new for everyone to enjoy – art, technology, entertainment, health, wellbeing, sport and of course, giving to charity! One of the highlights of the week is the Seniors Week Expo held at the Qantas Credit Union Arena (The Entertainment Centre) which includes the Premier’s Gala Concerts and expo stalls.

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Birthday fundraiser sees Rob Kendall, 76, take the plunge for cancer research!

Free falling through the air at almost 200km per hour isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.

However, ACRF supporter and cancer survivor, Robert Kendall, on 15 March, will be conquering his fear of heights and skydiving for cancer research.

Robert will also be doing this in celebration of his 76th birthday!

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Help fund cancer research through an international charity challenge!

Achieve something you never thought possible, and help cancer scientists to fight cancer, by funding cancer research through an international charity challenge!

In 2015 The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has linked up with World Expeditions to bring you four amazing and life changing charity challenges that will test you physically, emotionally and of course, support the search for cancer cures.

We’ve got 3 trekking charity challenges and one cycling charity challenge located across the globe, with our first option located a little more close to home.

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International Women’s Day: celebrating the women who help bring us closer to the cancer cures!

Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements for International Women’s Day.

Here, at the ACRF, we want to acknowledge the amazing and inspirational women who are on our Board of Trustees and our world-class Medical Research Advisory Committee (MRAC) and showcase their fantastic work.

Each of these women is not only extremely successful in their field but are also helping us inch ever closer towards finding the cancer cures through their involvement with the ACRF.

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Make the most of your City2Surf by setting up an Online Fundraising campaign!

Everything is going digital nowadays and that includes fundraising for your chosen cancer charity!

Online fundraising is a simple, easy and effective way to raise funds and engage with potential donors.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has partnered up with a number of online fundraising portals, such as Everyday Hero and GoFundraise, to make your online fundraising experience as easy as possible.

With the 2014 City2Surf general entries opening up today, why not make your run even more meaningful by opening up an online fundraising page and sharing it with your family and friends?

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David Blumenthal smashes the Melbourne Half-Ironman Challenge!

ACRF supporter, David Blumenthal, has tackled one of his biggest challenges yet – the Challenge Melbourne Half Ironman, on one of the hottest days in Melbourne this year – a scorching 41 degrees!

A far cry from the raining, cool weather of last year’s Paris Marathon, this fundraising challenge took place in summer heat so severe that the race organisers advised that there would be a good chance the race will be called off for those not finished by 12:30pm.

At this point David was faced with a decision: take an easier challenge due to the weather, or brave the scorching conditions and power through the full Half-Ironman Challenge of 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run!

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David Blumenthal smashes the Melbourne Half-Ironman Challenge!

ACRF supporter, David Blumenthal, has tackled one of his biggest challenges yet – the Challenge Melbourne Half Ironman, on one of the hottest days in Melbourne this year – a scorching 41 degrees!

A far cry from the raining, cool weather of last year’s Paris Marathon, this fundraising challenge took place in summer heat so severe that the race organisers advised that there would be a good chance the race will be called off for those not finished by 12:30pm.

At this point David was faced with a decision: take an easier challenge due to the weather, or brave the scorching conditions and power through the full Half-Ironman Challenge of 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run!

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Show how much you care with a Valentine’s Day donation

With Valentine’s Day coming up this Friday, we’re sure most of you have already wrapped up a lovely gift, organised a delivery of a roses, booked in a dinner or organised a special surprise for your Valentine.

After all, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate and cherish the special person you care about most, whether they know it or not!

However, if you’re still wracking your brain for a gift that has meaning but is also original, why not look into truly spreading the love and giving a gift that has the power to change the world?

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Show how much you care with a Valentine’s Day donation

With Valentine’s Day coming up this Friday, we’re sure most of you have already wrapped up a lovely gift, organised a delivery of a roses, booked in a dinner or organised a special surprise for your Valentine.

After all, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate and cherish the special person you care about most, whether they know it or not!

However, if you’re still wracking your brain for a gift that has meaning but is also original, why not look into truly spreading the love and giving a gift that has the power to change the world?

Continue reading “Show how much you care with a Valentine’s Day donation”

Scott Eastburn sets an epic physical challenge for 2014!

Scott Eastburn is back on his cancer fundraising mission. Having set himself the challenge of competing in one of the most famous international marathons – the London Marathon – last year, Scott has again pledge to help fight cancer through a series of physical challenges.

In 2014, Scott will be participating in 20 endurance events – 14 of which will be marathons throughout Australia, New Zealand, France and England!

Scott is calling this his “20:14 in 2014 Challenge” and has already kicked it off by completing the Cadbury Marathon down in Hobart.

Continue reading “Scott Eastburn sets an epic physical challenge for 2014!”

Scott Eastburn sets an epic physical challenge for 2014!

Scott Eastburn is back on his cancer fundraising mission. Having set himself the challenge of competing in one of the most famous international marathons – the London Marathon – last year, Scott has again pledge to help fight cancer through a series of physical challenges.

In 2014, Scott will be participating in 20 endurance events – 14 of which will be marathons throughout Australia, New Zealand, France and England!

Scott is calling this his “20:14 in 2014 Challenge” and has already kicked it off by completing the Cadbury Marathon down in Hobart.

Continue reading “Scott Eastburn sets an epic physical challenge for 2014!”

This World Cancer Day we pledge to help debunk the myths!

February 4 is a day where we have the chance to raise our collective voices in the name of improving our understanding of cancer: of getting to know the risks and, importantly, overcoming misconceptions about this terrible disease.

World Cancer Day is an international movement held at the same time every year and is an opportunity for the entire world to join together in the fight against cancer.

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Brisbane Broncos legends hit the softball diamond to play for a cure

When it comes to raising funds for a good cause, NRL Broncos legends Allan Langer, Darren Lockyer, Kevin Walters, Gorden Tallis, Ben Ikin and Shane Webcke are ready to step off the footy field and into a whole new ball game.

An exciting softball event, hosted by the Play for a Cure Foundation, will see the Brisbane Broncos stars go head-to-head with a team of seasoned Softball stars.

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Streetsmart Marketing aims to raise 100K for cancer research in Australia

In a massive act of generosity, “Secure the Future”, a three day super-conference, is donating its base ticketing price to world-class cancer research in Australia!

Mal Emery, CEO of Streetsmart Marketing and Co-Founder “StreetSmart Business School” chose the Australian Cancer Research Foundation as the beneficiary of this event due to his very humbling experiences with cancer.

“Like most people, my company StreetSmart Business School has been touched by cancer – deeply,” Mal told us.

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The Fatman’s Great Aussie Trek from Geelong to Cairns comes to an end!

Brendon had always dreamt about walking around Australia.

After seeing a man and woman walking along the road in his home town for charity he was inspired to do the same. Five weeks later Brendon and his faithful dog, Jojo, set out on “The Fatman’s Great Aussie Trek”!

Weighing in at just over 145kgs, Brendon felt it was time to do something about his health – while also giving to a cause that would help the health of others.

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Experience the rainbow with this cancer fun run!

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to become more active, healthier or fitter? Why not kick start your 2014, and your resolution, with a cancer fun run with a difference?

Color Me Rad is a 5km cancer fun run where participants are showered in colour as they race towards the finish line!

Color Me Rad has announced its inaugural Australian race on February 23 at Sydney’s Motor Sport Park out at Eastern Creek. In this un-timed event, the focus is purely on fun, and the fitness is an added bonus! What better way to kick off a health and fitness goal?

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Tokyo to Osaka: A 36 hour fundraising cycle to bring in the New Year!

“It’s for my Great Aunt Lynn, and the thousands of other brave souls in the world facing their personal battle against cancer, that I am undertaking this challenge.”

This was ACRF supporter Andrew’s New Year’s Resolution for 2014. When he found out in December that his beloved Great Aunt Lynn had been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer, Andrew knew he had to do something to show his support and love for a woman who had been such an inspiration to him; a woman he described as “brave, pure and a kind-hearted fighter”.

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Pirates of the Cure-ibbean take on the Surf Swim Charity Challenge!

Pirates were spotted on Dee Why Beach a few weeks ago! However, it wasn’t Captain Jack Sparrow of the Black Pearl but Christine and her team of swash-buckling Pirates of the Cure-ibbean!

Located at the beautifully picturesque Dee Why Beach, the Sun Herald Surf Swim charity challenge attracts hundreds of swimmers, looking to take on  the 800m or 1.5km course for a charity of their choice.

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Michael Gunter climbs to beat cancer

Imagine clinging to a rock-face over 100m off the ground when all of a sudden it starts to snow…

This is just one of the challenges ACRF supporter, Michael Gunter, had to deal with while completing two big climbs in NSW’s Blue Mountains region.

Michael’s decision to do something extraordinary for cancer research is an inspirational story, showing true strength and determination throughout a harrowing cancer journey.

Only months ago, Michael completed chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.

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$8.4 Million in funding for some of the best cancer research innovations in Australia!

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has acknowledged the promising future of cancer research in Australia, announcing $8.4million in grants to progress the work of four of the country’s most innovative research initiatives.

In an exciting first, the $8.4m will be shared between research teams from four separate Australian states. The funding will provide each research team with state-of-the-art technologies and facilities, the scope of which have the potential to make significant discoveries in the understanding and management of cancer.

CEO of the ACRF, David Brettell says “Never before have we so many such world-class proposals for cancer research, with applications for our grants this year totalling almost $50 million.”

Continue reading “$8.4 Million in funding for some of the best cancer research innovations in Australia!”

Qantas team tackle 27km coastal trek in just one day!

Unpredictable weather in NSW this month was no match for the dedication and commitment of 30+ Qantas team members who tackled a 27km coastal trek this weekend.

Lead by ACRF advocate and Qantas employee, Mina Masoumian, the ‘4th Annual Qantas 27km Coastal Walk’ kicked off bright and early, at 6:30am. The team set out to cover the coastline of the Royal National Park – from Otford to Bundeena – in just one day.

After several hours of clambering up and down rocky spurs, making tracks along some picturesque beaches and hopping over bubbling creeks the team finished up their challenging trek at around 3pm at the lovely Bundeena Wharf.

Continue reading “Qantas team tackle 27km coastal trek in just one day!”

Giving regular charity donations through workplace giving!

One in two men and one in three women in Australia will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. Each of us is keen to do our part to prevent both our loved ones and ourselves from facing this terrible disease, but often life gets in the way of us sitting down to make a donation.

Workplace Giving is one way to get around this. It’s a simple way for working Australians to make a big difference to cancer research via regular charity donations that are deducted from your payroll, before tax.

Employees can therefore enjoy an immediate tax benefit, while their regular charity donations work hard to make an important difference to our ability to fund cancer research.

Continue reading “Giving regular charity donations through workplace giving!”

“Cutting out Cancer” Rodeo helps raise funds for cancer research

Gundagai recently hosted a most successful campdraft rodeo event called “Cutting out cancer”, organised by local, Toni Hart, who is currently battling HER2 Breast Cancer.

Competitors and spectators were invited to wear pink to support the event, with $2 from every entry fee generously donated by the Gundagai Rodeo Club.

Continue reading ““Cutting out Cancer” Rodeo helps raise funds for cancer research”

Unravelling ovarian cancer reveals potential new treatment

Researchers have taken another step towards understanding ovarian cancer, and in treating one of the most lethal forms of this elusive disease.

The findings by researchers from Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre build on the understanding that some ovarian cancers are driven by the deactivation of the BRCA 1 gene, especially those with high-grade carcinomas.

‘We now know ovarian cancer is a very diverse disease, analogous to a Russian babushka doll,” said Professor Bowtell, senior author of the study, which was published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“It looks like one doll until you take it apart and find layer after layer — but we’re confident when we have finally separated this cancer into all its molecular groups, we will have a much better chance of improving survival for all women.”

Continue reading “Unravelling ovarian cancer reveals potential new treatment”

Millions in funding unveiled for Australia’s best cancer research innovations

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has announced the recipients of their annual Cancer Research Grants, collectively awarding $8.4m towards the newest innovations in Australian cancer research.

In its quest to beat cancer, the ACRF has awarded almost $95m to Australian cancer research institutes, making it the largest private funding body for cancer research in Australia.

Continue reading “Millions in funding unveiled for Australia’s best cancer research innovations”

Affinity Construction celebrates annual George Veitch Memorial Bowls Day

A lovely, sunny day down in Canberra saw over 50 people turn up for a friendly round of bowls and a barbecue lunch at Canberra Bowling Club.

The George Veitch Memorial Lawn Bowls Day at Canberra Bowling Club is put on every year by Affinity Construction Management, and it honours the life of one of the founders of the company, George Veitch, who sadly passed away after a short battle with cancer in 2008.

The ACRF was delighted to attend this special event and get to know the staff over a barbeque lunch and a few games of bowls. Organisers also put on a few raffles and pulled together some great prizes to be auctioned off.

Continue reading “Affinity Construction celebrates annual George Veitch Memorial Bowls Day”

Torch charity golf day a great success!

The amazing team at Torch Publishing have held their third annual Charity Golf event, in partnership with the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

The 4 Ball Ambrose tournament, held on Friday 25 October at the Georges River Golf Course, brought together local community, business and sporting personalities to raise much needed funds for world-class cancer research.

Players of all golf handicaps produced a wonderful spectacle, putting on show their eagles, chip shots, backspins, albatrosses, birdies, and bogies!

Continue reading “Torch charity golf day a great success!”

VIC sees out our running season with a bang

As our Aussie running season comes to an end, Victoria is celebrating a couple of their last big marathons with the Melbourne Marathon Festival and the City2Sea.

More than 34,000 runners and walkers flooded to Melbourne CBD on October 13 for the Melbourne Marathon Festival, either tackling the challenge of the full or half marathons or enjoying the atmosphere and scenery of the shorter 10km and family runs.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation was humbled to have 17 supporters, running to raising money for cancer research. Together, these dedicated supporters raised over $12,000, every dollar of which will go to Australian researchers to help in their search for the cures.

Continue reading “VIC sees out our running season with a bang”

New therapy in trial minimises side effects for leukaemia patients

Australian researchers are trialing a drug which could bring new hope to people fighting adult leukaemia.

This drug, known as KB004, targets a protein which is only found in cancerous stem cells. It is undetectable on normal cells, so when the therapy is administered, it targets only cancerous cells, minimising side effects.

A team of Australian collaborators from ACRF-funded research institutes, including Dr. Martin Lackmann of Monash University, Melbourne; Dr. Andrew Boyd of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, and Dr. Andrew Scott of Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Melbourne, realised the potential of this protein – called EphA3 – as a drug target some years ago and successfully tested an antibody in their laboratories.

The drug KB004 has since been developed from this antibody, and clinical trials have commenced.

Continue reading “New therapy in trial minimises side effects for leukaemia patients”

Cancer researchers find prostate cancer “Achilles Heel” and move closer to a new treatment

An international group of scientists from Australia and Canada are getting closer to a new treatment for prostate cancer that works by starving tumours of an essential nutrient.

Dr Jeff Holst from Sydney’s Centenary Institute, and his colleagues from Adelaide, Brisbane and Vancouver have shown they can slow the growth of prostate cancer by stopping the protein ‘leucine’ from being pumped into tumour cells.

Leucine is involved in cell division and making proteins. It ‘feeds’ cell growth by being pumped through ‘protein pumps’ on the surface of our cells.

In 2011, Dr Holst and his colleagues showed that prostate cancer cells have more ‘protein pumps’ on their surface compared with normal cells. These pumps are allowing the cancer cell to take in more leucine, thereby stimulating overactive cell division.

Continue reading “Cancer researchers find prostate cancer “Achilles Heel” and move closer to a new treatment”

Top Australian researchers bid for ACRF grants

Millions of dollars in ACRF funding will soon be awarded to Australia’s top cancer research teams, with this week heralding our final stage of assessments.

Today and tomorrow, lead researchers from five shortlisted institutes will meet with the ACRF’s esteemed Advisory Committee (which is chaired by Professor Ian Frazer AC) for the final interviews which will ultimately determine the successful research teams.

Shortlisted applicants include two institutes from Sydney: the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia, and the Children’s Medical Research Institute, as well as the QIMR Berghofer Cancer Research Institute in Brisbane, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Adelaide, and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

Continue reading “Top Australian researchers bid for ACRF grants”

Goodman Group thinks outside the box with a corporate charity challenge at Cradle Mountain!

Many organisations are starting to combine philanthropic work with leadership development charity challenges, ensuring their staff members achieve a personal sense of fulfillment as well as a physical and professional one.

These charity challenges often include a fundraising goal, asking teams to work together to fulfill their campaign for cancer research.

Global property experts, Goodman Group, are currently preparing their leadership team for a six day charity challenge to Cradle Mountain, TAS, which will include all the bells and whistles: leadership workshops, physical endurance, and a $10,000+ fundraising target for world-class cancer research in Australia.

Continue reading “Goodman Group thinks outside the box with a corporate charity challenge at Cradle Mountain!”

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How ACRF Is Outsmarting Women’s Cancers this October

October is known around the world as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The aim of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to increase awareness of breast cancer and the impact it has as well as to raise much needed funds. To celebrate breast cancer awareness month, people engage in fundraising activities and purchase pink merchandise to raise money for this fantastic cause.

At ACRF however, we refer to October as our “Women’s Cancer Month” – a time where we raise awareness and much needed funds for all types of cancer that affect Australian women, as cancer statistics show 1 in 4 Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 75.

Why we are determined to find better prevention, detection and treatment methods for women’s cancers

At ACRF, we are committed to improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer. That is why, this October we are focusing on all cancers that affect women, not just breast cancer.

Every day up to 50 women in Australia are diagnosed with breast or gynaecological cancer. These cancer types include uterine, cervical, vulva and ovarian – cancers which are sometimes forgotten and unfortunately under-funded. Then there are other common women’s cancers which we need to remember this October: these include; bowel, lung and skin cancers.

We are committed to funding research through our grants and research projects into these cancer types, bringing new hope to our mothers, daughters, sisters, cousins and friends around the world.

Continue reading “October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How ACRF Is Outsmarting Women’s Cancers this October”

Make regular charity donations and become a Partner in the Cure!

Aussies are renowned for being very generous and those who decide to make regular charity donations to cancer research are part of a VIP group of ACRF supporters known as “Partners in the Cure”.

Their generous monthly donation allows us to plan for a stable and supportive future for some of the best cancer researchers in Australia. These regular charity donations are helping us to fight cancer for patients (and their families) of this generation and the next.

Our Partners in the Cure are part of the ACRF family and many have decided to join our cause by providing their monthly donations in memory of a loved one they have lost.

Continue reading “Make regular charity donations and become a Partner in the Cure!”

ACRF’s first Blackmores Sydney Running Festival a wonderful success!

More than 32,000 runners and walkers flooded to Bradfield Park on Sunday 22 September to take on the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.

As one of thirty charity partners, the ACRF was humbled that 260 of those people were participating in support of cancer research. They were running in memory or support of loved ones, either tackling the challenge of the full or half marathons or enjoying the atmosphere and scenery of the shorter bridge and family funs.

Together, our amazing supporters have generated over $50,000 for cancer research in Australia and, as this was our first official experience at the Blackmores event, we are so very grateful for the dedication and massive support we have received!

Continue reading “ACRF’s first Blackmores Sydney Running Festival a wonderful success!”

Canberra Cancerians roll out the Red Carpet for cancer research

One of the most prestigious events on the Canberra social calendar, the Canberra Cancerians Gala Dinner, has dazzled guests with its most glamorous offering to date.

Renowned as one of the most successful fundraising groups for cancer research in Australia, the Canberra Cancerians are an incredible group of volunteers who have raised more than $3.2 million for the ACRF.

They launched their first ball in 1987 and, very quickly, the event blossomed into one of the most sought-after events on Canberra’s social calendar.

This year’s function was an elegant red carpet affair, with a black and white theme. The committee took a different approach, compared with previous years, limiting ticket numbers and raising the stakes. And the event certainly did not disappoint.

Continue reading “Canberra Cancerians roll out the Red Carpet for cancer research”

PepsiCo ‘Can Do’ dinner a fantastic success!

PepsiCo staff recently came together again for their annual trivia fundraising night for cancer research – an event which was, this year, called the “Can Do Dinner”.

The trivia night marked the end of a whole month of fundraising, in which PepsiCo asked their staff: “What can you do to support cancer research”? They rallied around a number of internal activities, including a team effort in the fearsome Tough Bloke challenge.

Continue reading “PepsiCo ‘Can Do’ dinner a fantastic success!”

Rosebank College visits CCIA to learn how we are helping to fight cancer

In celebration of National Science Week, we recently welcomed the year 11 Rosebank Biology class to the ACRF Drug Discovery Lab at the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA).

This educational tour allowed the students to get up-close with the cutting-edge technologies used inside a real laboratory, while meeting some of Australia’s best cancer scientists who are making amazing progress in the fight against children’s cancers.

The day started off with a very insightful presentation by Dr Eddy Pasquier who discussed his expertise and passion for cancer research, especially in the field of Neuroblastoma.

Continue reading “Rosebank College visits CCIA to learn how we are helping to fight cancer”

‘Can Do’ Corporate Roadshows Kick-off in Melbourne!

The very first ACRF ‘Can Do’ Roadshow took place at Lion last week with great success!

One hundred Lion staff members attended the special, inaugural event to listen to an ACRF Ambassador panel of four amazing Aussie personalities. Together, they inspired the room in discussions about their dreams, achievements, and their personal experiences with cancer.

The star studded panel consisted of NBL great, Andrew Gaze; former Olympian and Order of Australia Medallist, Nicole Livingstone; former Olympian and CEO of Basketball Australia, Larry Sengstock and Olympic bronze-medallist in rowing, Margot Foster.

Continue reading “‘Can Do’ Corporate Roadshows Kick-off in Melbourne!”

David takes 400 thousand steps for cancer research

It was a cold morning in Canberra when ACRF super-fundraiser departed on what would be one of the most gruelling journeys of his life.

His solo walk back to his home in the lower Blue Mountains brought back old injuries and painful memories, as he took step after step – some 400 thousand of them – in honour of his late wife Danielle.

But it also brought him hope.

Continue reading “David takes 400 thousand steps for cancer research”

Blue September starts this Father’s Day!

Blue September is a campaign in which we’re encouraging all Australians to face up to cancer in men.

Starting this Sunday, we’re asking you to get blue and help raise awareness about men’s cancers.

22,000 Australian men die from cancer every year, but at the ACRF we want to turn this statistic around. You can help by hosting a blue themed fundraiser, purchasing one of our limited edition Blue September  wristbands, or by donating to vital research into the cancers that affect men most!

Continue reading “Blue September starts this Father’s Day!”

Skyhigh fundraisers Jump! for the cures

Early in the morning on Saturday 24 August eleven extremely brave ACRF supporters took the biggest leap of faith – jumping out of a plane at 14,000ft for cancer research!

The skydive over the beautiful beach at North Wollongong was the climax of several months of fundraising (not to mention nerves!), with each ACRF supporter pledging to raise $1,700 for their jump.

Together, our 11 ‘Jump! for Cancer Research’ participants went above and beyond, raising more than $34,000 for world-class cancer research, a cause which is very close to their hearts.

Continue reading “Skyhigh fundraisers Jump! for the cures”

Painting the town Cobalt Blue for cancer research

Kristal Elliot’s world was turned upside-down when, at just 23 years old, she lost her mother Christine to oesophageal cancer. Christine was only 49, and Kristal a new mum herself to little Amy, when this devastating loss shook their family.

Christine’s favourite colour was cobalt blue – she wore it with everything, Kristal told us, even if it didn’t match – and so Kristal has carried on her mother’s passion for the colour, in a shave and colour fundraiser which was held on Sunday 18 August. Fittingly, in memory of her mother, she called the event ‘Cobalt Blue’.

Continue reading “Painting the town Cobalt Blue for cancer research”

Give the gift of cancer research this Father’s Day

It’s Father’s day this Sunday, and many of us are thinking about those meaningful yet creative Father’s Day gifts to show our dads how much we care.

If you’re feel a bit stumped we’ve got the perfect solution! Why not consider a Father’s Day gift to cancer research this year?

An in celebration donation to cancer research is a gift that truly gives back. Through the ACRF, you can make a direct donation in lieu of gifts for your Dad.

Continue reading “Give the gift of cancer research this Father’s Day”

ACRF City2Surfers raise $85,000+ and help make cancer history!

85,000 runners, joggers, walkers and super heroes gathered at Sydney’s Hyde Park from 8am on Sunday 11 August, ready for one of the world’s largest community running events: the famous City2Surf.

Our ACRF team was thrilled to be there, taking on the 14km course together with some amazing runners who had grabbed the opportunity to support cancer research throughout their City2Surf campaigns.

For many of our runners, this day was more about their reasons for participating, rather than trying to beat a time. They ran in support of loved ones, and Heartbreak Hill would be no match for their determination, passion and generosity.

Continue reading “ACRF City2Surfers raise $85,000+ and help make cancer history!”

Great fundraising ideas for schools during National Science Week!

National Science Week is just around the corner (August 10-18) and we’ve got some great fundraising ideas for schools looking to help in the fight against cancer!

Australian scientists are among the best and brightest in the world, and we at the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) are proud to support their vital work into new treatments and cures for cancer.

Your school can help us support these scientists by becoming involved in a Schools Against Cancer event! By holding a Schools Against Cancer event this National Science Week, your school community can help fund the next major breakthroughs in cancer science!

Continue reading “Great fundraising ideas for schools during National Science Week!”

Norm’s fourth trip sees him ‘bug off’ across the Nullarbor

Norman Elias has finished his fourth annual Bug Off Cancer Drive, this year taking on one of the biggest drives his vintage 1965 VW Beetle has ever tackled!

On June 29 in the early hours of the morning, Norm started his 16 day journey from his home in Mortdale, heading west across Australia to Perth and back again in a cancer fundraising ‘drive’ with a difference.

Norm told us, “I became determined to help raise funds for the ACRF so they can continue to fund research into finding better treatments and hopefully cures that will rid us of this disease that doesn’t discriminate and affects all ages.”

Continue reading “Norm’s fourth trip sees him ‘bug off’ across the Nullarbor”

Couple take on tandem 1000km bike challenge for cancer research!

ACRF supporters Matt and An both know first-hand what it’s like when someone they love is diagnosed with cancer.

With Matt’s sister-in-law and An’s father both having received this devastating news, they decided they wanted to do something positive to support cancer research, and help their loved ones through this journey.

On 30 June, Matt and An set off from Perth on their “Tandem Tour for Cancer Cure”, riding a tandem push bike up north to the beautiful coastal town of Geraldton and back.

Continue reading “Couple take on tandem 1000km bike challenge for cancer research!”

When at Hadrian's Wall, do as the Romans did…

Ex-Victorian Policeman, Craig Harwood, made the decision several months ago to take on one of the most unique charity challenges we’ve ever seen.

Along with his wife, father-in-law, two children and some tour guides, Craig embarked on a 135km walk along Hadrian’s Wall in the UK in a complete replica of Roman armour – weighing in at 35kg!

Craig has a keen interest in Roman Military History and, although he doesn’t dress up in this attire usually, he thought it would be a great challenge and a unique way to fundraise for three charities very close to his heart, one of them being the ACRF.

Continue reading “When at Hadrian's Wall, do as the Romans did…”

All-female shearing team work the woolsheds for cancer research

The Ducks on the PondAfter more than a year of planning, fundraising, and physical training, Sam Westcott and Bec Flynn, and their team of 35 female shearers – the Ducks on the Pond – have reached their fundraising peak with a most generous donation of over $30,000 to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation!

“Ducks on the Pond” was a term traditionally used by male shearers when they saw a lady approaching the workmen’s shed. It was a warning for the gents to clean up their language and their appearance.

So when Sam and Bec devised their unique fundraising idea – they thought it would be only too appropriate to call their all-female event “Ducks on the Pond”. They wanted to show how times have changed, highlighting the important role of women in the wool harvesting industry.

Continue reading “All-female shearing team work the woolsheds for cancer research”

ACRF SMH Half Marathon runners raise over $20,000 for world class cancer research

The SMH Half Marathon began in Sydney this year with a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

More than 10,000 runners assembled down College Street on May 19, 2013, waiting for their half marathon challenge to commence.

The starter’s pistol went off, and the serious runners were sent on their way.

We were thrilled to be able to attend the race this year, to meet with the runners who had taken the opportunity to support cancer research during their half marathon campaigns. Among the cancer fundraisers we had the privilege of meeting was super-fundraiser Martin Watters, who led the highest fundraiser board for weeks in the lead-up to the sporting event.

Martin generously raised more than $11,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, in support of his girlfriend, Sophie, who is currently being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Continue reading “ACRF SMH Half Marathon runners raise over $20,000 for world class cancer research”

The Believers race a wheelbarrow towards an incredible cancer fundraising finish-line!

A team of ten amazing fundraisers have pushed a wheelbarrow for more than 140kms across far north Queensland as part of the 10th Great Wheelbarrow Race, and they’ve done so for a most worthy cause: world-class cancer research.

The Great Wheelbarrow Race takes participants along a historic road from Mareeba to Chillagoe, named Wheelbarrow Way in tribute to the miners of the 1800s that would travel between towns, using only a wheelbarrow to carry their possessions.

The race started early on the morning of Friday 17 May, but our wonderful fundraising team, called The Believers, commenced their campaign much sooner than that.

Continue reading “The Believers race a wheelbarrow towards an incredible cancer fundraising finish-line!”

July is Regular Giving Month!

Regular Giving Month is an opportunity for us to celebrate our regular givers, both new and long-standing, for their incredible commitment to world-class cancer research in Australia.

Through their regular charity donations, this amazing group of people have together raised more than $1.3 million!

For this, and for their ongoing support, we will be forever grateful:  they are a vital part of our work, ensuring we are able to fund the high-quality, world-class research grant applications we receive each and every year. Together, they are speeding up new treatments and cures for cancer.

One of our newest regular givers, Stephen Holyoak, joined our Partner in the Cure program because his life has been changed forever by this terrible disease.

“After losing my mum to cancer far too young, I felt it was time to try and help those who are suffering today and tomorrow.”

“I have been unfortunate to also see very close friends lose family members to this horrible disease.”

Continue reading “July is Regular Giving Month!”

ACRF fundraisers take part in the inaugural Brisbane City2South

On Sunday 16 June, under a perfectly blue Brisbane sky, 25 runners for the ACRF joined a crowd of about 7,000 for Brisbane’s very first City2South.

The sister event for Sydney’s famous City2Surf, the City2South attracted runners from all over to take on the 14km challenge. Runners of all ages made their way from the Botanic Gardens, along Coronation Drive, through the University of Queensland and back through Highgate Hill.

We were lucky enough to be there on the day to meet with our runners and talk to them about the event and why they decided to turn this great event into a cancer fun run.

One of our fundraisers, James Shaw, raised an epic $1,715 for cancer research:

Continue reading “ACRF fundraisers take part in the inaugural Brisbane City2South”

Millions in private funding for top cancer research projects in Australia

Five of the best cancer research projects in the world stand to receive millions of dollars in funding,  following the Australian Cancer Research Foundation’s announcement today of its  shortlist for 2013 research grants.

From twelve research proposals, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has shortlisted five for further assessment as a result of the world-class standard of proposed works, and the significant potential for this research to achieve major breakthroughs in cancer diagnosis, treatment and cure.

Continue reading “Millions in private funding for top cancer research projects in Australia”

Two new ACRF facilities in Melbourne will help fast-track discoveries

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation has opened two new world-class cancer research facilities in Melbourne; the new ACRF Rational Drug Discovery Centre at St Vincent’s Institute (SVI) and a new Cancer Imaging Facility at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

These centres represent $4 million in Australian Cancer Research Foundation funding that would not have been made possible without the support of our amazing donors.

The potential for ground breaking discoveries within these world-class facilities is extremely exciting. Each of them houses the latest in advanced drug screening and imaging technologies, promising to find new treatment targets and therapeutic options faster than ever before.

Please find details about each cancer research facility below.

Continue reading “Two new ACRF facilities in Melbourne will help fast-track discoveries”

Tassie firies rally together to help fight cancer

After more than a year of planning, fundraising, and physical training, the Headin’ South for a Cure initiative has today reached its climax with a most generous donation of almost $48,000 to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation!

The team of 10 fire fighters from Tasmania, led by co-founders Emma Weitnauer and Tim McKay, campaigned for all of last year in the lead-up to a heroic 14 day cycle; starting in Brisbane and ‘headin south’ to Hobart.

They set out on January 1st, taking no rest days and battling extreme weather conditions (some days reaching 48 degrees with strong, head on winds and extreme – sometimes catastrophic – fire danger ratings). They averaged more than 160km a day, arriving home on Jan 14th!

Major sponsor Bendigo Bank were behind the team the whole way, supporting fundraising initiatives and collecting donations to help fight cancer along with the fire-fighters. Today, we have received the full fundraising amount, and we couldn’t be more proud of this incredible team!

Continue reading “Tassie firies rally together to help fight cancer”

Local policeman is funding research through the adventure of a life-time

A Manly local area police commander, Supt David Darcy, took on an epic challenge last year, riding over 22,000KM from London all the way down to Sydney on his motorbike.

His goal: To help fund research by raising $20,000 for the ACRF.

David and fellow motor cycling enthusiast Darren Higginson left London on July 1, reaching Sydney four months later after experiencing a once-in-a-life-time journey.

David told us, “Both Darren and I have a number of close relatives and friends who have had their lives either affected or cut short by various forms of cancer and we would like to help this worthy cause.” Continue reading “Local policeman is funding research through the adventure of a life-time”

Run for Gold in next year’s London Marathon!

The Virgin London Marathon 2014 is one of the biggest marathons in the world, with around 35,000 competitors looking to complete the race each year. The ballot alone attracts more than 100,000 applications and generally is closed with-in 2 hours of being opened!

Anybody who applies will have to wait until October 2013 to find out if they have been successful in securing a place for the April 2014 race. And with not even half of the people entering being picked, chances might seem a bit slim…

This time last year Anouska “Noosh” Zerna was thinking exactly the same thing. She’d harboured the goal of running in the London Marathon for almost 7 years but had always put it off due to the feeling that a ballot entry ticket was too far out of reach. But then Noosh found an alternative. She applied for an ACRF Gold Charity fundraising spot– and in July 2012 her application was accepted.

As an official Gold Charity fundraiser Noosh was given a fundraising target of $9,000.

Noosh told us, “When I found out I had a place I was daunted, by both the amount of training and fundraising tasks ahead of me. However, once I started raising money and the momentum grew, it became apparent that the fundraising element would give my training extra focus – I couldn’t let down all the people who had supported me!”

Continue reading “Run for Gold in next year’s London Marathon!”

London calling for cancer research

Believe it or not, Anouska Zerna (Noosh) really does like running! And next week she will be running 42.2km in support of the ACRF and world-class cancer research.

We wish Noosh the very best as she jets off to England on Monday to compete in the London Marathon – a goal she set for herself 7 years ago!

Noosh told us “There is definitely something in it and, aside from the post run highs and slender thighs, for me that something is a goal I have harboured for a long time – the London Marathon.” Continue reading “London calling for cancer research”

‘A Million Footsteps for a Cure’ charity challenge

Charity Challenge

On 19th December 2010, Sydney local Sonia Longo’s life changed when her father was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer.

At the point of his diagnosis the cancer had already spread to his spine making it very difficult for Sonia’s father to walk or even sit comfortably.

“Watching this strong, fiercely independent and jovial man fade away so rapidly broke my heart a million times over.  And it continues to do so.” Sonia told us.

“I would have done absolutely anything for this wonderful man, but there was just nothing I could do to lessen his pain.”

Unfortunately, less than 3 months after his diagnosis, Sonia’s father passed away in Sonia’s arms, surrounded by his loving family.

After watching what her father went through, Sonia is committed to raising awareness about the importance of cancer research.

On 23rd May, 2013, Sonia will be embarking on an epic charity challenge – walking 750km across France. Starting at Le Puy, Sonia will travel entirely on foot, taking over a million steps over 38 days until she reaches Saint Jean Pied de Port at the border of Spain.

Continue reading “‘A Million Footsteps for a Cure’ charity challenge”

Metal for Cancer – funding research through music

Metal for Cancer - cancer fundraising initiativeLate last year, a group called Metal for Cancer released a new digital single called ‘Lets Unite in Rock’ featuring an all-star cast exclusively written and produced by Henrik Flyman to raise funds for cancer research.

Cancer is a disease that touches people from all walks of life and the heavy metal community is no exception. Many Hard Rock and Heavy Metal legends have sadly lost their battle to this devastating disease.

The song starts off with a riff which pays homage to the late Ronnie James Dio and lyrically uses typical heavy metal imagery describing the heavy metal community uniting to defeat cancer which in the song is portrayed as ‘the beast’.

Continue reading “Metal for Cancer – funding research through music”

Teamwork pays off for Kiama Central Netball Team

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) would like to send a huge thank you to the Kiama Central Senior A’s Netball Team for their incredible support of cancer research.

Late last year, the team set themselves a goal to raise $30,000 for our cancer charity before the team captain Karen Appleby’s 30th birthday. Their efforts culminated in February with a grand ball (“A Bit-of-Bling Black Tie Ball”) which brought families, friends and local businesses together for a night of entertainment, dinner and dancing.

This dedicated group of women unfortunately have a very good reason to be so passionate about cancer research, as each member of the team has supported a parent through this terrible disease.

Some have been lucky and their parents have recovered, but others are still fighting cancer or have sadly lost their battles.

Karen, whose mother is now in remission after being diagnosed with breast cancer twice, said the heartbreaking statistic was not a team curse, but a mark of how common cancer has become. Continue reading “Teamwork pays off for Kiama Central Netball Team”

Solo kayak across Bass Strait is cancer fundraising at its bravest!

Journey Map

Adelaide’s Malcolm Blewett has embarked on an incredible cancer fundraising adventure. For the next 1-2 weeks, he will be at the mercy of wind and sea as he navigates 350 kilometres of treacherous Bass Strait waters in a one-man kayak.

“The aim of this trip is more than just personal achievement.” Mal told us.

“I have a good family friend who is a sea kayaking senior instructor and who is my mentor in this sport. His wife and family have endured great suffering for many years with him being in and out of remission from oesophageal cancer, and unfortunately his life span is now very limited.”

“Supporting those that are researching into a cure for cancer is my way of saying thanks to my good friend.”

Malcolm works for Lion, who are dedicated corporate and workplace giving supporters of ACRF and have contributed in excess of $200,000 toward cancer research.

Continue reading “Solo kayak across Bass Strait is cancer fundraising at its bravest!”

A miracle marathon in memory of her loved one

“The miracle is not that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

When we met Gill Thomas a few months ago, she told us her inspiration was simply to work towards the hardest thing she could ever conceive of doing. So in memory of her late husband, Ian, and for all the people she has known and loved who have fought cancer, Gill prepared herself for the epic New York marathon.

Gill left her home in Queensland for New York four days before the 42km run would be held on November 6th. Gill had not only trained hard in the lead-up to this marathon but she also managed to fundraise an incredible $13,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation – donations in memory that will fight cancer for future generations.

Now that the race has been run, Gill has shared her story. She talks of the pre-dawn wintry congregation at the starting line, of the gospel singers surrounding the streets of Harlem motivating her on, and of finally reaching Central Park and finding amazing reserves of energy once again to run the last kilometre towards the finish line!

Experience the race through Gill’s eyes by clicking ‘read more’, below.

If you too would like to contribute to cancer research with a donation in memory of a loved one, or by participating in a sporting event, please speak to ACRF about your ideas. Continue reading “A miracle marathon in memory of her loved one”

Donate to the ACRF tax-time appeal and help make cancer history

ACRF has launched its tax-time appeal to raise funds for world-class cancer research. Making a donation to the ACRF tax-time appeal before June 30th is a great way to boost your tax return and give back to charity you are passionate about helping at the same time.

Why donate to ACRF this tax-time?

When you make a tax deductible donation to ACRF, 100% of your tax donation goes towards cancer research in order to help us achieve our mission of outsmarting cancer by improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer. 

Since 1988, thanks to our generous supporters, ACRF has awarded 75 grants totalling almost $160 million to world-class Australian cancer research initiatives in order to support and change the lives and future of those impacted by cancer.

With your help, the next vaccine, screening technology, or gene therapy is only a few years away.

Why make a tax deductible donation to ACRF this tax-time

A tax deductible donation is a gift made to an organisation which has deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. These are charities that comply with the transparency and accountability standards of the ACNC Charity Register. 

ACRF holds DGR status, which means any donation, $2 or more made to ACRF will reduce your taxable income. 

Donating to a charity has many benefits during tax-time, learn more about how tax deductible donations work and the impact they can have here or speak with your financial adviser or accountant. 

Make a tax deductible donation to ACRF today and help us support people like Jo receive lifelines from world-class researchers.