Behind the Scenes at ACRF: Meet Michael and Anna

With the need for connection being more important than ever before, we’re pleased to share with you some behind-the-scenes action from the ACRF team. Michael and Anna are dedicated volunteers that regularly help out in the ACRF office, and have been doing so for almost 5 years! They share their story below.

“In  2014 we first heard of ACRF when sent an appeal in the mail. Wanting to know more, we contacted ACRF to ask how they were different to the many other medical and cancer charities were were supporting, and they sent material about the research projects which had been funded that year. 

The process used for the funding grants also appealed to us as it was a thorough and critically peer reviewed process, with a medical science board drawn from experts worldwide using both the written submissions and also the interviews which followed for the short listed projects.

Michael and Anna at the ACRF Chairman’s Dinner

It was also at the time when we had both retired from full-time work and were looking to undertake meaningful volunteer work in addition to our part-time work commitments. We felt that we had had a fortunate life both career and family-wise, and this was the time to contribute back to society. 

For some years, in our permanent positions, we had both arranged the mobile blood banks to come to each of our places of work so we had a commitment to assist valuable charities both in person and kind. 

We had investigated and volunteered for a short period with other charities but not found the work fulfilling. Thus, when we were asked to come to the office and discuss the possibility of committing to volunteering with the small ACRF staff, we decided to give it a go.

In 2019, our chosen charity for our work was fortuitous when our fit, healthy, daughter who does not drink alcohol, has never smoked and runs 10 kms after work most days was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Cancer research remains very important to us.  Anna has mentored students whose parents died as a result of cancer as it has a devastating effect on not only the other parent but on the children as well. She developed a close bond with not only the students but also their families trying to assist them to cope with all the emotional issues during the treatments. In addition, the death of parents from cancer also has a devastating impact on children in so many ways.

What is different about ACRF is firstly the organisation has a very small number of staff, around 16 people, all with different skills and all who work incredibly hard to achieve the financial outcomes needed. The fact that ACRF only fund research was another important aspect of our commitment to ACRF. The staff are all friendly, open to suggestions we have made and very welcoming to the point that we feel part of the organisation when we go to volunteer.”