Parliamentarians are asked to wear gold ribbons today to honour children with cancer and to recognise the community that supports them.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and national charity The Kids’ Cancer Project will meet with Members of Parliament to seek further collaboration.
Federal Parliamentarians during Question Time wearing the Gold Ribbon in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness month 2016.
“The Kids’ Cancer Project is committing over $4 million in research projects this year following a competitive grant process which saw over $12 million requested by scientists and institutions around Australia,” said Owen Finegan, Chief Executive of The Kids’ Cancer Project.
The Kids’ Cancer Project warns of shortfalls in research funding if initiatives like the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) are not developed to support people with rare diseases such as childhood cancer.
“Thanks to community support, philanthropy is playing a life-saving role in helping kids with cancer. Over fifty percent of children will be treated via a clinical trial and these are largely funded by the not for profit sector,” said Owen.
With cancer the leading cause of death of Australian children, by disease, there is an urgent need to fill the funding gap.
Sarah and Joshua Weir, from Sydney will also meet parliamentarians today and are all too aware of the funding needed for childhood cancer research. Their youngest daughter Evie was diagnosed with cancer in August 2013 when aged 2.
“Fundraising and research is vital,” says Sarah.
“So, if you have ever found yourself thinking or saying, ‘I wish there was something I could do to help’, there is. You can donate blood, you can run a fundraiser or attend one, or donate money to a charity like The Kids’ Cancer Project.
“You can buy a gold ribbon and wear it to raise awareness and start up a conversation with people. Children like Evie and her friends who have battled or are battling cancer deserve a cure. They are worth fighting for,” said Sarah.
The Government plays a significant role in funding childhood cancer research and recently announced a $20 million investment to support national research initiative, the Zero Childhood Cancer Program
, which The Kids’ Cancer Project is also contributing to.