Childhood Cancer Awareness Month launches at Government House, Sydney

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month launches at Government House, Sydney

Governor of NSW and Mrs Hurley launch awareness month in their home.

His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) and Mrs Hurley welcomed The Kids’ Cancer Project to their home, Government House, Sydney, on Friday 31 August for a reception to launch Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Seventy guests attended the event including Col Reynolds, Founder and Director, Owen Finegan, Chief Executive Officer, along with some of the charity’s many corporate sponsors, supporters, medical researchers, friends and family members, staff and volunteers.

Over morning tea, guests were able to walk around the gardens, tour the downstairs rooms, and hear about the architecture and history of the historic house from on-site experts.

The purpose of the reception was for His Excellency to thank The Kids’ Cancer Project and everyone associated with the organisation for their work in bringing childhood cancer to the attention of the broader community.

Here we share His Excellency’s speech in full.

"As Patron of The Kids’ Cancer Project, I am delighted to welcome you today, and acknowledge that we gather on the traditional lands of the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, whose strength, resilience and knowledge have sustained this land for tens of thousands of years.

We pay our respects to the Gadigal Elders, past and present, and all Aboriginal peoples of New South Wales.

Tomorrow (1 September) marks the beginning of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. A time of collaboration between all organisations committed to raising awareness and funds to address childhood cancer.

And a time for the entire community affected by this devastating disease to gather together, to draw strength from one another.

Today we are a more intimate group. Today we gather as The Kids’ Cancer Project network of supporters. Whether you have a family member who has been affected, you’re a scientist searching for solutions, a clinician at the coalface of care, a volunteer, a donor, a corporate partner or staff member, you are all here because this is an important charity to support.

This is my opportunity, as your Vice Regal Patron, to thank you for all your work in bringing attention to the issue of kids’ cancer in our community....

.....for raising funds for scientific research and for doing vital work so that children diagnosed can live happy, healthy and long lives.

The Kids’ Cancer Project is now in its 25th year. 25 years of service to research, to the care and to the health of our children is something of which you can be extremely proud.

Col Reynolds, Founder of Kids Cancer Project, actually started a few years earlier than that, when he used his coach to take children on day trips out of the hospital. As he learned, and all of you know all too well, this disease and the current treatments available have a harsh reality.

Months and even years of treatment bring endless days of nausea, pain and procedures. Then, after treatment, there’s the worry of chronic health problems.

Among the many statistics about cancer we hear, I was shocked to learn that by the time these children are 50 years old, survivors of childhood cancer will have experienced about five severe or life-threatening chronic health conditions, on average.

But that’s where The Kids’ Cancer Project and you come in. In the 1950s, cancer was nearly always a death sentence for a child. Today, eight out of ten children diagnosed with cancer will survive.

And much of what is known about treating adult cancers has been learned from childhood cancer research. In fact, some aspects of cancer treatment, such as combination therapy, can be traced to paediatric cancer research.

These and more breakthroughs are due to your tireless work … Work that you passionately pursue so that kinder, more effective treatments can be discovered to help countless children in the future.

The disease of cancer is a terrible one for anyone, but when cancer strikes children, it is especially heart-breaking.

On behalf of the people of New South Wales, I thank all of you for your passion and commitment to support scientific research that will leave a lasting legacy in our community and help consign childhood cancer to the history books.

Linda and I are delighted to welcome you all this morning."