He’s been given a prognosis of fewer than 12 months. That’s simply not good enough.
It’s true that we’ve come a long way thanks to the support of people like you. Even in the eight years that I’ve been CEO of The Kids’ Cancer Project, there has been an amazing improvement in understanding what drives childhood cancer, more personalised treatments rather than a one-size-fits-all model; and the survival rate for kids with cancer has gone up by several percent. But to have someone so close to me be given a terminal diagnosis − especially when I’ve dedicated nearly a decade of my life to trying to eradicate childhood cancer deaths − is truly devastating.
Knowing I can’t do anything to help him now, despite leading one of the biggest cancer research charities in Australia is heartbreaking. But that’s why I know we must push on, together, for other kids like Alex. Stories like his continue to motivate me to make a difference in every way I can.
Scientific research is a long game, but with your support, our investment in childhood cancer research has grown over the last four financial years by 66%. In FY23 alone, we have committed over $4,000,000 to forty-five research projects at twenty-five institutions across Australia.
Our volunteer board − a small but hardworking team, our amazing community, our corporate supporters, and of course our incredible donors are what allow us to support that bold research. The passion we all share is for the three families that hear the words ‘your child has cancer’ every day. So, before I go any further, I would like to thank you for being a part of that, and for helping to give expert scientists the resources they need to fight for each and every one of those kids.
None of that cutting-edge research would be possible without people like you, and it is making a difference. There were days when kids’ cancer treatment was no more reliable than flipping a coin, but today, we can proudly say 86% of kids survive.
Within The Kids’ Cancer Project, we’ve never been more driven to achieve our goal of making that number 100%, so that all children who have cancer survive.
Recently, our staff and board members held a strategy day to look at our charity’s focus for the short to medium term. The day was spent re-defining our focus and commitment to sustainability, engagement of our community, delivering excellence and helping ensure our donors can have the greatest impact with their gifts.
Overall, the take-home message was simple: to continue maximising our investment in industry-leading research in the field of childhood cancer.