They say it takes a village to raise a child. The adage rings true for Australian children diagnosed with brain cancer - the community must rise up to fund scientific research that will ensure those kids not only survive, but go on to have healthy, productive lives. And it’s already happening in two exciting ways.
The Australian Brain Cancer Mission
This partnership, between the Australian Government, philanthropists, researchers and clinicians, patients and their families was announced on 29 October 2017.
The Mission’s goal is to double survival rates and improve quality of life of all people living with brain cancer by 2027, with a longer-term aim of defeating brain cancer altogether.
To date, the total investment from six funding partners in the Mission is $107.65 million, of which The Kids’ Cancer Project has contributed $2.65 million.
Read more: Mission's fight again brain cancer strengthens.
In a press release earlier in the year, The Honourable Greg Hunt MP Minister for Health stated brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for Australians under 25, tragically taking the equivalent of a classroom of children each year.
Owen Finegan, The Kids’ Cancer Project CEO who announced the charity’s involvement late last year is delighted to have the opportunity to help even more families faced with a devastating diagnosis.
“By being part of this Mission, we are assured the generous gifts of our corporate partners and donors will make a huge difference,” he said.
“A key objective of this collaboration is to ensure every patient has the opportunity to participate in clinical trials giving families more time.”
Over the past five years, The Kids’ Cancer Project has committed over $4.2 million into various brain cancer studies, now, through this partnership with the Australian Brain Cancer Mission, the charity’s efforts are part of a powerful collective as the Federal Government and other funders collaborate to generate the greatest positive outcome.
Read more: Using targeted chemotherapies to reduce intensity of radiotherapy in medulloblastoma<.
Pirate Day in May
Not to be outdone, the community has also stepped up to close the gap of Government funding by contributing to scientific studies to improve survival.
Pirate Day in May (formerly known as Pirate Day Friday) is one fundraising initiative that has united corporate groups, school children and even whole towns.
Australian community groups have raised more than $350,000 in the four years that the swashbuckling dress-up-day event has been running.
The key difference between Pirate Day in May and other brain cancer fundraisers is that all funds go toward discovering child specific treatments through The Kids’ Cancer Project and The Pirate Ship Foundation.
For Col Reynolds OAM, founder of The Kids’ Cancer Project, Pirate Day in May is an annual highlight.
“It’s great to have a bit of fun to fundraise despite the serious nature of kids’ cancer,” he said.
“Many people aren’t aware that cancer is the leading cause of death of children by disease in Australia. Science is the only way to improve treatments and survival.”
Come aboard and become a Pirate Day in May sponsor.