Announcing Australia's 2020 Pirate Day fundraiser! Children, office workers and whole townships are set to embrace their inner buccaneers by dressing as pirates in support of kids with brain cancer for Brain Cancer Action Month in May.
What is Pirate Day?
Pirate Day is an annual fancy dress event coordinated by The Kids’ Cancer Project and The Pirate Ship Foundation to raise awareness and funds for childhood brain cancer research. People across the nation are encouraged to host their own Pirate Day on 22 May or any date during the month that suits them.
Now in its sixth year, the filibuster fundraiser has become a national favourite but the concept was conceived in tragic circumstances when in 2014 Nathan Colgan of Perth, learned his son, Conor (then five-years-old), had an aggressive brain tumour.
Read more: Connor's story
“The more I read up on the disease, the more heart broken I became,” the distraught dad shared.
“I discovered that for every two children diagnosed with a brain tumour, one will sadly lose their life. And the ones that do survive often have severe, lasting side effects. The only way to change this is to put more funding into scientific research,” said Nathan.
Four facts about childhood brain cancer
- Brain tumours are the most common form of solid tumours among children.
- Brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease.
- As with other tumours in kids and adults, surgery is the primary treatment, usually followed by radiation treatment and/or chemotherapy.
- Because a child's brain is still developing, these treatments can result in more substantial and permanent side effects than they would for an adult.
By donning an eye patch and making a donation, every Australian can make a serious difference.
Last year more than 300 schools and early learning centres, along with workplaces and rum bars got behind the cause. Since Pirate Day started in 2015, more than $300,000 has been raised for scientific studies to find kinder, more effective treatments for the disease that childhood cancer research.
Associate Professor Joshua McCarroll prepares to set sail for Pirate Day 2020.
Where the money raised goes
In 2020, funds will be directed specifically to a study lead by Associate Professor Joshua McCarroll, Team Leader of the Gene Therapeutics and Drug Delivery group at Children’s Cancer Institute and the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, UNSW.
Read more: Behind the science | Associate Professor Joshua McCarroll
Col Reynolds OAM, founder of The Kids’ Cancer Project is delighted with the initiative.
“It’s great to have a bit of fun to fundraise despite the serious nature of kids’ cancer. Many people aren’t aware that the causes of childhood cancer are unknown, that there is no prevention and that research is the only way to improve treatments and survival,” he said.
The Kids’ Cancer Project is an independent national charity supporting childhood cancer research. Over the past 15 years, the charity has committed more than $50 million in funding to childhood cancer research. Funding that’s only been possible through community fundraising events.
“It is only through research that my son Conor, who is now ten, has defied the odds and is still with us today,” said Nathan. “I wish I could say he has been cured of his illness but sadly his fight against cancer is not yet over and neither is mine.”
“Our journey continues, but with the support of every Australian who takes part in Pirate Day, we have the courage to keep going,” Nathan said.
To register a Pirate Day event, visit pirateday.com.au or donate today and help fund the discovery of more effective treatments.