On Tuesday 5 November 2019, The Kids’ Cancer Project held its first Melbourne Cup luncheon at Jones Bay Wharf in Sydney.
The event was held in collaboration with Love for Lachie, a fundraising group that, like The Kids’ Cancer Project, is dedicated to raising funds and awareness of childhood cancer research.
Guests dressed up and enjoyed the harbour views and gourmet hospitality of Doltone House while networking with like-minded business leaders.
Photo gallery: 2019 Melbourne Cup charity luncheon
It was an afternoon of fun with a caricature artist, roving massage therapists and prizes for best male and female “fashions on the field”.
But it was all for a serious cause. More than $40,000 was raised through ticket sales, raffles, and fierce bidding on the Calcutta as well as silent and live auctions.
The funds are set to have a direct impact on finding a cure for childhood brain cancer, the single most deadly disease diagnosed in Australian children.
Recipient of the funding is Dr Nick Gottardo, Co-Head of the Brain Tumour Research Team at Telethon Kids institute, Western Australia.
Dr Gottardo and his team are working on the discovery of a new treatment regime that will herald the first immunotherapy to be introduced in frontline treatment for children with high grade glioma and medulloblastoma. The outcome of the research is to give children the greatest chance of survival while reducing the long-term toxicity associated with current therapies.
“We know that children who survive are left with significant long-term side effects from radiotherapy that impacts their ability to grow and live productive lives with dignity,” said Dr Gottardo.
“Our aim is to take the findings from our lab into the clinic, and that’s why this funding is so important,” he said. “The experiments are highly sophisticated, and the ultimate goal is to improve the lives of children with cancer.”
The urgent need to fund science to help the 950 children diagnosed with cancer in Australia every year was brought to light by keynote speaker, Adrian Fisk, Chairman of The Kids’ Cancer Project Board, whose own son Aiden is a cancer survivor having been diagnosed at five years of age.
Mr Fisk made a bold opening statement that the mission of the charity, which started in 1993, is to close its doors within the next quarter century.
“It’s unacceptable to us that within the next 25 years there will be 25,000 diagnosed with cancer,” he said. “That would mean 50,000 parents faced with the statement from a doctor that 'your child has cancer'. And 50,000 siblings having to deal with their brother or sister having cancer.”
“There would also be 100,000 grandparents faced with supporting not only their grandchild, but also supporting their children supporting their child,” he said.
Mr Fisk went on to extrapolate the many people in the community who are affected by a child’s diagnosis, not least of all the 5,000 children who would certainly perish because effective treatment and cures had not been discovered.
Support of The Kids’ Cancer Project from the business community will ensure the work of Dr Gottardo and scientists just like him continues. But there are myriad ways to give as CEO, Owen Finegan explained.
“We also hold a corporate golf day which is great for team building or client entertainment,” said Mr Finegan. “People can call me on 1800 651 158 or email my team for more information about those events at firstname.lastname@example.org."
The Kids’ Cancer Project would like to thank supporters and sponsors of the 2019 Melbourne Cup luncheon along with all prize partners for their continued generosity.