30 Years of The Kids' Cancer Project


We're celebrating everything that our amazing community of supporters has achieved over the past 30 years. Read on to see first-hand stories of the support and generosity that has got us to where we are today.  

It is incredible to think that 30 years ago only 58% of kids survived cancer, now 86% do - and that the amazing work you'll read about in this article, thanks to people like you, has helped make that possible.

1993 – The Oncology Childrens’ Foundation was developed   

It all started on an ordinary day in the late 1980s when Col was driving his empty tourist coach past the Children’s Hospital in Camperdown, Sydney. After stopping to let two youngsters with bald heads cross the road, he parked and went into the hospital on the spur of the moment.

Touched by the spirit of everyone he met that day, Col started his personal mission to help kids with cancer in any way he could. Early on, he learned the only way to improve outcomes for these children is through advances in medical research.

1998 – Tumour Bank Developed  

Since its establishment in 1998, the Tumour Bank at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead has played a vital role in the treatment and diagnosis of childhood cancer patients.

Supported by funding from The Kids’ Cancer Project, the Tumour Bank stores more than 38,000 tumour tissue samples which have been made available to over 80 projects from around the world. Researchers use tumour samples to gain new information for better diagnosis and treatment of kids with cancer. 

Because childhood cancers are rare when compared to adult cancers, it is important that once diagnosed, a child’s tissue and blood samples are stored for future testing and research. 

2000 – World Cancer Day Established  

World Cancer Day was established by the Paris Charter and adopted at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris on 4 February 2000. This Charter aimed at the promotion of the research for curing as well as preventing the disease, upgrading the provided services to the patients, and the mobilisation of the global community against cancer. Now in its 23rd year, The Kids’ Cancer Project are proud to be encouraging our community to get involved.  

There are lots of ways you can support The Kids’ Cancer Project. Get involved today.

2002- Write a Book in a Day Established 

Write a Book in a Day is a fun, creative challenge that sees budding writers and illustrators create a book in just one day! Perfect for helping unlock creativity, the competition encourages literacy, teamwork and resilience. 

Write a Book in a Day began in 2002 as a partnership between Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre and Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth. Chris Oakeley from the Centre and a few volunteers run the competition and 18 teams raise money for the hospital.  

Since then, the competition has raised over $3 Million for The Kids’ Cancer Project. 

You can get involved today! The competition is now open: https://writeabookinaday.com/  

2009 – Bear Program Established  

The Kids’ Cancer Project Bear Program started in 2009 with the aim to bring comfort and cuddles to children in hospital. The program not only offers the opportunity to buy luxuriously soft, plush teddy bears for yourself or a loved one but also the satisfaction of donating them anonymously to children in hospitals all around Australia.  Hospital can be scary for children, but you can give them a cuddly friend so they never feel alone or afraid during their treatment.   

Since 2009, people like you have helped us donate roughly 280,000 to kids in hospitals across Australia.   

For more information and to donate a bear, visit our website: Our Bears 

2010 – Sydney Harbour Marriott

The Sales Department of the Sydney Harbour Marriott held an incredible fundraising campaign for The Oncology Children's Foundation over 12 weeks from May - July 2010. The group of twelve workers dubbed themselves “Team Tenacity” and rallied for donations and support from both corporate and individual members of the community. 

Team Tenacity raised over $2,000 for The Oncology Children's Foundation, and spread awareness of the important cause. You can start your own fundraiser and make a difference too! Sign up to fundraise today. 

2011 – Smartline Christmas in July 

Smartline’s Christmas in July event was developed in 2011 to raise funds for The Kids’ Cancer Project. The inaugural event raised $2,250. Since then, Smartline have gone on to raise over $100,000 for The Kids’ Cancer Project. We are so grateful! 

2012 – The Oncology Children’s Foundation changes to The Kids’ Cancer Project  

In 2012, the organisation changed their name to The Kids' Cancer Project to reflect our focus on research. 

The new identity took the brand from one that relied on leveraging the negative of cancer, to a positive, optimistic and future focused space. The molecular design communicates our belief in science as the answer and is also an interpretation of how it brings together the best research brains from around the world to become part of its project teams.

2013 – Shine Bright for The Kids  

A fundraising dinner with a catchy name, Shine Bright For The Kids began in 2013. Started by Jane Stapleton, along with her brother, son and daughter-in-law – they were keen to do something to give back to the community and help children. But what? After hearing our founder, Col Reynolds, speak at an event, they knew they wanted to support The Kids’ Cancer Project.  

Ever since, the enterprising team has raised over $65,000 for The Kids’ Cancer Project.  You can start your own fundraiser and make a difference too! Sign up to fundraise today. 

2013 – The Kids’ Cancer Project partner with Bondi to Bronte  

Since 2013, The Kids’ Cancer Project have partnered with the Macquarie Bondi to Bronte Ocean Swim and in that time, Bondi to Bronte swimmers have raised over $330,000 to help support vital kids’ cancer research.  

The Bondi to Bronte is one of Sydney's and Australia’s most iconic ocean swims. Traditionally starting at Bondi Beach, swimmers finish their journey at Bronte SLSC, the world’s first Surf Life Saving Club.  

You can prepare for the Bondi to Bronte ocean swim this year: Macquarie Bondi to Bronte Ocean Swim - Sydney Australia

2013 - Netball Associations  

Grassroots Netball NSW Associations have been a wonderful supporter of The Kids' Cancer Project for the last 10 plus years, raising funds through Crazy Hair & Sock Day. A chance for players, umpires and spectators alike, to let loose with some funky 'dos and spiffy socks and have some fun for the cause.  

Randwick Netball Association have participated in Crazy Hair & Sock Day and fundraised for The Kids' Cancer Project for 10 years and raised over $32,000 in this time. They have been our highest Crazy Hair & Sock Day fundraisers for the last 3 years.   

Get involved in Crazy Hair and Sock Day! Find our more information and register here.  

2013 - Life Changing Bequest 

The Kids’ Cancer Project were extremely grateful to receive a generous gift. An incredibly generous donor left a $1 million gift in their Will, received in 2013.  

If you or someone you know is considering leaving a Gift in their will, visit our website for more information.

2015 – Pirate Day Established   

Pirate Day is an annual day of dressing up to raise awareness and vital funds specifically for childhood brain cancer research. 

The only way to change that is to help fund vital research now. That’s why, during brain cancer awareness month each May, generous pirates dust off their swash-buckling best and gather as much treasure as they can for a great cause.  

Since 2015, Pirate Day has raised more than $630,000 thanks to swashbuckling schools, community groups and businesses across the country. This incredible support helps The Kids’ Cancer Project provide funding for scientific researchers, who are busy making waves in the lab to turn the tide on childhood brain cancer. 

You can get involved for Pirate Day  

2015 – RAMS Partnership Began 

RAMS has been an amazing partner and during our 8-year partnership, they have raised over $230,000 for The Kids’ Cancer Project. 

RAMS are the Principal Partner for our Autumn Golf Day every year. They have supported our organisation in lieu of media support during Childhood Cancer Awareness month in September by running our TVC.  

RAMS participate in a number of TKCP events and campaigns throughout the year including The Better Challenge, Women in Business lunches, Golf Days and Christmas for a Cure. 

If you're interested in becoming a partner, get in touch today.

2016 - Dr Levi & Tina Morse

Dr Levi & Tina Morse and their family started supporting The Kids’ Cancer Project back in 2016, after their eight-month-old son Orlando was diagnosed stage four, high-risk neuroblastoma. Dr Morse believes that “Anything that’s going to be a game changer in the future is going to come from cutting edge research.”

Since Dr Levi & Tina Morse have supported the Kids’ Cancer Project, they have made an inspirational effort through generously donating to The Kids’ Cancer Project for every surgery Dr Morse completes, organizing fundraising events that have included dinners, bus tours and school discos.   

2016 – Kokoda Trail  

In May 2016, eleven trekkers walking for The Kids’ Cancer Project took on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea.  

“Kokoda holds a special place for me and many Australians, its hallowed ground," said Col Reynolds – founder of The Kids’ Cancer Project and Kokoda trekker. 

“I walked the Kokoda track at seventy-seven years of age for two reasons; to honour that sacrifice of those Australian diggers who gave everything in defence of our great country, and to walk its razorback ridges, descend and climb its deep gullies through humid heat and chilly nights over eleven days to mirror the endurance of children battling cancer," he said.  

You can take on a trek and travel for The Kids’ Cancer Project. Conquer three of Australia’s highest mountains on the Tree Peaks Trek in Mt. Kosciusko. Sign up today. 

2016 - Tim Blair 220 km run

There is no stopping Tim Blair, an ultramarathon runner and social entrepreneur from Tasmania. 

In 2016, Tim journeyed to Nepal to run an epic 220 kilometres from Pokhara to Kathmandu. He ran the distance over three days and reached his destination on 17 September.   

"Hopefully we have achieved what we set out to do; that is to ... raise much needed funds for the most important people in the world – children.” 

The ultra marathon runner started Tim Blair – Run for Kids’ Foundation in 2014 after being inspired by children fighting cancer in his community and has donated over $130,000. 

Are you inspired to take on a challenge for childhood cancer research? Check out how you can here. 

2016 – Tom Pembroke Swim  

Tom Pembroke completed the Oceans Seven in the name of charity.  

The Oceans Seven comprises seven long-distance open water swims, which are compared to climbing the seven highest mountain peaks, the Seven Summits. Only six people in the world have completed the gruelling circuit. 

Tom’s efforts raised over $10,000 for the charity, which is truly inspiring. 

Take on your own challenge for The Kids' Cancer Project today! 

2016 - High Tea for a High Cause

When Sarah and Josh Weir were told in 2013 that their daughter Evie had cancer, they were overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness and despair. Evie had just turned two when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and she spent the next four years battling not only the cancer but also the side effects of treatment.

That sense of helplessness was mixed with hopefulness when the Weir family began High Tea for a High Cause in 2016 – an annual fundraiser for The Kids’ Cancer Project, a charity that supports childhood cancer research.  

This year, the event is extra special to commemorate 30 years of The Kids’ Cancer Project. Find out more and buy your tickets here.

2016 - Superkids Superheroes 

Declan Kane’s four-year battle with cancer began shortly before his fourth birthday, and his fight was more than heroic. His father, Simon, describes Declan as a true superhero.

It’s this superheroic fight that is the inspiration behind an annual fundraising event that Simon and his family launched in 2016 – Superkids Superheroes. Superkids Superheroes event is a 600km road trip from the Kane’s home of Bridgetown in Western Australia to the state’s capital. It is held every year in September, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The event is also a special way for Simon, his wife Kim, and sons Brodie and Kieren, to honour the life of Declan, who passed away on 18 May 2017. 

Since 2016, the event has raised over $350,000 for childhood cancer research.  

Find out more and support the Superkids Superheroes here. 

2017 - Lorraine Lea partnership began

Lorraine Lea has been an amazing partner and during our 6-year partnership, they have raised over $514,000 for The Kids’ Cancer Project.

Every June, they host their Party for Kids With Cancer Appeal and last year (2022) they raised $94,344 to fund advances in medical research. Lorraine Lea’s Party for Kids with Cancer Appeal was established in honour of the company’s co-founder, Peter Ryan, who lost his battle with cancer. 

If you're interested in becoming a partner, visit our website. 

2017 – WOTSO Partnership Began  

WOTSO have been a super engaged partner particularly with Jess Glew sitting on the Board of The Kids’ Cancer Project.

Since the commencement of our partnership, they have raised over $108,000 for The Kids’ Cancer Project. 

They participate in a number of TKCP events and campaigns throughout the year including The Better Challenge, Women in Business lunches, Golf Days and Christmas for a Cure.  

If you're interested in partnering with us, visit our website. 

2017 – Trekking the Great Wall

In 2017, four members of our community banded together for a common cause. In 2017, they trekked the Great Wall of China and raised almost $40,000 between them for research into childhood cancer. Theirs is an incredible story of adventure, loss, and success.    

Each person had a personal reason for being there – touched by childhood cancer in some way.   

“After five days trekking, you can really see the change in all of us. This journey has brought out something in each person.  Journeys like this are for the heart and will be forever in my memories.”

2017 – Hitting the road  

On Wednesday, 2 August The Kids’ Cancer Project hit the road to celebrate 25 years, and called on all Australians to get behind kids with cancer by supporting science. 

Cancer kills more children than any other disease in Australia which is why Col Reynolds, founder of The Kids’ Cancer Project, felt compelled to take the message to the streets. 

The former coach driver donned his coachman’s hat to drive nearly 10,000 kilometres starting in his hometown of Townsville and stopped in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT before arriving in Sydney on the first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month - 1 September 2017. 

2019 - The Bloody Long Day

In September 2019, Mark Pacey set himself the challenge to endure a 24-hour continuous ultra-triathlon to raise money for childhood cancer research as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. On Friday 6 September 2019, Mark Pacey swam for three hours, then alternated between cycling and running for the next 21 hours. It was an incredible display of resilience and strength, that raised over $44,000 for The Kids’ Cancer Project.  

The dad of two aptly dubbed his event, “The Bloody Long Day”. But the moniker has another deeper meaning that comes from personal experience; his youngest son Cooper was diagnosed with cancer at just seven years of age on 9 September 2010.   

Since then, the Bloody Long Day has turned into the event of the year in the community, and now all can get involved! The campaign has raised over $250,000 in the last five years. This year, to celebrate 30 years of The Kids’ Cancer Project, Mark is doing 30km in The Bay, where he will swim 30km in one day for childhood cancer research. You can support Mark by holding your own Bloody Long Day. Find out more and register here.

2020 - Toy Bear Drive  

Since 2020, a member of our community raised over $11,000 across via her toy bear drive fundraiser! She encourages her community to donate funds that are used to purchase bears for kids in hospital. That is 208 bears for kids in hospitals across Australia!  

She says “...If we can give 150 kids and their families a reason to smile, that’s amazing. The money funds research that can make a real difference in contributing to better treatments and better outcomes. What could be better than that?”  

Discover how to set up your own Toy Bear Drive here. 

2021 - Captain Australia

Four years ago, Captain Australia received a devastating cancer diagnosis. After seeing children suffering with the same treatments as adults, he knew something needed to change.   

This inspired Captain Australia’s Big Walk, in support of The Kids’ Cancer Project. The Captain walked from Brisbane to Melbourne, sleeping rough, with no help from planes, trains, buses or cars to transport him along the way. He raised over $160,000 for The Kids’ Cancer Project.   

This year, to celebrate 30 years of The Kids’ Cancer Project, he is doing it again – but BIGGER! Captain Australia is taking on Caps BIG LAP, where he aims to circumnavigate the country, walking from Brisbane to Brisbane on foot over the span of two years. You can support his journey here.

2021 - The Better Challenge was created  

The Better Challenge was launched Wednesday, 23 June with a call for individuals, teams of friends, and even businesses to register to run, walk or roll 90km throughout the month of September – Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 

“This is a fitness challenge, but better”, is one of the campaign’s cheeky lines with everyone participating invited to get behind raising funds for medical research.  

Since then, the campaign has raised over $1.4 million for childhood cancer research, and over 5,000 people have chosen to do BETTER.  

You can get involved today! Register now and start training to hit 90 km any way in September.

2022 – Larapinta Trek

In 2022, two groups of dedicated members from our community took on the Larapinta Trail to raise funds and awareness of The Kids’ Cancer Project.   

“It was also incredible to be with such an interesting and diverse group of people. Everyone had a story that brought them to Central Australia to do that walk, and everyone actually respected one another for their reasons for coming and the immense encouragement that they showed really helped us all to get there and to have an incredible time,” one of the trekkers, Sue Anderson said.  

You can take on a trek and travel for The Kids’ Cancer Project. Conquer three of Australia’s highest mountains on the Three Peaks Trek in Mt. Kosciusko.

The future  

Our vision is to see a one hundred per cent survival rate for children with cancer while eradicating the harmful impacts treatment can bring. The Kids’ Cancer Project - with the generous and dedicated help of our supporters like you - will keep going until we've achieved that.