Announcement: Set sail on Pirate Day 2021

Announcement: Set sail on Pirate Day 2021

Let’s turn the tide on brain cancer this Pirate Day!

Let’s turn the tide on brain cancer this Pirate Day!

This May thousands of buccaneers across Australia will be hoisting the mainsail for The Kids’ Cancer Project’s Pirate Day 2021. Pirate Day is a swashbuckling day of dressing up like a pirate to raise money for children's brain cancer research.

With more kids in Australia dying of brain cancer than any other disease, now is it the time to make a difference. This Pirate Day, we want Australians to help us turn the tide on childhood brain cancer!

Pirate Day has raised more than $360,000 for brain cancer research since 2015. These funds are already helping researchers make waves in the lab.

Read more: Behind the science, Professor Joshua McCaroll

This year, there are even more scientists ready to get on board to work towards finding cures. By donning an eyepatch and brushing up on your yo-ho-hos, you can have fun raising money to help researchers improve outcomes for kids with cancer.

At The Kids’ Cancer Project, we’ll be setting sail on our Pirate Day on Friday 14 May. But pirate crews around Australia can choose any day in May, coinciding with May being Brain Cancer Awareness Month.

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Pirate Day 2021 Scientists

Money raised this year will be directed to Dr Raelene Endersby, Co-Head, Brain Tumour Research at Telethon Kids Institute. The team have recently received a grant from The Kids’ Cancer Project for a scientific collaboration with a number of groups around Australia and the United States. 

“In a project funded by The Kids’ Cancer Project we are investigating an exciting new immunotherapy treatment and we are optimising the best way to deliver it to children diagnosed with brain cancer to get the greatest effect,” says Dr Endersby.

The study looks into immunotherapy’s ability to teach the body’s immune system to recognise and destroy brain cancer cells. Their research has the potential to lead to new clinical trials in the near future.

“This funding, and any additional research funding we can obtain, means that we can get our research achieved faster, and in turn we can advance these new treatments to the clinic more rapidly to help children with brain cancer,” Dr Endersby says. 

Read more: Turning the tide on kids' cancer


Improving outcomes

Col Reynolds OAM, founder of The Kids’ Cancer Project is delighted by the Pirate Day initiative.

“It’s great to have a bit of fun despite the serious nature of kids’ cancer,” he said. “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.”

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Apart from working on exciting new research, how will Dr Endersby and her research crew be getting involved in Pirate Day?

“Shiver me timbers, me and my fellow scallywags will definitely be increasing awareness by getting our pirate gear on, but at the same time we’ll get all hands-on deck in the lab,” she says.

To register a Pirate Day event or make a donation, visit


The facts:

·       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.

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