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A Christmas Letter of Hope

The Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (CLCRF) has a commitment to ensure the ground-breaking research we fund today will have a positive impact on our children of tomorrow, where no life is cut short by childhood cancers.

The Foundation’s purpose is driven by hope. Hope…hope? What does hope really signify? It is a complex word meaning different things to each of us during different times. Reference to the concept of hope—and its ability to both comfort and betray us—can even be found in the earliest Greek literature.

In our committed community of childhood cancer-fighting individuals I contend that hope is the fabric of our shared humanity. It keeps us looking toward a brighter future and helps children and their families to endure the oftentimes brutal treatments and social and personal adversities.

Advances in childhood cancer research and treatment have significantly improved survival rates of patients over the last forty years. Long-term survivors of childhood cancer are increasingly common, and research is more and more directed at helping people live well after a diagnosis of cancer. These advances have provoked optimism among researchers, but many still hesitate to use the word hope in literature such as journal articles, editorials, or essays.

But, when we communicate with children and their families here at the Foundation, our language used needs to be clear, easy to understand, and reassuring. Having things to hope for is important for all people affected by cancer.

A sense of hope and will to carry on will vary daily depending on one’s current physical status, psychological outlook and treatment success or failure. The hope is to be kept alive, to live, and to recover through a resilient attitude rather than a feeling of despair. These are tough obstacles to endure, particularly as a child.

Hope is shared with a child’s team of family, friends, Oncology staff and a greater network of supporters. The future is often unclear, and it is hope that keeps one alive to fight for another day, a month, a year, and a return to better health. It affords another opportunity to respond to treatment and to live.

At the Foundation, it is the hope of myself and my team, that we are contributing in some small way to the hope of our families, not just as a not-for-profit but as an ideal: that we can make a difference. As 2021 comes to a close, we reflect that there is a lot more work that lies ahead of us. To both, in the short term, continue to fundraise for the groundbreaking research children affected with cancer so desperately need, and long term, to build on our already strong foundation and continue to innovate in the not-for-profit space, because we just cannot accept that children to continue to die prematurely from cancer. We will not.

And to you, our loyal friends of the Foundation, we hope that we have provided you with an update of where your generous gifts are making an impact throughout the year. We remain hopeful because of the relationships we have built with you, so we don’t have to look far to find inspiration and hope.

Thinking warmly of each of you and wishing your family much joy and hope this Christmas.

Andrea Alexander, CEO