CLCRF History

Remembering Dr Michael Willoughby AM

On Tuesday 23 June, Dr Michael Willoughby AM sadly passed away at his home at the age of 92.

Dr Willoughby is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Fiona; his sons Jonathan, James, and Henry; daughters-in-law Coraline, Thu, and Lucy; and grandchildren Thomas, August, Inigo, Jasmine, Massimo, Elodie, and Aidan.

Dr Willoughby was an incredible doctor and a pioneer in bone marrow transplants. He was the head of Oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital when our Chairman, Geoff Cattach’s son Brent needed a bone-marrow transplant.

“He said if we don’t go now, we may never get this chance again,” remembers Geoff. ‘My son wouldn’t be alive today, if he hadn’t,” said Geoff.

A true talent, the chance to work with Dr Willoughby had been one of the major factors that lured Professor Ursula Kees to Perth.

“We lose a visionary, years ahead of his time,” said Professor Kees. “The children in Western Australia had the best and most cutting-edge treatments.”

On behalf of The Foundation, we would like to express our heartfelt condolences to Dr Willoughby’s family. He was an incredible man and we will never forget the important work he did for the children of Western Australia.

Rest in peace.

Dr Michael Willoughby AM (4/8/1927 – 23/6/2020)

Did you know, CLCRF funded Western Australia’s first Cancer Tissue Bank?

During this milestone year for the Foundation, we look back at all of our successes and accomplishments over the past 40 years. Without a doubt, one of the biggest and most innovative achievements in CLCRF’s history was funding Western Australia’s first Cancer Tissue Bank.

This achievement was made possible by Professor Ursula Kees, Swiss-born scientist that was recruited from the German Cancer Research Centre in 1984 to head up the CLCRF Laboratory at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).


Did you know Danny Green was a hit with CLCRF?

Many of our supporters may know Justin Langer to be CLCRF’s Patron however, from 2004 to 2011, he was not alone in this prestigious role. Justin was in fact joined by none other than Perth boxing great Danny Green.

The Foundation was delighted to extend an invitation to Danny to be a Patron of the Foundation on May 10, 2004. It was thought that his international sporting profile would help raise much needed awareness of childhood cancer research and he was deemed a good fit for the Foundation, epitomising a true Aussie battler and always being a shining light of integrity and sportsmanship. Much like Justin, Danny also showed a passion for caring for children.

Prior to this invitation, Danny showed himself to be a generous supporter of the Foundation. In 2003, he generously donated a signed set of boxing gloves, a fight photo, and a shirt and cap to the Corporate Golf Day auction. Later that year, he also visited our research laboratory to present cancer patient, Lane Martino (representing the Foundation), with a cheque of $5,000 to assist with research.

As our patron, Danny Green helped the Foundation raise much needed funds for childhood cancer research by encouraging community support at fundraising events. In 2004, Danny joined Justin in helping 10-year-old Chris Parsons with “Remember Sinead Day”, an event he created in honour of his dear friend Sinead Murdoch who passed away from leukaemia. In its inaugural year, the event raised over $65,000 for childhood cancer research.

Danny provided wonderful support for the Foundation as a Patron and the manner in which he brought awareness to childhood cancer research was exceptional and most appreciated.

FUN FACT: We weren’t always called the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation

As supporters of the Foundation, you know us by the name Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation, or CLCRF for short, but did you know that wasn’t always our name?

From its inception in 1980, the Foundation first went by the name of the Fund Raising Committee of the Children’s Leukaemia & Allied Disorders Research Fund. It was in 1986 that the Foundation decided that this name was too much of a mouthful, publicising a name change in the newsletter distributed in June of that year.

“For some time, the members of the Fund Raising Committee of the Children’s Leukaemia & Allied Disorders Research Fund (C.L.A.D.R.F.) have expressed concern regarding the length of the Fund’s title, particularly in respect of their marketing and associated advertising” the newsletter announcement stated.

“Accordingly, it was agreed that in the interests of future marketing activities the Fund’s title be Children’s Leukaemia Research Fund.”

The Foundation, or Fund, was then referred to as the Children’s Leukaemia Research Fund until 1991.

After extensive discussion, the committee agreed to add the word ‘Cancer’ and to substitute the word ‘Foundation’ in lieu of ‘Fund’. After getting approval from the Chairman of the Board of Management at Princess Margaret Hospital, Mr Len Fletcher, as well as the Chief Executive Officer Ivor Davies, the name was officially changed and has remained ever since.

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