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Register now for the 2018 Friends of Finlay Camp Out!

Join us on Saturday 27 October, 2018 for the fun and exciting  Friends of Finlay Camp Out!

We had a fabulous time camping out with our little ambassador, Finlay Higgs, last year. This year you are invited to the 2018 Friends of Finlay Camp Out on Saturday 27 October at Lathlain Park.

The Camp Out highlights the need for increased research into Hepatoblastoma and all money raised will go to the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.).

It’s going to be a bigger event this year with: Perth Demons footy kicking, a Jumpy Castle, Superhero Entertainers, Giant Games, live music, Face Painting and BBQ dinner!

We have amazing custom-made Friends of Finlay Sleeping Bags on sale. They were a massive hit last year, so don’t miss out and purchase your Friends of Finlay Sleeping Bags filled with warm and comfortable duck down for children!

Be quick and register now!

Event: Friends of Finlay Camp Out 2018
Date: Sat 27- Sun 28 Oct
Start Time: Saturday 2:00PM
End Time: Sunday 8:30AM
Location: Lathlain Park, Goddard St, Lathlain WA
Cost: $25 for Adults. $15 for Children (11-16). FREE for children under 10.
Register at: Camp Out Registration

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Chronicles of Narnia High Tea & Fashion Show

On Friday 28 September at 2pm the Bunbury Senior Citizens Club is holding a Chronicles of Narnia High Tea & Fashion Show at the Bunbury Senior Citizens Club, 1 Stirling Street, Bunbury to raise money for the 2018 Southwest Bike Trek. Funds raised from the Southwest Bike Trek will go to the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.) for childhood cancer research.

One of the participants of the Southwest Bike Trek is organising the fundraising High Tea and Fashion Show. There will be a continuous flow of tea and coffee with shared homemade treats, and Wardrobe Fashion will be showcasing the best of their evening and day wear for summer.

Not only that, the event will feature a White Witch Parade, Turkish Delight Competition, Gold Coin Pitch and other fun games such as Lucky Money Boards. Those attending are invited to wear their wedding dress or simply a crown for the White Witch Parade – prizes will go to the person with the most innovative costume! Tickets are only $20 and anyone interested in attending should contact Betty on 0419 648 260.

The High Tea will be funding the Southwest Bike Trek this year, which is held from Sunday 7-13 October and will start in Perth and end in Margaret River. To explore the Southwest on bike at a leisurely pace and meet like-minded bike riders, contact Eric Maddock on 0433 905 703 or email swbiketrrek@gmail.com.

CLCRF thanks the Bunbury Senior Citizens Club and the organisers of the annual Southwest Bike Trek for their fundraising efforts to further childhood cancer research! If you are in the Bunbury area, please support the High Tea and Fashion Show by booking your tickets with Betty on 0419 648 260.

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Fulton Hogan Chooses the CLCRF

On Friday 20 July, Foundation CEO, Andrea Alexander, visited the Landsdale site of company Fulton Hogan Ltd.

Fulton Hogan Ltd. has more than 80 years’ experience in the transport, water, energy, mining, civil construction and land development infrastructure in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific. They create communities from the ground up, starting with their own network of quarries, which is complemented by our asphalt, emulsion and precast plants across Australia and New Zealand.

Andrea was there to accept a donation of $1,000 from the employees, as part of Fulton Hogan’s safety initiative, where the company rewards the field team that works the most safely with a donation to a chosen charity.

The team based at Landsdale chose CLCRF to be the beneficiary.

Many thanks to the Fulton Hogan employees for choosing CLCRF and their generous support – this will greatly benefit research into childhood cancer research.

If your organisation would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation, find out more about Workplace Giving and see how it can benefit your organisation as well as child cancer research.

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Happy 5th Birthday Finlay!

One of our favourite young ambassadors, Finlay Higgs, recently turned five on 23 July! We had the pleasure of wishing him a very happy birthday and giving him a present!

Finlay Higgs was a happy little blue-eyed, fair-haired, 18-month old boy when his mother, Katey Higgs, discovered an unusual protrusion on his stomach on the Australia Day Weekend of 2015. Doctors found that the lump on his side was caused by a large tumour distending his stomach. They diagnosed him with Stage Four High Risk Hepatoblastoma, which is a very rare form of liver cancer that is most often diagnosed in children under the age of three.

His only option at the time was to undergo surgery to remove the tumour and the diseased parts of the liver. Surgeons managed to remove the entire right lobe of Finlay’s liver, leaving only the smaller left lobe behind. They removed his gall bladder, bile ducts and also cut out a tumour from his diaphragm. Pathology on the tumour found that the cancer was active tissue, however all margins around the tumour were clear of cancer cells, which was good news.

To this day, Finlay continues to bravely fight his cancer. After multiple surgeries and treatments, his diagnosis is now Stage Four High-Risk Refractory Hepatoblastoma, and is a living and breathing miracle to have survived so far. He is receiving CT scans as well as liver function and other tests every three months.

Finlay turning five is a very happy and momentous occasion for the Higgs family! The Foundation wants to wish Finlay the very best birthday and also many, many more to come! Finlay will be the star of the Friends of Finlay Camp Out on 27 October at Lathlain. Be sure to buy tickets for the Camp Out that will raise awareness and money for research into childhood cancers!

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Gracie meets Nic Nat from the West Coast Eagles

It’s not often you have the opportunity to meet your sporting icon at just six years old, but that’s exactly what happened to six-year-old Gracie who is fighting a double dose of childhood cancer, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and Lymphoma.

Gracie attending a closed training session at Lathlain Park ahead of The Eagles trip to Victoria to take on Collingwood at the MCG.

Whilst the Eagles are fighting for a final berth on the field, Gracie has been fighting her own battles closer to home for nearly three years.

Back in 2015, after suffering urinary tract infections and severe bouts of pain for six months, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). She had only just turned three. Over the two-and-a-half-year treatment period, Gracie endured innumerable and varied chemotherapy treatments, countless invasive procedures and scans, multiple blood transfusions and platelets, regular needling and painful dressing changes, a nasal gastric tube, over 40 trips to theatre and was kept in a hospital isolation room for weeks on end, unable to leave.

She also suffered many side effects from the treatment that rid her body of the leukaemia.

Her treatment also meant she couldn’t do the things other three-year-olds would take for granted, such as a trip to the shops, swimming lessons, playing with animals and attending friends’ birthday parties, as her body lacked the ability to fight infection.

Despite all the setbacks, mother, Catherine, said despite the physical and mental traumas that no child should ever suffer, Gracie has a huge, warm personality.

“She is captivating, creative, funny, charismatic, intelligent, loving, and incredibly empathic. She always carries a beaming smile, no matter what she endures, making the two and a half years of treatment so much easier on those around her who are still struggling to come to terms with it all.

“She has the ability to always make the most of every single situation, and takes great pleasure in helping people and making them happy.”

The chemotherapy was initially successful but after five months, she showed symptoms of a virus-like illness and it was discovered that Gracie had relapsed.

This time the disease had come back refractory and it had mutated. Not only did Gracie have 70% leukemic blasts in her bone marrow, she also had a large lymphoma mass between her abdominal wall. After consulting with specialists all over the world, it was discovered that no one had ever seen a presentation like this, not in children or adults.

Gracie was immediately started a 29-day cycle of chemotherapy which required her to be an inpatient for just over seven weeks. This really took a toll on Gracie emotionally and psychologically.

Gracie was then put on a 28-day course of continuous IV Immunotherapy. It initially required a week’s stay in hospital, then the majority of the rest of the course at home. Scans at the end of this treatment had shown her bone marrow was in remission, and the tumour significantly reduced.

A second 28-day course of continuous IV immunotherapy began and Gracie is currently half way through this treatment cycle.

There is a scheduled bone marrow transplant in August, which increases chances of survival from 5% to 50%, followed by two weeks of radiotherapy.

“Gracie deserves the chance to beat this beast once and for all,” said Catherine.

“She has so much to offer this often bleak world. She is one of a kind, she is here to make a difference, and she will.”

The Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation wishes Gracie the best possible outcome in her up and coming treatment and we know her constant determination and a positive attitude will pull her through!

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Dr Sébastien Malinge Investigates Resistant Cancer Cells

French scientist, Dr Sébastien Malinge, moved from Paris to Perth six months ago to work as an Ursula Kees Fellow. He now works in a lab funded by the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation within the Telethon Kids Institute. Sébastien is enjoying his time in Perth and continues his insightful research into better therapies for children who have leukaemia. We interviewed Sébastien on 12 April at the Telethon Kids Institute to learn more about him and his research.

Sébastien’s PhD research in 2006 at the Necker Hospital in Paris was focused on discovering the genetic causes of leukaemia among children with Down’s Syndrome. Sébastien then moved to the United States to complete a post-doctoral fellowship to investigate why children with Down’s Syndrome were at higher risk of developing leukaemia than children without the condition. He moved back to Paris in 2012 to expand on what he studied.

When asked about what receiving the Ursula Kees Fellowship means to him, Sébastien says he feels privileged to receive this position.

“I met Ursula in 2016 when she invited me to present my work at the Telethon Kids Institute.

“I am very proud of having received this fellowship and continue to pursue her legacy. We work towards the same goal of finding better treatments for children with leukaemia.”

Sébastien is currently focusing on building a cohort of preclinical tools to test hypotheses with the view of testing new cancer therapies. He seeks to understand why some children relapse and the reason as to why some cancer cells are resistant to chemotherapy. He hopes that his research will give some clues to develop new therapies targeting therapy-resistant cancer cells and decrease the rate of relapse.

Sébastien believes that funding into cancer research is crucial for discovering better therapies.

“Some of these leukaemia treatments for children are successful but have high toxicity. Therefore, we need funding to find better ways to maximise the well-being of these children not only during but also after chemotherapy.”

Thank you Dr Sébastien Malinge for accepting the Ursula Kees fellowship. We are excited to have you on board and look forward to learning more about your research into finding better therapies for children with leukaemia.

Antonio-Argentieri

Antonio’s Support for the CLCRF

Antonio Argentieri, a well-known cake decorator from Italy, has been a passionate supporter of the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.) for several years. In 2017 Antonio organised the 19th National Cake Decorating Seminar in Perth and raised funds for the CLCRF with the help of the Cake Decorators Association of WA.

More recently, Antonio has put together a ‘Cooking Charity Show’ on popular Italian television cooking show, ‘La Prova del Cuoco’ in Italy to raise money for the CLCRF. The show will air on 17-18 July at a bistro called Alla Marino in Italian city, Vasto. The show will be streamed live in Australia, Canada and USA from 5.30pm Italian time. Over two days of fun, the show will feature Italian culinary excellence from Antonio, special guests, his friends and other chefs. The CLCRF will feature during the show and viewers across the world will find out more about the Foundation and the great importance of raising funds for world class child cancer research.

When asked about why Antonio has such a heart for funding child cancer research, he believes that he did not choose the Foundation but it chose him.

“I did not choose the Foundation but the CLCRF, in a sense, chose me. I have been working with the Cake Kids Therapy group where children who have had difficulties in life are taught how to make and decorate cakes. I ‘fell in love at first sight’ with the CLCRF because I really want to give hope to children suffering from cancer.

“No one can know if among these many suffering children there may be a man or woman who will make the difference and build a hopeful future. Together we can put smiles on children’s faces by giving to the CLCRF.”

The Foundation thanks you for your passionate and invaluable support Antonio! We are deeply touched by your love for children going through such a difficult time and your help in promoting the cause of funding child cancer research in Italy and across the world!

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Perth Tradie Expo 2018

Greeted by beautiful weather, the Perth Tradie Expo was held at Ascot Racecourse from Friday 22 June through to Sunday 24 June. It was a great opportunity for tradies and DIY enthusiasts to discover the latest tools and machinery and a great chance to find an end-of-the-financial-year bargain.

Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.) were invited to the Expo this year to collect gold coin donations for entry. Our team of wonderful volunteers helped collect entry donations on all three days of the Expo from generous tradies and the public. A grand total of $5,182.45 was raised by the volunteers over the weekend!

A big thank you goes out to Toolmart for inviting the Foundation to collect donations again, the generous tradies who gave and also to our amazing volunteers for giving up their time to collect donations for child cancer research! We are looking forward to returning to the Expo in 2019!

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Congratulations to the Raffle Winner!

Our ‘Lucky Numbers’ Raffle #45 (Permit No LS211195618) was drawn on Thursday 28 June. The winning ticket was no. 11147.
The Winner of the $15,000 CASH has now been contacted and is extremely HAPPY!

Our next raffle has started and is drawn on 31 October – if you would like to purchase tickets – please ring our Raffle Hotline 1300 139 651 OR head to our raffle website.

Thanks to all who supported this raffle and helped raise money for vital research into childhood cancers!

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Pyjamas & Dancing For Child Cancer Research

In May, the Sharon Biddle School of Dance  held a ‘Pyjama Week’ at the school where kids were invited to wear their pyjamas to all their dance classes and put a gold coin in a tin to raise money for the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.).

At the end of the week, they held a ‘Lights Out Disco’ where kids paid $10 per ticket, which included pizza and a drink. With light-up products to buy, an opportunity to get their nails painted or hair braided, games and lots of dancing, everyone had a blast!

“We’re all very happy with the amount raised and the kids at the studio have had lots of fun,” said Sharon Biddle.

Throughout the week, the school raised an amazing $2,008!

Thank you so much to Sharon and the children of the Sharon Biddle School of Dance for wearing pyjamas and dancing for child cancer research!