Kayakers Fundraise for 20 years

In the words of Greg Robertson, President of Mo55sKC:

Mandurah over 55s Kayak Club (Mo55sKC) held its 20th annual Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.) (CLCRF)  paddle event on 23 April.

The Club staged a special selection of paddling options to suit all participants, followed by a riverside barbecue.

Paddlers launched at Murray Bend and chose from 30km, 15km or 10km courses.

Attendees paid an entry fee and participated in raffle draws to raise funds on the day.  Many members unable to attend, or choosing not to paddle, still contributed. Others also donated in-kind for the barbecue lunch so everyone was well fed.

Several Club members are involved in a Book Club and a Craft Club which annually raise funds for CLCRF too.

Consolidating all sources, including Mo55sKC mid-year raffles and members’ direct donations, the total raised for 17/18 was over $2,100.

Mo55sKC will be planning a ‘paddle event with a difference’ next year to celebrate its 21st CLCRF fundraiser. Paddlers and non-paddlers interested in being involved should enquire via [email protected] for details.

We all look forward to April 2019.


Photo credit: Robert Wroth

A 22-Year Labour of Love

Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.) has greatly benefited from 22 years of loyal service and dedication from Andrea Alexander, who has served as Executive Officer since July 1996. In May 2018, Andrea was promoted to Chief Executive Officer of the CLCRF by the board.

“I am very honoured to be named as the first CEO of the Foundation.  As EO for the past 22 years – I feel I can do justice to this title and continue the wonderful work of CLCRF,” said Andrea.

Andrea commenced her career at Princess Margaret Hospital as an enthusiastic 15-year-old and quickly learned the ‘ins and outs’ of the hospital, displaying an impressive level of maturity and intelligence for her age. She moved on to work as an Administrative Assistant for Kim Williamson, our current Treasurer, at the Princess Margaret Children’s Medical Research Foundation (Inc.) (PMCMRF) in 1984.

In 1990, the PMCMRF ceased to exist, and Andrea moved into the role of Secretary of the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at Princess Margaret Hospital.

After a move to Melbourne in 1993 for her husband’s employment, Andrea and her family moved back to Perth in 1996. At that point, the Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.) had risen as a ‘phoenix rising from the ashes’ after the PMCMRF dissolved.

In 1996 Kim Williamson, who was Executive Officer of the newly formed CLCRF, moved on from his role to take a different employment direction. After discussions between Kim and Geoff Cattach, Chairman, Andrea was appointed as Executive Officer of the Foundation to succeed Kim.

Since 1996, as a proud wife of Gordon and mother of two children, Calum and Mara, Andrea has gone from strength to strength as Executive Officer of the CLCRF. She has lead her administrative team with passion, unwavering loyalty, professionalism and compassion for children and their families dealing with childhood cancer.

The Foundation thanks Andrea for her labour of love over these 22 years and commitment to the cause of raising funds for child cancer research. We look forward to Andrea leading the way as Chief Executive Officer for many years to come.

Southwest Bike Trek 2018

The inaugural 2018 Southwest Bike Trek is set to start on Sunday 7 October in Subiaco near the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.) office, and finish in Augusta on Saturday 13 October. As in previous years, it will be organised by trek organiser and CLCRF Foundation member, Eric Maddock, with the help of Lions and Rotary Clubs.

The trek will commence in Subiaco and a team of bike riders will make their way to Fairbridge on Sunday 7 October. On Monday the 8th, riders will travel to Preston then back to Fairbridge. From Fairbridge they will head over to Harvey. On Wednesday, from Harvey they will ride to Eaton. They will travel from Eaton to Busselton the following day. From Busselton they will travel to Margaret River and finish at the Augusta Lighthouse on Saturday 13 October.

Last year the Southwest Bike Trek raised an incredible $23,400 for the CLCRF and over the years it has raised just under $700,000 in total!

If you want to have a great cycling experience and explore the Southwest region at a leisurely pace, while raising money for child cancer research just sign up now – contact Eric Maddock and call him on 0433 905 703 or email [email protected].

CLCRF Scientists Discover Bone Density Treatment Slows Progression of Leukaemia

Researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute who are funded by the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.) have discovered a vital key to the progression of leukaemia in children. This finding has led to a paradigm shift in how researchers think about treating patients with leukaemia. The researchers have found that treating the cancer cells as well as their environment is key.

In new ground breaking research published in the Nature journal, Leukemia, by a team of scientists, including Dr Rishi Kotecha, led by Telethon Kids Cancer Centre researcher, Dr Laurence Cheung, documented how they have identified the mechanism of bone loss that occurred during the development of leukaemia. When the microenvironment around the leukaemia cells were treated, this was able to reduce the progression of leukaemia.

The findings, while still in the pre-clinical phase, are promising and suggest that targeting the microenvironment around leukaemia cells can help fight leukaemia and also provide relief for one of its most painful side-effects, bone loss.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is the most common cancer among children and common cause of cancer-related death in those under 20 years of age. Dr Cheung’s study focused on the most common form of leukaemia in children, a subtype of ALL known as pre-B ALL.

“When we created a pre-clinical model replicating this kind of leukaemia, we witnessed substantial bone loss during the development of the cancer,” Dr Cheung said.

“We went back to the literature and found that more than a third of children diagnosed with pre-B ALL had symptoms of bone pain and skeletal defects at the time they were diagnosed – suggesting leukaemia cells can alter their surrounding environment.”

The researchers wanted to discover what was causing the bone loss, and identified a signal produced by the leukaemia cells which instructed cells in the microenvironment – known as osteoclasts – to eat away at the bone.

“Then we thought, what if we stop the bone-eating cells from eating the bone away – will this have an impact on the development of leukaemia?” Dr Cheung said.

The team used a commercially available drug called zoledronic acid – already known to be safe for children and used to treat brittle bone disease – to target the cells in the microenvironment around the leukaemia cells.

“Importantly, we found that this not only compensated for the leukaemia-dependent bone fragility, but also reduced leukaemia progression,” Dr Cheung said.

He said although similar thinking had been applied previously to cancer in adults, the finding offered an exciting new treatment angle for children.

“To date, the main strategy for cancer therapy in children has focused on targeting malignant cells with chemotherapy, which is toxic for the leukaemia cells but also toxic for the patient.

“Our finding that the cells surrounding the leukaemia cells can contribute to treatment failure or success has led to a paradigm shift.

“It’s not going to replace chemotherapy, but we propose that using chemotherapy and treating the microenvironment at the same time will have more benefit than just the chemotherapy by itself.

“What it really shows is that it’s important to look at that whole picture, and not just the leukaemia cells, because the leukaemia cells and the cells in the surrounding microenvironment are all talking to each other.”

The next step of their study is to expand the research using a similar treatment on other sub-types of the same kind of leukaemia to see if a similar impact could be achieved and to ensure that zoledronic acid was compatible with current chemotherapy agents.

“There’s quite a way to go yet, but it’s exciting to think about the paradigm shift this represents for children’s leukaemia, as well as the dual benefits it offers: both slowing the progression of the leukaemia, and mitigating this really common and painful side effect suffered by children with leukaemia, and that is the bone loss,” Dr Cheung said.

The full paper, New therapeutic opportunities from dissecting the pre-B leukemia bone marrow microenvironment, can be read here.

The CLCRF is proud to fund key groundbreaking research in leukaemia and look forward to further exciting developments. If you would like to give towards child cancer research please donate to the CLCRF.

Include a Charity Week

Include a Charity Week is a campaign organised by the Fundraising Institute of Australia held on 10-14 September. The campaign aims to provide resources to charities to promote bequests and raise awareness of bequests to charities when writing a will.

If you would like to find out about the events held during Include a Charity Week head over to the Fundraising Institute of Australia site.

Wendy Kearns of CLCRF will also be attending a Bequest masterclass on Tuesday 15 May as part of Include a Charity Week.

These are just some of the many ways that the CLCRF team are upskilling and increasing our effectiveness in raising funds for cancer research.

Consider making a bequest in your will to child cancer research through CLCRF. For more information as to how to make a bequest head over to ‘Leave a Bequest’ and download a free copy of our Bequest pamphlet.

Volunteers Needed for the Perth Tradie Expo

Each year, Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.) participates in the Perth Tradie Expo and we are on the lookout for volunteers to help collect donations at the Expo. This year, the Expo will take place in Ascot Racecourse on 22-24 June from 8am to 5pm and is sponsored by Toolmart.

Catering to the DIY pro through to the experienced tradie, the Expo’s theme this year is ‘Work! Drive! Play! Save!’. The Expo will feature a huge range of machinery and equipment, over 90 tool brands, commercial vehicles and light trucks, tradie resource hubs, DIY products and services, tradie and camping trailers, as well as recruitment and training services for tradies.

Entry to the Expo will be via a gold coin donation to two charities including Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation, and these will be collected by our amazing volunteers. Last year our volunteers raised $6,240.90 by collecting entry fees! If you are interested in volunteering, you can choose your shift and volunteer as little or as much as you like! You would be collecting much-needed funding for cancer research and also enjoying an opportunity to check out the Perth Tradie Expo.

Simply contact the CLCRF office on (08) 9363 7400 or email [email protected] to register yourself as a volunteer!

Telethon Beneficiaries Celebration 2018

On Tuesday 1 May, Telethon 7 Perth held the 2018 Beneficiaries Function at the Crown Perth to celebrate Telethon giving 36 million dollars worth of grants to charities and organisations who meet set criteria.

CLCRF CEO, Andrea Alexander and Board Chairman, Geoff Cattach, attended the event in recognition of the Foundation becoming a Million Dollar Partner in 2017.

It was a heart-warming celebration, as summed up by Telethon’s General Manager, Marie-Anne Keeffe:

“It’s very hard to find words to describe today. Channel 7’s Telethon gave out 36 million dollars raised by the people of our state to 43 of WA’s brilliant child health organisations – they’ll provide world class hospitals, treatments, equipment and services.

“Our inspirational boss, Mr Kerry Stokes, handed over the chairmanship of the Telethon Trust to a business and community leader admired across the nation, Mr Richard Goyder.

“Yes there were tears, but not just mine – a room full of them, for the incredible children that remind us everyday why we dig so deep and why every donation matters.”

It was a wonderful celebration and CLCRF is honoured to be a Million Dollar Partner with Channel 7’s Telethon. We look forward to raising more money for vital child cancer research in this exciting partnership.

Run in the City to Surf for CLCRF!

The Chevron City to Surf is on Sunday, 26 August 2018. Support CLCRF this year and start your fundraising page.

It has a 42km marathon, 21km half marathon, 12km, 4km fun run and walk events and a 4km wheelchair event. Chevron City to Surf is run annually on the last Sunday in August and attracts over 40,000 participants each year.

With a great festival atmosphere, runners start in Perth City and finish at City Beach overlooking the sparkling Indian Ocean. So, what are you waiting for? Support child cancer research, have fun and start fundraising!

CLCRF Patron Justin Langer set to become Australian Cricket Coach

Australia has reportedly chosen Justin Langer — The Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (inc.) Patron — as the new head coach, with The Cricket Australia board due to meet on Friday to ratify the decision.

The West Australian reported that Langer will replace outgoing head coach Darren Lehmann, who resigned last month in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal during the Baggie Green’s tour of South Africa.

Geoff Cattach, Chairman of Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc.), congratulates Justin Langer on behalf of the Foundation for his appointment.

“Congratulations to our Patron, Justin Langer – on his appointment as coach of the Australian Cricket Team.

“I firmly believe he will bring integrity and experience to the side. We wish him all the best in this challenging position.”

Langer, the former test opening batsman, has coached Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers for the past five seasons, winning three Big Bash League crowns and two one-day titles and has been our patron for 18 years.

Justin, his wife Sue and his three children demonstrate a passionate commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of our young Western Australians.

Dance For a Cure 2018 Update

In 2018 we are hoping to hold two Dance for A Cure events. The first may be an underage rave! We are still in negotiations for this event so bear with us while we set things up.

Secondly, we’re heading back to the general public dance event. We are moving to a new location (which we will announce once it’s locked in) and the date will hopefully be the 25th of November 2018.

As soon as we have everything confirmed we will announce the song, the theme and the structure. For now, please save the date. To keep in touch with the latest updates join our Dance for A Cure Facebook Group!

News Archive