Georgia’s a rock star

Source: Serpentine Jarradale Examiner – Issue 1516 • June 30th 2022 – Pages 1 & 3
Author: Chris Fowler

A Mundijong resident and childhood cancer survivor had her dreams realised on Wednesday, when the Childhood Leukemia and Cancer Research Foundation (CLCRF) gifted her a brand-new truck, to combine her love of hose-riding with her role as foundation ambassador.

Georgia Lowry was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of infantile leukemia at just eight weeks old, suffering through a punishing regimen of radiotherapy to combat the disease’s terrifying two per cent rate of survival. At six months of age, Georgia became the youngest bone marrow transplant recipient for leukemia in Australia, thanks to a donation from her sister, Grace. Following years of treatment, including periods of remission and return and a second bone marrow transplant, Georgia recovered, although she still suffers from the after-effects of her radiation treatments.

Having recently celebrated her 28th birthday, Georgia has volunteered as anambassador for CLCRF since 2012, enthusiastically giving her time to promote the foundation through public speaking and school visits. Time and energy, however, is not the only thing Georgia has contributed to cancer research. To this day, researchers around the world use Georgia’s cell lines to get a better understanding of how to treat the disease.

“We’ve got a tissue bank that we’ve been running here in WA for about 42 years and Georgia’s cell-lines are the rock stars,” CLCRF General Manager Kylie Dalton said.
“We test different drug protocols and when a research project is looking for a particular cell line, they will request those cells.”

For reasons still unknown, Georgia’s cells can be grown in the laboratory far more successfully than most. “Georgia’s cells seem to be able to do that,” Ms Dalton said. “I wish I could answer that, I really do. We just know that Georgia is a rock star in her own right.
“She’s an incredible ambassador for us and she’s the example of why research matters.
“For her to get up every single day and do what she does is incredible, if you know the journey she has gone through. She is my superhero.”
“To be able to give back to her so she can live her best life is such a thrill.”

Ever enthusiastic, and quietly humble, Georgia said that being gifted the truck hasn’t hit home yet.
“It was such a surreal day, like it was a “I was so overwhelmed by seeing the truck for the first time, I was quite a mess.
“It’s a new life for me, I’m hon oured to be able to spread the word about such an amazing foundation, it’s a family, they are so supportive and so set on making cancer history.
“I’m just really privileged to be a part of it.”

Speaking of her ‘rock star’ cell lines, Georgia is quick to acknowledge the medical researchers who use them.
“Something good has come out of something bad,” Georgia said.
“They’re still working really hard; I think they have had a few breakthroughs but they’re still consistently testing on my cells and finding new ways to eliminate cancer.
“When I was a baby, it was the radiation that did the most harm to my body, and they’ve eliminated the amount of radiation needed, using that just as a last resort instead of straight away.
“It’s truly something, and like I said I’m privileged to be a part of it. I’m just honoured.”
“I’m definitely not the worst off, there are so many people worse off than me, and to head to schools and see a smile, or have a kid ask a question, that makes my day.
“That’s what I’m there for and that’s what I love to do.

Donate to the Georgia Lowry Project today!