As Christmas approaches, it is important that we stop and reflect on the joy and blessings in our lives while also being aware that not everyone is so fortunate. In the early 1980’s, after two of my sons were struck by cancer, I became actively involved in fundraising for childhood cancer research.
This year I turned 80 years young and am still actively involved in funding this research at the Telethon Kids Institute through the Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation.
I helped establish CLCRF with Peter Harper, who was also inspired by his own child’s battle with leukaemia. There was no research into childhood cancer being done in Western Australia back then so we set out to raise funds for this purpose. Within two years, we raised $100,000 and were ready to start funding research.
While you shop for gifts for your loved ones, please consider setting aside a part of your Christmas budget to support the important work of CLCRF with a tax-deductible charitable donation.
My son Brent was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia just shy of his third birthday and then the unthinkable happened when my other son, Stewart, developed a brain tumour at 13 years old. Back then, only 30 percent of children with leukaemia survived but I never gave up hope.
During this time, Brent’s condition deteriorated dramatically, and he was diagnosed as clinically dead on the twenty fifth of November 1984.
Sometime in December the head of Oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital asked us for permission to do a bone-marrow transplant, using marrow from our middle son David. The procedure took place on Christmas Eve, giving us the best Christmas present ever.
Medical research alone has improved childhood cancer survival rates to over 80 percent but there are still some types of cancer – such as brain tumours and neuroblastoma – with much lower rates. Help us improve the chances of survival for all children by making a donation today.
It is because of this opportunity that my son is still with us today. Thanks to our research, children have much better outcomes to treatment… we want to give them more.
Your support is crucial in achieving our goal to ensure future generations can live cancer free. Do something meaningful this Christmas and make a donation towards childhood cancer research.
I’m heartened that such important work is being done in Perth today and that so much progress has been made. Next year is CLCRF’s 40th year and I have been fortunate enough to head the Foundation for 37 of those years. We are here for the long term and we won’t rest until the best treatments, outcomes and cures are found.
Your generous support will help researchers and doctors find more effective treatments for childhood cancer, so that young children have better chances of survival and can undergo less harmful treatments. As we do not receive State or Federal funding, we rely on the generous support of the community to continue funding this vital research.
By making a tax-deductible donation this Christmas, you will be helping to make a tremendous difference and will offer hope to all families with a child undergoing cancer treatment.
P.S. Time is running out for these children. Your gift, now, will mean that more children are saved from cancer and can live better lives. We cannot do this without you.
Merry Christmas and a safe Happy New Year from all at the Foundation. If you have recently donated, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.