Today, sadly, 1:2 families are touched by cancer, and it has overtaken heart disease as the greatest killer in this country. It is terrible to contemplate that every five minutes of every day, a new person will be shaken by a cancer diagnosis. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, and their fundraising Cure Cancer Australia has an invaluable role to play in the work that is being done to stem the spread and morbidity of cancer.
Cure Cancer is unique in the cancer research funding landscape in our commitment to fund young researchers with the innovation, courage and drive to challenge and ask questions.
For over 45 years Cure Cancer Australia has held an invaluable role which has been to fund young researchers at the beginning of their careers and to help them to have their fresh ideas championed. Researchers are the unsung heroes of our age because they are so dedicated to their work, often working long hours, in tough conditions for not very much money. It is their creativity, innovation and passion for new insight that can lead us to a cure. These talented professionals are currently able to only spend one third of their time working in the lab or in the clinic on research because the other two thirds must be dedicated to seeking acknowledgement of their ideas in publications and completing grant applications to secure more funding so that they can continue. Under those circumstances it is no wonder that many can’t stick it out and may travel overseas or indeed, leave science altogether. Cure Cancer Australia is a key facilitator to getting researchers started and allowing them to go on and receive funding from other avenues. Our tagline is significant – it is ‘the cure starts here’!
Cure Cancer Australia with the support of Cancer Australia, fund one year research grants of $100,000 for researchers who are post-doctorate up to five years, and two year grants of $200,000 for researchers who are five to seven years post-doctorate.
In 2013, I am delighted that we will be funding 38 young researchers which is a record number for the Foundation. Cure Cancer is also working with other leading Cancer research charities such as Cancer Council NSW, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Leukaemia Foundation and Prostate Cancer Foundation to fund the first year of a number of three year grants. This wonderful collaboration allows those organizations to fund another group of researchers and in this year alone, this initiative has facilitated $5 million worth of cancer research funding.
These brilliant researchers want to be career scientists, and if given a start often go on to lead other young investigators and head research Institutes in their own right.
Dr Carolyn Mountford was one such person who after receiving a couple of grants from Cure Cancer Australia was able to experiment with her concept that Magnetic Resonance Imaging could be used to identify cancer in cells in humans without the use of invasive surgery. Her idea proved to be correct, and this revolutionised cancer detection mechanisms and helped to improve patient care for thousands of people. This is an example of how donations made to Cure Cancer Australia go into helping the whole cancer sector.
In talking to the researchers, it is fascinating to learn from them that many enter the field of cancer research because their lives have been personally touched by cancer. Many of them have a person, or people in mind when they enter the lab each day in search of the next breakthrough. This further heightens their passion.
One of Cure Cancer’s grant recipients in 2012, Dr Paul Neilsen was touched when he lost his brother to Sarcoma at age 18.
“My older brother Brad was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare cancer of the bone at 13. Sadly he succumbed to the disease at 18, but since then I have dedicated my career to searching for alternative treatment options. It simply couldn’t continue without the generous support of the Cure Cancer Australia Foundation. I’ve established strong collaborations with several sarcoma clinicians and together we’ve recruited patients to this study. I know patients’ donation of Sarcoma tissue won’t be in vain.”
Cure Cancer Australia is currently about to embark on its next three year Strategic Plan. This plan sees the Foundation growing from a $4.8 million turnover, funding 30 researchers, to a $7 million turnover funding over 40 researchers in 2015. This website pays tribute to the many partnerships and relationships that we value and benefit from. Without those people, we would not be in such a strong, vital position supporting cancer research in our own unique way. Thank you especially to our Can Too’ers, Inspired Adventurers, major donors, corporate and community partners.
In 2012 we have launched a new integrated media campaign with TV, radio, press, print, cinema and digital campaigns all running between March – June. The pro-bono support we have received from McCann and the hard work of Universal McCann has been invaluable. As of May 2012 we have had over $770,000 worth of Community Service airtime and free print placement.
Thank you to all of those who have supported this great awareness opportunity.
The future for Cure Cancer Australia is an exciting one, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who support us. The staff, volunteers, board and committee members, our donors, our Can Too’ers, Inspired Adventures, major donors, corporate and bequests – you are the heart beat of this organization, you continue to inspire me and I love working alongside you on our goal to see ‘a world without cancer, nothing less’ .
Leanne Warner CEO