Illawarra Cancer Carers with IHMRI researchers. Photo by Mark Newsham

Since 1990, volunteers from The Illawarra Cancer Carers (ICC) have raised $3.6 million dollars for cancer research and care in the Illawarra

Every cent from their fundraising efforts is spent to help the local community.

Over the past decade, cancer researchers at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) have received more than $800 thousand dollars to support cancer research.

In 2017, ICC donated $130,000 to IHMRI researcher Professor Marie Ranson to go towards the purchase of specialised diagnostic equipment for IHMRI’s laboratories.

To say thank you for their ongoing commitment and support, IHMRI is hosting a morning tea for the Cancer Carers on 20 April.

For Professor Ranson this local support is invaluable for the continuation of her work, especially since competitive government funding does not always cover the high-costs associated with cancer research.

“This piece of equipment (Nanostring machine) allows researchers to significantly reduce the time it takes to collect genetic data for cancer research,” Professor Ranson said.

It’s a state-of-the art research and diagnostic tool that dramatically speeds up the process to analyse gene function.

IHMRI researchers work in a number of specialised areas to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the development and progression of cancer. They also strive to find ways to translate these findings into the clinic to improve patient outcomes.

ICC agreed to an additional $70K to go towards resources for a project to develop a novel small inhibitor of cancer, conducted by Research Fellow, Benjamin Buckley.

ICC is also assisting IHMRI cancer researcher Dr Kara Vine-Perrow with a project on pancreatic cancer.

They are continuing to support Dr Vine-Perrow’s team, as nominated Informed Consumers, in a major funding grant application for this project to the National Health & Medical Research Council. In this role ICC provide comments/suggestions on the project from a layman’s perspective based on the their many years of experience in supporting cancer patients.

The ICC volunteers fundraise year round through stalls, raffles and events including the annual Banquet.

Unlike other fundraising initiatives for cancer research, all money raised by the ICC is spent locally to support cancer patients in the Illawarra.

About the Illawarra Cancer Carers

  • The ICC have been supporting cancer research at IHMRI for over a decade.
  • In that time, more than $3.6 million dollars has been raised and donated to cancer research and care in the Illawarra.
  • The group has over 230 trained volunteers who work with Wollongong Hospital staff and help in the community.
  • The ICC has been supporting cancer patients and their families for almost three decades.

About cancer

  • Cancer is the major cause of disability and death in Australia.
  • By 2020 it’s projected that the estimated number of patients diagnosed with cancer will rise by 20,000 to 150,000 per year.
  • Cancer causes 3 out of every 10 deaths in Australia.
  • Research has found that at least one in three cancer cases are preventable.

Source: Cancer Council Australia

Media coverage

9 News Illawarra

The Illawarra Mercury

20 April 2018: Illawarra Cancer Carers donates Nanostring machine to IHMRI

Media contact

Louise Negline, Communications Coordinator
T: +61 2 4221 4702
M: +61 417 044 867

Top picture: The Illawarra Cancer Carers with IHMRI researchers (left to right), IHMRI CEO/Executive Director, Professor David J. Adams; Research Fellow, Dr Benjamin Buckley; PhD candidate, Dr Bruce Ashford; Professor Marie Ranson, Dr Kara Vine-Perrow and Research Assistant Elahe Minaei.
Photo by Mark Newsham.

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