Community active in fight against childhood cancers

Thousands of Australians will come together to raise awareness of the devastating impact of childhood cancers and to promote more research into these cancers in a new and innovative event.

Page last updated: 17 September 2015

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17 September 2015

Thousands of Australians will come together to raise awareness of the devastating impact of childhood cancers and to promote more research into these cancers in a new and innovative event.

Minister for Health Sussan Ley said a $132,000 Commonwealth Government commitment to The Kids’ Cancer Project would help stage CureFest Australia 2015, a new collaborative event to raise awareness of childhood cancer and the issues children and families face.

Ms Ley said about 85 children die from cancer and 600 children are diagnosed with a cancer every year in Australia.

“Cancer touches us all at some point and it is vital that our most vulnerable receive the support and care they need as easily as possible,” Ms Ley said.

“A diagnosis of a childhood cancer can be devastating to the children concerned, their carers and their families.

“While we’ve seen significant improvement in survival rates over time unfortunately, we don’t yet know how to prevent childhood cancers and for high-risk, high-stage cancers there are no effective treatments, so research remains our best hope.”

CureFest Australia is based on a similar annual event in the US, which aims to make childhood cancer research a national priority by bringing together the childhood cancer community, the public and government.

Ms Ley said the announcement follows the launch of an Australian-first childhood cancer website to provide hundreds of Australian families dealing with children’s cancer with greater support last month.

“A diagnosis of cancer can prove to be a stressful and anxious time for anyone – let alone when it is a child – and this website aims to remove some of the stress for the hundreds of families during what is an extremely difficult time,” Ms Ley said.

Amanda Griffin has worked tirelessly to establish the CureFest Australia event with The Kids’ Cancer Project, following the death of her daughter Erin from brain cancer in September last year.

“CureFest Australia will unite the childhood cancer community by placing a national spotlight on children with cancer and therefore ensuring childhood cancer receives the attention it deserves. My daughter Erin fought tirelessly to raise childhood cancer awareness and believed working together was the best way to beat it,” Ms Griffin said.

“CureFest Australia tells children affected by cancer and their families that their lives matter, they are important and will no longer walk alone as the Australian community will walk with them. It is our opportunity to say children with cancer matter and together we will beat this disease.”

Minister Ley said The Kids’ Cancer Project will partner with 18 childhood cancer organisations to stage the inaugural CureFest Australia 2015 in Sydney on 27 September this year, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

“We thank Ms Griffin for bringing this initiative to Australia and wish The Kids’ Cancer Project great success with the inaugural event. I now encourage the community to get involved and do their bit to help eradicate cancers in our children,” Ms Ley said.

This free public event will include a sponsored walk, where participants can raise money for a childhood cancer charity of their choice; speeches from children, families, researchers, oncologists and organisations; and family entertainment. For more information visit the Curefest website.

ENDS

Media Contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974

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