It was a room filled with love when the Hills-based Kids with Cancer Foundation held a 25th birthday celebration and presented a $1 million cheque to Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.
Kids with Cancer Founder Peter Bodman presented the cheque to pediatric oncologist Dr Luce Dalla-Pozza and Cathryn Cox head of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network to fund a genetic predisposition service for patients and families of the Cancer Centre for Children at The Children’s Hospital Westmead.
More than 120 people gathered at Sophia’s, Mullane’s Hotel, Baulkham Hills to celebrate the work of the small team at Kids with Cancer which has provided over $30 million in funding nationwide – including direct financial support to families of kids with cancer through paying bills and buying groceries, salaries and infrastructure, cancer research, Care Packs and wigs. CEO Todd Prees thanked everyone for their support including Kids with Cancer Ambassador mezzosoprano Viktoria Bolonina who enchanted the room with two songs.
Viktoria is about to embark on her own national opera-meets-pop tour after finishing treatment for stage-4 brain cancer.
Ambassadors, racing-car driver, Jimmy Vernon, and AFL Giants player, Adam Kennedy, were also at the event.
Two brave families also told their stories on the night.
Natasha and Nathan’s second born son, Ashton, was diagnosed with congenital acute myeloid leukemia when he was just five days old. A whirlwind of treatments including chemotherapy, was followed by a bone-marrow transplant. Ashton is now two years old and thankfully in remission.
Danielle’s six-year-old son, William, was diagnosed with Stage 4, Neuroblastoma and underwent a year of chemotherapy and other intense treatments as well as a bone-marrow transplant only to discover the cancer had returned more aggressively than before.
Both families shared how Kids with Cancer Foundation helped support.
Kids with Cancer Foundation, founded in the Hills in January 1998, originally fundraised primarily through its raffle ticket sales and funded the first Oncology research and fellowship at the Children’s Hospital Westmead and the Oncology Pharmacist at Sydney Children’s Hospital in its first year. Since then it has provided $18 million to Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.
For more information or to get involved, visit www.kidswithcancer.org.au