The key to unlocking a new era in childhood cancer survival

30 Nov 1999

For some kids, childhood is far from what it should be. Instead of playdates there are appointments, instead of sleepovers there are hospital stays, and instead of firsts there can be lasts. Each year, more than 400,000 children are diagnosed with cancer around the world, each faced with this reality– that’s nearly half a million families whose lives change forever.  

No child should have to go through this, but thanks to the support of one of our nation’s Leaders in Business, Mrs Gina Rinehart, we’re closer than we have ever been to ensuring that no child does – we’re closer to unlocking a new era in childhood cancer survival so one day soon we can see a world where kids can just be kids and no young lives are lost to this devastating disease.   

At this year’s Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation’s (SCHF) Silver Party, Ms Rinehart made a significant and life-changing gift of $350,000 in support of the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. 

“This contribution will help transform the way we care for some our nation’s sickest children fighting the devasting effects of this disease. Every 80 seconds a child is diagnosed with cancer, and this week alone, three families will say goodbye. It’s only thanks to the support from philanthropists such as Mrs Rinehart, that we will one day see a world where every child is free of cancer,” explained Nicola Stokes, CEO of SCHF. 

Philanthropic investment is helping bridge the gap in a vital crossroads for children’s health. By investing in cutting-edge research, innovative technologies, and world-class treatments, we can help ensure all children with cancer have the opportunity to follow their passions, achieve their ambitions and reach their greatest potential.   

“The Kids Cancer Centre is considered one of the leading transplant and cellular training programs in the country. We attract cancer specialists from around Australia, and Mrs Rinehart has helped ensure we can continue to train the next generation of experts to deliver the world’s best cancer care,” added Professor Tracey O’Brien, Director of the Kids Cancer Centre. 

 “Our Fellowship Program is the springboard for our future leaders who go on to dedicate over 35 years to caring for children with cancer – the impact truly is immeasurable.” 

Professor O’Brien is living proof of this life-changing impact. In 2001 she was one of the first SCHF funded Fellow, fast forward 21 years and she is globally recognised in her field, leading a team of more than 200 clinical and research staff – who go all in for kids’ health every day.  

There have been exceptional advances in cancer treatment over the years, but nearly 1,000 kids and adolescents in Australia are still diagnosed with the disease every year. Thanks to this type of philanthropic support, clinicians and researchers alike can take their drive, vision and talent and continue to transform the future of kids’ health.  

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