Funding a Fellow in Western Australia to provide hope through more blood cancer clinical trials
Four years ago, if you had a blood cancer in Western Australia (WA) and needed access to the latest treatment via a clinical trial, you had no alternative other than flying to Melbourne or Sydney, every other week. This inequality of care in Western Australia led Snowdome to fund Blood Cancer Research WA. The centre is headed up by Assoc Prof Chan Cheah who is passionate about bringing not only blood cancer trials, but also world class research to WA. To help Chan achieve his goals, Snowdome created a committee of passionate and dedicated individuals to support Blood Cancer Research WA activities.
Mark Westbrook is the Chair of the WA committee and understands the importance of having access to blood cancer clinical trials. Mark sadly lost a close friend to myeloma who explored clinical trials but was unable to travel interstate for treatments. After hearing Chan speak at a fundraising event, Mark was motivated to help make sure other blood cancer patients did not need to make the same decision his friend had to make. While Blood Cancer Research WA has already enabled more than 21 trials to commence and shortened time to get into a trial from 5 weeks to 5 days they are working at maximum capacity. The addition of another Fellow to help drive trials was needed and the team knew exactly who they wanted, they just needed the funding.
Mark and a small motivated team from the WA committee contacted people they knew who believed in the value of expanding the clinical trial offering in Western Australia. In a matter of weeks, the team had raised enough money to support their new Fellow. Mark hopes that ‘one day’ Western Australia is known for its’ world class blood cancer research, just as Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is today. He believes that they can achieve this with the vision they have for WA. To the collective of individuals who helped fund the Fellow, thank you for ‘making hope real’ for Western Australian blood cancer patients. Your donation is helping to save lives and is making Mark’s ‘one day’ a little bit closer to reality.