About Unite to Fight Cancer

What would you give to bring hope to every person diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones? Your sweat, your determination, your passion?

In October this year, that’s exactly what our wonderful UNITE community did. Due to the exceptional circumstances, Unite to Fight Cancer 2020 was a special virtual event that we invited everyone to do in their own way over 10 days – walking 60km or riding 200km.

Last year, our fantastic supporters raised over $1.5 million for cancer research. This year, they’ve managed to smash that total again, with the current fundraising total standing at an incredible $1.74 million. Thank you so much to everyone for taking part, and to their family, friends and colleagues for their generous support.

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A photo from the closing ceremony.

Kara’s story

“It was the hardest thing in my life losing my mother to breast cancer. It made me determined to work in this area of research – and passionate about trying to develop preventative therapies to save other mothers, sisters and daughters everywhere.

“With your support, I can continue my research and work towards my goal of developing a preventative treatment for at-risk people like my family. With your help, my colleagues can also find better therapies for women with advanced disease.”

Kara Britt, Researcher at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Kara’s story

“It was the hardest thing in my life losing my mother to breast cancer. It made me determined to work in this area of research – and passionate about trying to develop preventative therapies to save other mothers, sisters and daughters everywhere.

“With your support, I can continue my research and work towards my goal of developing a preventative treatment for at-risk people like my family. With your help, my colleagues can find better therapies for women with advanced disease.”

Kara Britt, Researcher at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Dr Kara Britt leads the Breast Cancer Risk and Prevention Lab at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre where her team focuses on the development of effective preventative therapies to lower breast cancer incidence. For Kara, her research is so much more than a job. When Kara was just 21 and studying for a science degree, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Kara’s mother’s diagnosis and her passion for science inspired her to become a breast cancer researcher. Once qualified, one of the hardest things for Kara was coming to terms with the fact that despite her training, she wasn’t going to be able to cure her mum, who was diagnosed with advanced disease just over a decade after her first diagnosis.

Ten years after her mother’s death, Kara and her family had to deal with more bad news. Her younger sister has been diagnosed and has spent the last 12 months undergoing treatment. Kara reflects, “My heart sinks, my frustration grows but the passion grows even stronger.”

Kara is also a proud fundraiser for Peter Mac and has taken part in many events alongside our wonderful community. This year, she was excited to lead a team of Peter Mac staff, and to take on her own challenge once again for Unite to Fight Cancer.

For Kara, UNITE was so much more than a physical challenge. It was the chance to honour her mum and show solidarity.

Last year

in numbers

The number of fantastic fundraisers who United to Fight Cancer with us in 2019.

The amount they raised to support vital cancer research at Peter Mac.

The number of friends, family members and colleagues who supported them by donating.

WHERE THE MONEY GOES

Vital funds raised through Unite to Fight Cancer help provide the resources and technologies needed to accelerate life-saving cancer research at Peter Mac. 

Last year, your incredible commitment to the fight against cancer enabled research programs like Peter Mac’s Radiation Oncology Clinical Trials team to search for new ways to improve radiotherapy treatments for people with cancer.

As Australia’s largest centre for radiation oncology clinical trials research, the team at Peter Mac facilitate trials across many cancer types including breast, liver, lung, prostate, kidney, pancreatic, brain and gastric cancer among others.

The Radiation Oncology Clinical Trials team has a large portfolio that expands into rural and regional areas of Australia. The team manages the implementation of radiotherapy clinical trials at Peter Mac. This includes investigating innovative radiotherapy treatments, radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy as well as trials using new medical imaging technologies.

This research has an immediate impact on changing practice to improve the health outcomes of people with cancer. Without support from funds raised through Unite to Fight Cancer, this essential research would not have the resources it needs to make new discoveries. Your ongoing support through Unite to Fight Cancer makes this essential research possible.

“Over 5 years, my team ‘The Lunachicks’ have been raising funds for cancer research and joining others striving for a time where fewer families are affected by cancer.

“Along the way our team has grown – not only in participant numbers, but our team of family, friends, local businesses and community groups. Without everyone’s support, we would not be able to have achieved what we have – so a big ‘thank you’ to all!

“We are really excited for UTFC 2020 and being able to support the amazing Peter Mac again, and also have a lot of fun along the way – bring it on!”

– Sharon (left), Staff member at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation

“Over 5 years, my team ‘The Lunachicks, have been raising funds for cancer research and joining others striving for a time where fewer families are affected by cancer.

“Along the way, our team has grown – not only in participant numbers, but our team of family, friends, local businesses and community groups. Without everyone’s support, we would not be able to have achieved what we have – so a big ‘thank you’ to all!

“We are really excited for UTFC 2020 and being able to support the amazing Peter Mac again, and also have a lot of fun along the way – bring it on!”

– Sharon (left), Staff member at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation