Cancer Council Australia

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How your support helps

It's your support that enables us to do what we do, as we are a community funded organisation.  And your support helps all Australians, just like Barry, Sinead and Magnus.  

Here's how your donation can help:

  • $5 can help us give a newly diagnosed cancer patient important support and information resources to help them through their cancer journey.
  • $25 can help transport cancer patients to and from hospital for treatment.
  • $100 can help provide free accommodation to cancer patients, their families and carers during treatment. 
  • $10,000 can help buy a high powered computer used to research cervical cancer prevention policies that will benefit women around world.
  • $45,000 can help fund a Telephone Support Group for one year.
  • $300,000 can help provides funding for new research into ovarian cancer.
  • $1,000,000 can help fund a research program that may help us better treat the most aggressive forms of cancer.

*Services may vary from state to state.

Helping all Australians

Your support helps all Australians, just like:


Barry du Bois

Barry's challenge: battling cancer.

Your challenge: help us help Australians like Barry.

Cancer affects every person differently. Barry thought he was invincible until he was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He shares his story here.



Back in 2009, Sinead Forbes had just given birth to her third child, Louis, and was still breastfeeding when she began to suspect something was wrong. Chronic mastitis led her to have a mammogram.

"I will never forget the doctor's face. It was ashen, and she just looked at me and said, 'Sinead, I don't know how to tell you this. I have got the worst news.'"

Sinead had ductal carcinoma in situ.

"My breast looked like it was full of shards of glass," said Sinead, recalling seeing the results of the mammogram. The "shards of glass" were actually cancer cells.

Sinead had a mastectomy, but the cancer was found to be in 11 lymph nodes. The HER2 protein in Sinead's body was driving it to spread quickly.

HER2 is found on the surface of breast cancer cells in around one in five women diagnosed with the disease, and HER2-positive cancer cells tend to be more aggressive. However, research has made great progress in developing treatments - specifically the drug Herceptin - that target HER2-positive tumours more effectively. Herceptin helps slow the spread of and destroys breast cancer cells by attaching itself to HER2.

Sinead now has hope for a healthy future, having just completed her 16-month treatment program. She's in no doubt as to what saved her life.

"I am a product of medical research. Without it, I would not be alive. If there can be more research into what causes cancer, and how can we control it, then that's got to be a good thing for everybody."



Caption: Magnus and his Mum Karen are proud supporters of Daffodil Day and Relay For Life.

"How do you tell your 5 year old son he has a brain tumour?"

This is the story of Magnus, a brave young Queenslander diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour at just 5 years of age.

Magnus is living proof that we can beat cancer. If he'd been born 50 years ago, he may not have survived. He's a powerful reminder that your support makes a difference.

Magnus first showed symptoms during his family's Christmas holidays in late 2008, with unexplained stomach pains and vomiting. His Mum, Karen, took Magnus to the doctor several times, suspecting a minor stomach bug. When his symptoms worsened, Karen and her husband Andrew grew increasingly concerned. They took Magnus to hospital, worried he had a bowel infection. Unfortunately, the diagnosis was much more serious, and nearly took their little boy's life.

Karen said she'll never forget receiving the news.

"They'd taken Magnus for a CT scan and we were waiting in the emergency room for the results. When I saw the look on the doctor's face I knew it was serious"

"I'm afraid it's not good news," he said, "I'm sorry, but...your son has a brain tumour."

Karen recalls fighting back the tears and trying to be strong for Magnus and his older brother Declan.

"I was completely overcome - I was terrified we were going to lose him"

Just 2 days later, she kissed her little boy on the head as the medical team wheeled Magnus into life-threatening brain surgery to remove the tumour.

Nearly 3 years on, he's cancer free, but the journey wasn't easy.

Magnus underwent four weeks of intensive radiation therapy, followed by high dose chemotherapy.

"He was so brave through all the treatment - his Spiderman mask helped him get through radiation, where he had to lie still for long periods while the machine did its work.

"The chemotherapy really knocked him around - he couldn't eat and had to be tube-fed - it was so hard seeing him lose his hair and drop so much weight - he had no immunity - his body struggled to cope"

For any parent who has been through the nightmare of having a child diagnosed with cancer, it's hard to know where to turn for support. And that's why we exist. For 50 years, we've been in the fight against cancer, funding research and patient support to help people survive. In fact, our efforts have helped to improve cancer survival rates by 30% over the past 20 years.

"Magnus is our miracle - we feel so grateful for the wonderful medical treatment he received and are so thankful for the people who make it possible by supporting the work of Cancer Council.

"It made us realise that we can make a difference - we support Cancer Council in the hope that other kids don't have to go through what Magnus went through."


This page was last updated on: Sunday, August 19, 2012

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