The University of Wollongong (UOW) hosted an afternoon tea in November to acknowledge and thank the tireless volunteers of Illawarra Cancer Carers for their hard work and support.
Over the past 10 years, Illawarra Cancer Carers has donated more than $1million for cancer research at UOW and the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI). Illawarra Cancer Carers raises money through stalls, raffles and events including an annual banquet.
Competitive government funding does not always cover the high costs of cancer research making the support of Illawarra Cancer Carers invaluable.
A unique feature of the relationship between Illawarra Cancer Carers and UOW and IHMRI researchers is the volunteers have direct access to the cancer researchers who are working to find novel treatments for cancer.
This allows the researchers to nominate a pressing project and Illawarra Cancer Carers to fundraise for that specific project, allowing the donors to know where the donations are being spent and the researchers to receive support for vital projects.
Professor Marie Ranson, a cancer researcher with IHMRI and UOW’s Centre for Medical and Molecular Bioscience, says Illawarra Cancer Carers has been a long-term advocate for cancer research at UOW.
“Their support has many times ensured the maintenance of research momentum at crucial stages of projects for which no other money was available by way of support for key personnel and resources.
“All money raised by the ICC is spent locally to support cancer research and patients in the Illawarra,” Professor Ranson said.
To date, donations from the Illawarra Cancer Carers have helped:
- Purchase a Nanostring machine, allowing researchers to significantly reduce the time it takes to collect genetic data for cancer research. It’s a state-of-the art research and diagnostic tool that dramatically speeds up the process to analyse gene function.
- A project to develop a novel small inhibitor of cancer.
- Purchase an Incucyte ZOOM machine, which allows the real-time imaging of live cells which can then be manipulated in various ways or treated with some of the drugs in development. It allows researchers to track cellular behaviour through time then perform experiments which are impossible to do with existing equipment.