Vital support for Tassie cancer kids

TASMANIAN minors with cancer will soon receive access to care that is equal to that offered to children interstate following the recent announcement of a landmark funding commitment from The Kids’ Cancer Project.

Over the next two-years, the independent national charity has pledged to provide $140,000 to assist with the establishment of a statewide Children’s and Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Clinical Trials Unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH).

The Kids’ Cancer Project chief executive officer Owen Finegan said the charity was committed to improving the outcomes for children and adolescents with cancer by facilitating access to cutting edge clinical trials and promoting other quality research.

“Our Research Advisory Committee and Board of Directors scrutinise all funding proposals against six key priorities including improving survival and treatments, late effects, improving capabilities of individuals, understanding childhood cancer and the causes, adolescents and young adults, and finally, equal access to care,” he said.

“The grant application from RHH caught our attention as it is the first time a request for funding had come from Tasmania.

“We recognised that this was an important step forward to ensuring children with cancer in the state have equal access to care.”

As part of the announcement, The Kids’ Cancer Project founder Col Reynolds OAM presented a cheque for the first year of funding to Associate Professor John Heath, who is a specialist paediatric, adolescent and young adult oncologist at RHH.

The Kids’ Cancer Project’s visit to Hobart formed part of the charity’s national campaign to raise awareness that “kids with cancer need science.”

“Childhood cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease and it’s vital that all children have equal access to the best treatments available,” Mr Reynolds said.

“I’m driving my bus 10,000 kilometres down the length of Australia with one clear message and that is: science is the solution.”

Associate Professor Heath said he was delighted with the announcement.

“On behalf of all the current and future Tasmanian children and adolescents battling cancer, I would like to thank The Kids’ Cancer Project for their generous support,” he said.

“This initiative will have a major positive impact on the care and cures offered by RHH and its associated satellite centres throughout Tasmania.

“We are very grateful and all the team here are excited to put an improved service in place.”

Caption: Young George at the announcement of The Kids’ Cancer Project funding.