Rotary Club funds scholarship

THE Rotary Club of Sandy Bay has set aside its hard-earned fundraising profits to fund an Australian Rotary Health (ARH) PhD scholarship in cholangiocarcinoma cancer research.

Three-years-ago, the brother of long-time Rotary Club member and ARH representative, Biddy Fisk, was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and often fatal cancer that affects the bile ducts.

In many cases, by the time the cancer is detected it is too late for treatment to be successful.

Ms Fisk said her brother’s situation highlighted a need for more research in this area, which prompted her to look into ways to fund an ARH Funding Partner PhD Scholarship.

“You often feel so helpless in these situations, so this was something concrete that we could do to feel like we were helping in some way,” Ms Fisk said.

“This scholarship allowed us the opportunity to be specific about the topic of research and to name the scholarship in honour of my brother, who passed away from the disease nearly a year ago.”

The Rotary Club of Sandy Bay’s main source of fundraising for the scholarship was its annual ‘Quiz and Auction Night’.

The club is also regularly involved in a range of other fundraising events including barbecues and fellowship nights, as well as a Wellness Expo and Gala Dinner that is run in Hobart.

“We always look forward to a new year, so we can continue with our usual fundraising functions and maybe trial some new ideas,” Ms Fisk said.

“It’s always rewarding to see people receive help through funds we provide and the projects we undertake.”

The “Michael Chivers’ PhD Scholarship” is the first ARH scholarship the Rotary Club of Sandy Bay has supported and it is expected that the chosen candidate will begin research this year.

ARH is one of the largest independent funders of mental health research within Australia, recently contributing more than $2 million towards health research.

For more information about ARH, visit www.australianrotaryhealth.org.au.

Caption: Sandy Bay Rotarians donned their fanciest headgear for the club’s 2016 Hat Day function.

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