Helen, cancer survivor
Growing up, Helen was twice diagnosed with osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer). Helen was the beneficiary of a clinical trial of a new treatment, which she said saved her life.
“The tumours were primary cancers, which is very rare. I took part in a clinical trial as part of my treatment the second time around. It involved Colony Stimulating Factors (CFSs), which stimulate stem cells to help my body cope with the high dose of chemotherapy I was receiving. This treatment was the result of research done by Professor Don Metcalfe who discovered CSFs that have now saved the lives of over 20 million people world-wide. ”
A gift left in a Will to Cancer Council Victoria allowed us to begin funding the work of the late Professor Metcalf in 1954. Professor Metcalf’s tireless dedication led to a breakthrough discovery – he identified hormones, later referred to as Colony Stimulating Factors, that could trigger the production of white blood cells in bone marrow.
White cells defend the body from infection, but become severely depleted in cancer patients on chemotherapy, leaving them vulnerable to serious, sometimes fatal conditions. Finding a way to offset this was a major leap forward in improving how a person responds to chemotherapy. Colony Stimulating Factors have been used in life-saving cancer treatments all around the world, benefitting more than 20 million people.
“Cancer just goes on and on from one generation to the next. If we want to stop it, we need breakthroughs. We need people standing up. We need a wave of absolute urgency. I feel the only way to create this is to get involved. And it’s why I’ve taken the step of including a gift to Cancer Council Victoria in my Will. ”
“I could not stop my friends from developing cancer, but I did have control when it comes to assisting the amazing work of Cancer Council Victoria. I have the control to make a difference in the lives and well-being of other men, women and children. ”
Many members of Brent’s extended family have been diagnosed with cancer. He is in awe of cancer researchers and their lifesaving work, so he wants to play his own part in supporting them.
Why not give some of whatever you’ve built up over your life to those who really need it? ”
Cancer has had a huge effect on Jenny’s life, and she hopes by leaving a gift in her Will her legacy will stop cancer from interfering in the lives of future generations.
My beautiful husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We fought that together for 20 years. ”