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Sarah & Martin, for Olivia

$25,977 of AUD $15,000 target.

Raised by 0 people in days for The Robert Connor Dawes Foundation (The Trustee for)

Biggest Supporters

AUD $2800.00

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Dorothy Kulig

Ride Round The Island

Story

Having experienced severe headaches over the holiday season, in early January 2017 our daughter, 15 Year Old Olivia Phelan underwent a CT scan which identified a 'large mass' in her brain. 

Around twenty four hours later she went into surgery at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne to attempt remove the tumor, despite the seven hours of painstaking work of the amazing neurosurgical team it wasn't possible to remove the tumor entirely.

Five days later our family learnt a new word - Ependymoma (a form of cerebral spinal fluid cancer). Our Melbourne based family living in Sinapoore were fortunate to have been 'at home' in Melbourne at the time of Olivia's diagnosis. The extent of this good fortune became clearer as we learnt that the oncologist treating Olivia was a member of a cutting edge global research team which has been collaborating for around five years. 

This global research team aim to better understand and treat the differing types of ependymoma, and Olivia was suitable for treatment under one of the research programs the team has been undertaking to improve outcomes for ependymoma patients.
The first step of this program was for a specimen of Olivia's tumor to be despatched from Melbourne, Australia to a lab in Germany for
further testing. 

Four difficult weeks (at least) lay ahead before
the test results would be available, with initial chemotherapy treatment to commence in an effort to deal with the remaining tumor.

These results have come in recently, with the news "as good as we could have hoped for" (quoting her oncologist) and are understood to mean Olivia's future treatment can be less aggressive than might otherwise be felt to be necessary.

This isn't the end of the story however.

In little more than six weeks, our experience has taken us from complete ignorance of ependymoma to an admiration for the value of the research being undertaken by this team. 

Very recently we learned that the funding enabling this research group, and to a very significant extent, the ability to test Olivia's specimen at the German lab is being made available through the support of a Melbourne based, ependymoma specific charity. The Robert Connor Dawes Foundation. A very clear aim of this work is to enable the development and accreditation of local lab test capabilities.

So, what is the purpose here....

Whilst Olivia was experiencing the further trauma of losing her hair due to the chemo drugs, one of Martin's colleagues offered to shave his head if I chose to do so in an effort to raise funds and in a statement of support for Olivia. 

A huge thank you to Peter Gilbert for providing the spark to these efforts to draw on the support and generosity of friends, colleagues, new and old, near and far (and those who may be strangers to us, until now) so that we can in some way say thank you and support the continued good work of the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation and the research teams and facilities they are assisting.

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The Robert Connor Dawes Foundation (The Trustee for)

SUPPORTING BRAIN MATTERS
The Robert Connor Dawes (RCD) Foundation - In memory of Robert Connor Dawes. We support brain cancer matters in the areas of Research, Care and Development.

RESEARCH:
Brain tumour research is on the verge of exciting breakthroughs. We want to enable researchers to further understand and more completely treat brain tumours, including earlier detection, surgery and post surgery treatments (radiation & chemotherapy).
CARE:
Supporting young people with rehabilitation therapies and home assistance commonly not covered by insurance.
DEVELOPMENT:
Inspiring the next generation of brain cancer practitioners & researchers. Through awareness programs, Phd Scholarships and youth engagement activities, we're putting brain matters on the map.

Visit rcdfoundation.org for more information

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Sarah & Martin, for Olivia

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