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Early career Leukaemia Foundation funding springboards A/Prof Wakefield’s survivorship research

Publish Date: 20/5/2016

From blood cancer diagnosis to treatment, remission and beyond, the Leukaemia Foundation’s National Research Program is nurturing the current and future generations of blood cancer researchers in Australia. 

Through the generosity of our supporters, the Leukaemia Foundation’s National Research Program has helped to launch and shape the career of one of Australia’s brightest researchers in the field of survivorship, Associate Professor Claire Wakefield. 

A/Prof Wakefield says the Foundation’s commitment to early career support of promising Australian researchers is far-reaching; helping to advance our understanding of how blood cancers develop and can be stopped.

"Without a doubt it was the Leukaemia Foundation who essentially launched my career into supporting families affected by paediatric cancer," said A/Prof Wakefield.

She says the Leukaemia Foundation’s grant enabled her to collect data on what it was like for young people when they finished blood cancer treatment, and it was through this data that she identified an area of need in survivorship. 

“The Leukaemia Foundation enabled me to set the scene to secure much bigger grants to research a national survivorship care plan for survivors of childhood cancer,” said A/Prof Wakefield. “It was the Leukaemia Foundation’s support which started the whole program.” 

The “much bigger grants” Associate Professor Wakefield refers to, was the recent awarding of $2.7 million to the UNSW and Sydney Children’s Hospital childhood cancer research team including A/Prof Wakefield and her dedicated research team.“This grant is life-changing as it will fund an exciting program covering five different studies, all in cancer survivorship,” said A/Prof Wakefield.

“The longevity of the grant will enable us to create massive changes as we have a team of people who are dedicated to making improvements for families with cancer.”A/Prof Wakefield says without this recent grant she would have continued to work hard, but she would never have had the money to help cement her team as survivorship experts.“Looking at areas like survivorship wouldn’t happen without public support as it’s often not a government priority,” said A/Prof Wakefield. 

“We need the public to support initiatives like the Leukaemia Foundation’s National Research Program which provides funding for smaller pilot studies. There are no other organisations that support start-up research programs in blood cancer like the Leukaemia Foundation does. I urge you to help young people and families whose lives are impacted by a life-changing blood cancer diagnosis by making a donation.”

You can help us to ensure that more Australians survive their blood cancer and experience a better quality of life. Please make a donation today to support the work of the Foundation or sign up and become a regular giver .To learn more about the cancer survivorship programs A/Prof Wakefield and her team are undertaking go to www.isurvived.org.au

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