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Unification signals new era of support for Australians with blood cancer

Publish Date: 22/4/2016

Families impacted by blood cancer can look forward to better outcomes and support with the emergence of an influential new charity tackling the important issues facing patients.

Members of the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia and Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland have recently endorsed a joint Board proposal to unify the two organisations.

The new charity will retain the name ‘Leukaemia Foundation’ but a single Board and leadership team will develop innovative new strategies to help more people survive their blood cancer and improve their quality of life.

The benefits for the Australian blood cancer community are substantial and include:

1.      Better advocacy for the rights of people with blood cancers and their families

2.      Significant ongoing savings that can be reinvested into further research and patient support

3.      Prioritisation of research, allowing patients greater access to state-of-the-art drugs

4.      Improved fundraising opportunities to deliver greater financial stability

The two charities have together already invested millions of dollars in life-saving blood cancer research since the Leukaemia Foundation was founded in Queensland in 1975.

They have also helped many thousands of Australian families impacted by blood cancers by providing free homes near hospitals, transport, information, and financial and emotional support.

But Beverley Mirolo, Chairman of the new Leukaemia Foundation Board, said today’s organisation faces a very different set of challenges to 40 years ago.

“The operating environment for charities has changed. There is more competition for Government, corporate and public funds than ever before and yet more people – now 35 Australians every day – are being diagnosed,” she said.

“A united Leukaemia Foundation will allow us to have one clear strategy to better tackle the important issues facing those impacted by blood cancer.

“The unification reflects good governance and will position us as a strong force in the effort to beat blood cancer. We sincerely thank our members for allowing us to take this positive step forward.”

Last year alone the charities together spent more than $20 million on charitable activities and Bill Petch, the new CEO of the united Leukaemia Foundation, says both organisations already have a long history of working closely together.

“For many years, our teams have shown great commitment and passion for common core values,” he said.

“Just as state borders are increasingly irrelevant to our supporters, overcoming these within our own organisation will lead to better strategy and more efficient operations.

“It will lead to a more resilient organisation, where, with economies of scale, we can innovate and better support people with blood cancer.

“I feel honoured to lead the Leukaemia Foundation in this exciting phase of its history and to work with the Board to formalise the unification and ensure a successful transition for the benefit of families facing blood cancer.”

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