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Stories

From real patient stories to tips on living well, hear firsthand from people who have faced blood cancer.

We’ve also got the latest research and advocacy news, as well as stories from our wonderful fundraisers and donors. You can subscribe to our e-newsletters and event news here.

Talking Blood Cancer: The strength within

Explore Vince O'Donnell's journey with hereditary amyloidosis. Hear about his resilience, treatments, and the role of genetic testing.

  • Amyloidosis
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From kidney stones to chemo

Wayne Douglas spent more than half a lifetime working with heavy rock and concrete in the civil construction industry. In 2018, Wayne joined the roughly 2,600 people diagnosed with myeloma in Australia each year.

  • accommodation
  • bone lesion
  • chemotherapy
  • exercise
  • fatigue
  • male
  • Myeloma
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • regional
  • rural
  • Victoria
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Talking Blood Cancer: Finding Strength

Join Nerys Welch's journey through acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) / acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) loss and parenting 3 kids. Discover her solace in the Leukaemia Foundation's supportive online community.

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
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Treatment and transplant news

Once a blood cancer treatment is developed, it needs to be approved for sale in Australia and subsidised, or ‘listed’, otherwise the cost for the treatment can be unaffordable for many patients. The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) or Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) appraises a new treatment and provides advice to the Government on whether it should be publicly funded. This includes seeking consumer comments. Here’s a summary of recent new and recommended listings for blood cancer treatments. The Leukaemia Foundation provided advice and consumer comments to PBAC/MSAC in support of these therapies being available to patients.

  • Advocacy and policy
  • Treatments and side-effects
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Blood cancer ride proves Perry’s toughest race

As Perry Judd slowly pedalled over the finishing line at the prestigious Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic in 2013, supposedly in the form of his life but somehow lagging far behind the competition, he knew something wasn’t right. Physically exhausted, Perry feared he had glandular fever, but a blood test revealed something much more dangerous. The then 37-year-old explained: “I had a call from the GP: ‘Please come and see me, we need to talk urgently. You need to come in right away’.

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia
  • Treatments and side-effects
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Talking Blood Cancer: Mother-Daughter Cancer Warriors

Join Kate Arkadieff and Theresa Webb as they delve into non-Hodgkin's lymphoma & acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (leukemia) journeys for patients and families on the Talking Blood Cancer podcast by Leukaemia Foundation.

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
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Physiotherapist and lymphoma survivor Julie Allen on cancer related fatigue

Discover how physiotherapist Julie Allen tackles cancer fatigue and lymphoma, enhancing the quality of life and survival for blood cancer patients.

  • Interviews with experts
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
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Unlocking the Mysteries of Blood Cancer

In the ever-evolving landscape of blood cancer research, the quest to combat blood cancer continues to push boundaries. The New Directions in Leukaemia Research (NDLR) event in Adelaide last month brought together leading minds in the field to discuss breakthroughs, challenges, and the future of leukaemia treatment. From cutting-edge advancements in therapies to the promise of personalised medicine, the conference, sponsored by the Leukaemia Foundation, shed light on the latest discoveries and strategies shaping the fight against leukaemia.

  • Research
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Theresa Webb: ‘I’ve always been a survivor’

Blood cancer casts a long shadow over many Australian families, but for Theresa Webb and her family, its shadow has been longer than most. Theresa was first diagnosed with blood cancer in 2002 after discovering a small hard lump near her collarbone. A biopsy revealed the then 30-year-old had a type of blood cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
  • Carers
  • Lifestyle and living well
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
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Theresa with her daughters, Summer and Jessi, on the day of her stem cell transplant

Talking Blood Cancer: Resilience and Triumph with Perry Judd

Perry Judd shares his journey with Acute Myeloid leukaemia (leukemia), from treatments to winning sports medals. Discover resistance and hope on the Talking Blood Cancer Podcast.

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Talking Blood Cancer: Motherhood and Resilience

In this episode of Talking Blood Cancer, host Kate Arkadieff welcomes Tahli Batkilin, who bravely shares her personal battle and subsequent victory over blood cancer. Tahli takes us through the moment she first received her lymphoma diagnosis amidst the chaos of lockdown and running her home baking business. The confusion of initial misdiagnoses escalating to the eventual life-changing news is recounted with raw honesty. Tahli's determination and resilience shine through as she explains how she continued to push for answers when treatments didn't seem to be working, embodying the critical message of being your own health advocate.

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Beauty and the Geek, and his Will

In 2022 Lachy joined the World’s Greatest Shave community, buzzing off his locks to raise funds and awareness for the Leukaemia Foundation’s work. But what started out as an act of support for people living with blood cancer turned into something far more personal.

  • Our supporters
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Talking Blood Cancer: Life Beyond the Diagnosis

In this inaugural episode of the Talking Blood Cancer podcast, our distinguished host Kate Arkadieff welcomes Peter Geary, a resolute myeloma patient and advocate, to share his profound journey since being diagnosed with asymptomatic myeloma in 2018. The episode begins with Peter recounting the moment of diagnosis and the subsequent "watch and wait" approach that marked the early days of his experience with blood cancer.

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Noel’s gift in will is a tribute to his family

When it came to writing his Will, Noel chose to leave a lasting legacy to the Leukaemia Foundation. With the naming of The Hurd Family Unit, the Leukaemia Foundation is delighted to recognise Noel’s kind-hearted bequest.

  • Our supporters
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How Sophie Gray found new meaning through blood cancer

After having a routine blood test, Sophie's GP told her that there was something “a bit off” in her results. With a plan to have another blood test in a month, Sophie flew back to the UK to spend time with family and friends, not giving it much more thought.

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Sophie Gray AML in treatment

Best and brightest researchers taking on leukaemia

Two leading blood cancer researchers hope to change the future of blood cancer treatment.

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Talking Blood Cancer: 2023 festive wrap-up

In this special Christmas wrap-up episode of Talking Blood Cancer, hosts Kate and Maryanne reflect on the stories and conversations shared in Season 3 of the podcast. We touch on various topics including feelings of happiness, managing fatigue, coping with infections, and pondering the essence of time. The festive season is a significant time, one that it can be both a time of celebration and reflection. We offer you wishes of love, health, and happiness for the upcoming year.

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Talking Blood Cancer

Talking Blood Cancer: Glenys Davidson’s Journey

In this episode of the Talking Blood Cancer podcast, host Vanessa is joined by guest Glenys Davidson to share her journey with acute myeloid leukaemia candidly. Vanessa reflects on the observation of people navigating through treatment at the facility where she is based, setting the stage for a real, raw conversation about the impact of blood cancer on patients and their support networks.

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Philanthropist Tom Shearer extends a helping hand

Tom Shearer grew up in Mannum, South Australia, a country town not far from Adelaide.  Tom enjoyed a happy childhood, raised by parents who held strong values, including a responsibility for helping people in need. The values instilled by Tom’s parents translated to his generous spirit, with Tom becoming a loyal supporter of the Leukaemia Foundation.

  • Our supporters
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Tom Shearer and his dog, Sam

There was never a moment anyone told me, “You are now disabled”

Christie Yu was 18 years old and studying pharmacy when she became run down, attributing it to balancing university and her other commitments.

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Last updated on February 9th, 2023

Developed by the Leukaemia Foundation in consultation with people living with a blood cancer, Leukaemia Foundation support staff, haematology nursing staff and/or Australian clinical haematologists. This content is provided for information purposes only and we urge you to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis, treatment and answers to your medical questions, including the suitability of a particular therapy, service, product or treatment in your circumstances. The Leukaemia Foundation shall not bear any liability for any person relying on the materials contained on this website.