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Meet the Blood Cancer Taskforce: Dr Rishi Kotecha

Taskforce member Dr Rishi Kotecha
Taskforce member Dr Rishi Kotecha

The Blood Cancer Taskforce is well on its way to developing Australia’s first National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer. We ask some of the Taskforce members what drives their passion for blood cancer.

Why did you want to be part of the Taskforce?

I am a paediatric haematologist and oncologist, so it was important to be on the Blood Cancer Taskforce to ensure appropriate representation within the taskforce for children and adolescents who are living with blood cancers.

What led to you become a part of the blood cancer community?

I am the clinical lead for paediatric leukaemia and lymphoma for Western Australia and co-lead the Leukaemia and Cancer Genetics paediatric preclinical research program for WA. I have become actively involved in the blood cancer community through these avenues.

What drives your passion to help people with blood cancer?

My passion stems from seeing the suffering that children with blood cancer and their families have to endure. This has driven me to ensure that we develop and have access to the latest clinical trials and innovative agents for children with blood cancer in Australia, such that we provide the best therapy to continually improve outcomes for patients.

How do you think the Taskforce might improve the lives of people with a blood cancer?

The Blood Cancer Taskforce will improve the lives of people with a blood cancer diagnosis through advocacy, education and acting as a representative body for all individuals living with blood cancer in Australia.

What is your key piece of advice for someone living with a blood cancer?

The most important advice would be to be aware of the resources that are available to help someone living with blood cancer. This is not only limited to medical resources but to be aware of support offered by philanthropic organisations such as the Leukaemia Foundation and local NGOs.

The Leukaemia Foundation is always there to provide support to people living with a blood cancer – just call 1800 620 420 and ask to speak with your local Blood Cancer Support Coordinator.

Rishi is a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist & Clinical Haematologist at the Perth Children’s Hospital.