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Battle against aggressive childhood cancer advanced by crucial funding

March 2, 2018 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

A promising research project that aims to develop new treatments for an aggressive childhood cancer has been given a major boost through the Sydney Airport Community Christmas Giving Appeal.

The Appeal raised a record $408,000 for Cure Cancer Australia last year, in support of early-career researchers working across all areas of cancer research and all cancer types.

It will fund a two-year research project led by Dr Orazio Vittorio into neuroblastoma, a cancer with low survival rates. Dr Vittorio is working to find more effective ways to target neuroblastoma cells, while also ensuring fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapies.

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert thanked everyone involved in the six-week fundraising effort.

“I was grateful to have the privilege to tour Dr Vittorio’s lab recently and hear about his remarkable vision firsthand,” Mr Culbert said.

“We all want nothing more than to see he and his fellow researchers triumph in their fight against this insidious disease and we’re immensely proud of what last year’s Appeal has achieved.

“It’s been humbling to see our airport community, passengers, corporate partners and the wider community come together with Cure Cancer Australia to make this Appeal such a success.”

Cure Cancer Australia CEO Floyd Larsen also paid tribute to all those who contributed to the Appeal.

“We are delighted with the amount raised through our partnership with the Sydney Airport Community Christmas Giving Appeal,” Ms Larsen said.

“Thanks to the generosity of all of our supporters, Dr Orazio Vittorio will be able to carry out two years of vital, pioneering research into new treatments for neuroblastoma, which occurs most commonly in children between the ages of 0-5 years.

“The funds raised through this Appeal have the potential to really make a difference to our mission, which is to make this the last generation to die from cancer.

“We are so incredibly grateful to everyone involved.”

Cure Cancer Australia is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to funding Australia’s brightest emerging cancer researchers.

Currently conducting his research through Children’s Cancer Institute at the University of New South Wales, Dr Vittorio said the support from Cure Cancer Australia and Sydney Airport was vital.

“This two-year grant provides me with the opportunity to test my hypotheses, expand my research and create new knowledge,” he said.

“The results I obtain could ultimately impact clinical practice, leading to better outcomes for patients.

“I would like to extend my personal thanks to everyone who has contributed to this Appeal. It is only by working together that we can make a lasting difference.”

Sydney Airport’s three partner Rotary clubs – Marrickville, Botany Bay and Rockdale – once again donated their coin collection bins during the six weeks of the Appeal, contributing $24,000 to the fundraising total.

Sydney Airport and Cure Cancer Australia thanked the many corporate partners that supported the 2017 appeal, including Rotary, Hawker Pacific, Rydges, Heinemann Tax & Duty Free, LG, Soul Origin, Captain Cook Cruises, Lagardere, Airport Retail Enterprises, Emirates Leisure (including Kitchen by Mike), Gourmet Traveller, Chandon, Young Henrys, NAB, Snowgoose, American Express, McGuigan Wines, Quest, SNP, Carbridge, Virgin Australia, Orix, SunCorp and Westpac.

The Sydney Airport Community Christmas Giving Appeal is a six-week fundraising and awareness campaign uniting the airport community and travelling public in support of a great cause. The Appeal has raised $1.4 million over the past six years.

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