Leukaemia Foundation

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Our vision is zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035

The  Leukaemia  Foundation is the Australian charity stopping blood cancer from wrecking lives. Today, another 50 Australians will be told the heartbreaking news that they’ve been diagnosed with a blood cancer, joining more than 110,000 people living with the devastating impact of the country's second most diagnosed cancer. It can happen to anyone of any age, at any time. After a diagnosis, it can be nearly impossible to know where to turn.

This is where – with your help – a Leukaemia Foundation Blood Cancer Support Coordinator steps in.

These highly trained support workers are there to ensure all Australians diagnosed with blood cancer are supported through the darkest moments that follow a diagnosis.

Whether it’s a friendly face or voice to turn to for someone newly diagnosed, information about treatment and side effects or counselling for those who have lost a loved one, Blood Cancer Support Coordinators are there every step of the way providing precious relief, guidance and a helping hand at every turn.

This year, your Dry July fundraising will directly fund the work of the Leukaemia Foundation’s Blood Cancer Support team across Australia.

Go dry and help give life-changing support for Australians affected by blood cancer.

Latest Updates

Maddison's Story

22-year-old animal lover, Maddison Walker’s dream, is to become a Zookeeper, and a blood cancer diagnosis isn’t getting in her way

In July 2019, Maddison Walker was on her way to achieving her dream job — becoming a Zookeeper. After moving to QLD six months earlier, Maddison and her mother were both settling into their new life in the Sunshine State.

“I was still looking for work in QLD as we had only been there six months. I have always been very passionate about animals. I spent a lot of days at home with my pets, taking my dogs to the park, and spending time with family and my partner at the time.”

Maddison didn’t know what was coming next would change her life forever.

“I have hypothyroidism and regularly get my blood tested to check the levels, so after one of my routine tests, I got a call from my GP asking me to come in urgently, and that’s when I received the crushing news that I had blood cancer.”

“I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) on the 1st of August 2019. After I was diagnosed, I was quite numb. My mum and boyfriend at the time were with me in the room, and my mum just burst into tears. I was just overwhelmed and scared.”

Maddison’s treatment started as suddenly as her cancer appeared. After weeks of intense chemotherapy, she was facing devastating side effects.

“Different chemo drugs affected me differently. One really damaged my liver and made me very yellow, which the doctors decided eventually to cease. Another oral chemo made me violently ill”

“The biggest effect on me would have to be that the chemo (and radiation from my transplant specifically) caused me to become infertile.”

“To a 20-year-old girl who'd always dreamt of becoming a mother, it was shocking knowing that I would never be able to carry my own child. This is still one of the most upsetting consequences to come from my treatment.”

Thankfully, Maddison was not alone in her journey.

She received assistance from the Leukaemia Foundation’s nationwide team of Blood Cancer Support Coordinators during her treatment.

“Because I couldn’t work, and my mum, who was my carer at the time, had to give up work whilst l was on treatment, they helped us out a lot with our finances. We struggled to pay for basic things like groceries, bills, petrol and registration, and they were able to step in.”

“I had a Blood Cancer Support Coordinator who was always available when I needed something. They always tried to help in any way they could, they always checked in and offered assistance, and it was just nice to feel supported whilst I had other things to focus on.”

“They would write letters if I needed something (like a recommendation or reference for an application). They were really knowledgeable with resources and helped me with medical information for my treatment.

They were always there for myself and my mum.”

After enduring a stem cell transplant in May 2020, Maddison is currently in remission and is looking forward to her future.

“I completed my Cert II in Animal Studies in December last year, and I have applied for my Cert III in exhibited animals for this year, so hopefully, I am accepted into that soon! I am very career focused right now, and I am tunnel-visioned to becoming a zookeeper, so that's what I am hoping to achieve.”

By signing up for Dry July and raising funds for the Leukaemia Foundation, your money will directly fund a Blood Cancer Support Coordinator's incredible work so that more Australians like Maddison can access critical support when they need it most.

Your 2021 Dry July fundraising went towards Leukaemia Foundation’s incredible Blood Cancer Support Coordinators

Whether it’s a friendly face to turn to for someone newly diagnosed, information about treatment and side effects or assistance with transportation or emergency accommodation — the Blood Cancer Support Team is here to provide precious relief and guidance at every turn for Aussies living with blood cancer.

Last year, the funds you raised went towards:

• Improving digital and online access to support for patients across the country.

• The introduction of a triage team so that patients and carers can immediately get in touch with the right people.

• A bigger focus on specialist areas such as exercise and supporting regional and rural communities.

• Launching an online referral form process where blood cancer patients can refer themselves directly for immediate support.

Because of these improvements made possible by your fundraising efforts, Australians living with blood cancer can access our support at any time from anywhere, in a way that works for them.

This year, the Leukaemia Foundation is again challenging Aussies to go Dry this July and raise funds that will continue to support their nationwide Blood Cancer Support Team. Your funds will ensure that they are there for the 50 Aussies who will be diagnosed with blood cancer today, and they will continue to be there for the 50 Aussies who will receive the same devastating news tomorrow.

Thanks to Dry July 2021 participants, Leukaemia Foundation can continue to fund their Blood Cancer Support Coordinators

Your fundraising for Dry July has enabled the Leukaemia Foundation’s Blood Cancer Support Coordinators to continue their amazing work helping the 50 Australians diagnosed with blood cancer each and every day.

These big-hearted heroes are on the front line providing precious relief and guidance to those who need it most when navigating a blood cancer diagnosis.

On behalf of all patients and the entire Leukaemia Foundation, thank you for your support and contribution to making a positive difference in the lives of people living with blood cancer.

Your fundrasing has helped Leukaemia Foundation support people like Courtney

30 year old Courtney was used to living a very active lifestyle going to CrossFit, playing football and working as a prison officer before she started noticing changes to her physical health in mid-2019. Struggling to run and feeling quickly fatigued, Courtney wasn't feeling her usual self.

After a visit to the doctor followed by multiple tests, Courtney was diagnosed with FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukaemia and began chemotherapy immediately.

Living in Bega, a small country town in southern New South Wales, the closest treatment facility was Canberra Hospital; a three-hour drive away from home.

During her treatment, Courtney’s family called Leukaemia Foundation's John James Village home where they were given a unit free-of-charge.

“We didn’t know anybody in Canberra and would’ve been completely lost without that support,” said Courtney.

Read Courtney's full story here: 

Dry July funds help the Leukaemia Foundation support families like the Andersons.

In March last year, 11-year-old Cooper was diagnosed with blood cancer. This diagnosis was nothing short of heartbreaking for both Cooper and his family. With great support and successful initial treatment, Cooper thankfully reached remission months later. 🥰

For those of you who watched our Dry July leaderboard closely last year, you might have come across Cooper's parents, Mel & Mark Anderson. As self-proclaimed fundraising novices, the pair set themselves a $1,000 goal, and by the end of July, they'd raised an incredible $30,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation - how amazing is that!  

The Leukaemia Foundation is using Dry July fundraising to support their Blood Cancer Support Coordinators, who help families navigate the health system, share vital information to understand a diagnosis, and help access important services like accommodation close to life-saving treatment.  

It's stories of strength and resilience like the Anderson's that inspire us to make Dry July bigger and better each year - we can't wait to support more people affected by cancer in 2021. ❤️ 

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