Professor imagines a world in which you don’t just treat childhood cancer, but prevent it.
- Professor Glenn Marshall recognised with a five-year, Leadership 2 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grant of $900,000
- Hyundai Help for Kids partnership with Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation fund SIOPEN Neuroblastoma Clinical Trials in Australia and New Zealand
Professor Glenn Marshall doesn’t want you to think about him and the long nights worrying over the kids he’s trying to save from the cruel threat of cancer, or the even longer days he spends at the bedside or laboratory bench hoping for positive results about one of his young patients. He doesn’t want you to think about him, because he’s not the story. Childhood cancer, and fighting it, is the only story he wants to talk about.
What keeps Professor Marshall going through the hours, days, weeks and months is not our thoughts, well-wishes or admiration - which is the overwhelming emotion you feel when speaking to him. It is his patients - the children - who find a way to laugh and smile, despite the terrible ordeals they are enduring.
“Just seeing the kids every day is what keeps me going, meeting the families and just trying to help them,” he says, in his quiet, humble way. “There’s still so much work to do. One in six kids with cancer are still dying, and that’s too many. That’s what gets me out of bed every day. I want every single kid to make it.”
When Professor Marshall, the Head of Translational Research and Molecular Carcinogenesis at the Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI), says that, it doesn’t sound like just a mission statement. It’s spoken with the deep, personal passion of someone who has seen children lost to cancer, grieved with their families and come away determined to do more.
He doesn’t do this work alone, of course, and for several years he’s been receiving financial assistance from our Hyundai Help for Kids partnership with Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation which has a very similar mantra to Professor Marshall - “improving outcomes for children with cancer through targeted treatments and prevention.”
To speak to the Professor is not only to be awed and inspired, however, it is to be educated. To discover that almost half of all childhood cancers have set their destructive course while a baby is still in the womb. Or that scientists can now use animal models to help create treatments - giving the specific cancer found in one patient to a mouse model, testing drugs for efficacy before they are given to a child.
It’s the kind of incredible high-tech, world-leading work that will be taking place on an even larger scale once the new, and vital, Comprehensive Children’s Cancer Centre (CCCC) facility is built in Sydney in 2025, at a cost of more than $400 million.
“The Federal and State Governments as well as several philanthropic organisations have decided to invest in improving child cancer outcomes by bringing cancer scientists and doctors under the same roof to provide better solutions to the problems facing children with cancer,” Professor Marshall enthuses.
The CCCC will be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and one of only a few similar institutions internationally.
About Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation
Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation (SWCCF) originated in 2001 as the Steven Walter Fund and was incorporated in March 2008 as part of a strategic plan to develop a significant long-term fundraising capacity to benefit childhood cancer research in Australia. The origins of SWCCF lay in the wishes of Steven Walter, a young man who died in 2000 at the age of 19 after an 8-year fight against cancer. In his final days Steven wrote a powerful letter to his family and friends asking them to raise money for childhood cancer research“so that one day no other kid would have to go through what I’ve been through”.
Vision - “100% survival for all children with cancer and prevention of their suffering.”
Mission - To make a difference for children with cancer by raising philanthropic funds for childhood cancer research which can impact on the current clinical standards of care for children with cancer, reduce side effects and improve survival rates.
About Hyundai Help for Kids
Hyundai Help for Kids is the charitable arm of Hyundai Australia’s dedicated corporate social responsibility program and has been changing the lives of children in need, and their families, since its inception in 2014.
It is a joint initiative of Hyundai Motor Company Australia and the 170+ strong Hyundai National Dealer Network, whereby a contribution from every new vehicle sold goes towards assisting children and their families in areas of medical, community and vehicle assistance with contributions totaling more than $8.6 million dollars to date.
For more information about Hyundai Help for Kids please visit: hyundaihelpforkids.com.au