ACT News


Neurosurgeon helps raise funds for brain cancer cure

Canberran Yvonne Anthoney knows the pain of brain cancer better than most.

She lost her 15-year-old daughter Dainere to the disease just five months ago.

She still remembers the day in 2009 when the family got the diagnosis.

''Our whole lives were turned upside down in that one day and they'd never be the same again,'' she said.

On Friday afternoon she joined more than 100 people on the lawns of Parliament House to plant 1200 pictures of brains - one for every annual Australian death from brain cancer.

Along with renowned neurologist Charlie Teo, they hoped to raise awareness of the disease and donations in the hope of finding a cure.


Dainere had worked tirelessly to combat brain cancer and she was posthumously named the Young Canberran of the Year last week for her efforts.

''She did not want children to suffer the way she had to or for families to go through what we did,'' said Mrs Anthoney.

Every year 1600 Australians are diagnosed with brain cancer.

It is also now the No. 1 cancer cause of death among young children.

There is no screening program currently in place and the treatments that exist often have terrible side effects.

Dr Teo has been a powerful advocate for brain cancer research and his organisation Cure For Life this year raised $4 million to help fight the disease. He said there was a great lack of public awareness about brain cancer and the devastating impact it has on families and the community.

''Brain cancer ranks No. 1 in its impact on society more than any other cancer, because it kills children and it kills young people,'' he said. ''And those young people have lost their future, we've lost their future and Australia loses out.''

Liberal senator Zed Seselja, who came out to support the event, said that he would fight for more funding for brain cancer research.

''People shouldn't have to suffer in the way the Anthoneys have and the way thousands of other families do,'' he said.

''I think that's something the government has to address,'' Senator Seselja said.