Two Canberra girls have raised more than $12,000 for brain cancer research by selling earrings from a stall in Manuka.
Zara Skepev, 8 and Mila Costa, 9, are donating all the proceeds to cancer research being conducted by Professor Leonie Quinn.
Professor Leonie Quinn works at the John Curtin School of Medicine at the Australian National University.
She started her lab at the University of Melbourne, before relocating to ANU in 2016. Since then, her research has focused on discovering the underlying elements of brain cancer.
The research uses vinegar flies to study how different genetic mutations contribute to brain cancer and how then to tailor specific treatments for patients.
The girls were this week treated to a tour of the lab with Professor Quinn to see how their donation will be used, getting a close up look at all facets of the research.
Zara, who attends Canberra Grammar, and Mila, who is a student at Canberra Girls Grammar, are best friends.
With the encouragement of her parents, who are big supporters of local charities, Zara decided to make earrings to raise money for Professor Quinn and her research.
She and Mila made more than 300 pairs, starting out just by watching YouTube videos.
They even came up with a name for their business Z and M Co. And have an Instagram page @zandm.co
They then sold them outside Joanne Flowers in Manuka last weekend.
Their families also set up a donation page on mycause.com.au
With the sale of the earrings and the donations, the girls have raised more $12,000 for the ANU research.
Zara, who'd like to be a scientist, was thrilled with the response.
"We dream of a world without brain cancer," the girls say.
Both families are proud of the efforts made by the girls and the way they have thought of helping others.
The Z and M. Co earrings will also be for sale at the ANU Open Day on Saturday, March 18.