Changing lives and giving hope for a brighter future.
What does research mean to you? For Elizabeth, research means other families touched by lung cancer may have more time with their loved ones. When her Mum, Ellen, was diagnosed in 2014, her family’s world was turned upside down. Elizabeth, a nurse, was shocked when she learnt the heart-breaking statistics about lung cancer and how little funding is invested in research. After losing her loving mother to the devastating disease, Elizabeth was determined to do her part to help other families have a fighting chance. Today, she has raised $37,000 to support life-changing lung cancer research and support.
“I will always remember my Mum for her strength. She wasn’t ashamed of who she was. She was the strongest person I’ve ever met,” Elizabeth said. “I didn’t really realise until after my Mum passed away how unfair patients with lung cancer are treated and how little funding goes into looking after or looking into lung cancer.
“If there was more research put into lung cancer, I still might have my mum.”
In its first year the LungRaiser Charity Ball, founded by Elizabeth, raised over $17,000 and more than $20,000 in its second. With the funds raised and in honour of Elizabeth’s late mother, the Lung Foundation Australia Ellen Yates Memorial Grant-in-Aid was established.
Today, the grant is supporting young researcher, Dr Afaf Abed, whose project is investigating treatment responses in people living with lung cancer. This research has the potential to help advance our understanding of when a treatment is working optimally and when it isn’t – a critical step to identifying the most effective treatment for an individual as early as possible.
“The only way to improve our understanding of lung cancer and, as a result, the treatment of ung cancer, is through research, and research needs funding,” Dr Abed said.
“I really appreciate Ellen Yates’ family who contributed to my research. The whole aim at the end is to improve the health and wellbeing of our patients, which could be my Mum or my Dad or my relative.”
Elizabeth encourages anyone who can fundraise or donate to join the Lung Foundation Australia community and help give other families a reason for hope.
“I am so humbled to be able to do this. I wanted to do something that I knew would make Mum proud and I think I’ve done that,” she said.
“My hope for the future is that patients with lung cancer will have a fair fight. If you can, please, please donate. We need your help. Families and patients need your help.”
Reasons to give
In honour of our 30th anniversary, Lung Foundation Australia is highlighting 30 reasons to donate to life-changing research. These reasons will be shared through the compelling stories of those affected, like Elizabeth, and by the researchers we support, like Afaf, who are working tirelessly to discover lifesaving breakthroughs. There are many ways you can give – donate, fundraise, become a regular giver or leave a gift in your Will. Visit lungfoundation.com.au/donate or free call 1800 654 301 to find out more.