2009 has been a very busy year for us, but with the enormous amount of love and support we've received I'm happy to say we've achieved a lot.
As most of you already know we launched the Australian Sarcoma Kindred Study (ASK) which has been established to investigate the genetic causes of Sarcoma cancer within families. Currently there are 71 families enrolled in the ASK Study across Victoria, NSW and QLD. A "population" of 300 study participants is considered significant from a medical research perspective and we anticipate reaching this number by the end of 2010.
Such is the success of the ASK study that we have recently received international interest. The Dana Faber Cancer Centre in Boston, Mt Sinai Hospital in Toronto and the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute in Bologna (Italy) have all expressed interest in initiating the study in their respective centres. In addition to this we have had discussions with the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. They are very keen to start up the study and have already engaged the ethical approval process.
Closer to home, we donated the first hospital-standard double beds for terminally ill patients at the Sacred Heart Hospice in Darlinghurst. We have made a commitment to Sacred Heart to continue helping them improve their facilities. Our fabulous supporter network also ran fantastic fund raising events in Tamworth and Melbourne this year that raised over $40,000! Thank you all so much.
Early in the New Year, Rainbows for Kate will launch the first PhD level scholarship dedicated solely to researching Sarcoma cancer. The Scholarship, to be named The Sarcoma Research Award sponsored through Rainbows for Kate in memory of Tom Wood, will be funded over 3 years at a total cost of $75,000 and will be coordinated by the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group (ASSG). We have been able to do this as a direct result of the $135,000 AUD that we raised in this year’s City to Surf fun run. We had the largest team and raised the most money of any charity team. Of course we will be looking to better our performance next year, so mark it in your diaries, runners!
Lastly we would like to thank the very brave Wood and Nugent families. You will see Tom Wood and John Simpson's stories on our website here. We believe that every Sarcoma story is special and needs to be shared. Sarcoma sufferers are not alone and I think we've all done an incredible amount in such a short time to demonstrate exactly that.
Thank you again for providing your support every time we need it. We look forward to updating you all with another page of progress this time next year.
We at the Rainbows for Kate Foundation would like to wish you good health and happiness, and all the best for 2010.