Imagine a time when we are all free of the malignant curse of cancer.
Failing that seemingly impossible dream, imagine a time when treatments are not only more effective; life-giving and hope-inducing, but less invasive and debilitating.
This is a wishful dream held by millions of Australians. Indeed it would be hard to find someone who has not known a friend or loved one who has not harboured this rancorous internal dread and clung to the hope that experts can find a solution.
There is one man in Ballarat to whom this cure is not a ephemeral dream but rather the passionate even practical reason he gets up each morning and goes to work. He is driven by a wider vision that slow, hard work will deliver that hope, even that reality, to his patients and the wider community.
The man is George Kannourakis and his hope is that through the work of the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute he can make this difference.
But he needs your help… and this weekend is the time to make the effort.
The good news is almost anyone can help.
The annual cycle classic which is also a run or even just a healthy walk around the lake (with or without your dog) is, if you sign up and make a small contribution, one more small step toward making that dream a reality.
Professor Kannourakis has reiterated himself the event has been pivotal in allowing the institute to expand its research and cancer immunology treatments.
“Without funding we can’t employ our scientists and we can’t do our research. There is only one thing that stops research and that is the funding. There is no reason why we couldn’t have the best research institute in Australia here in Ballarat if we had the funding,”
More than $1.6 million has been raised by the Ballarat Cycle Classic over its 10 year history, with 100 per cent of registration fees donated to the centre and its ground breaking work. And while the institute runs solely off donations with no government funding, it is the contribution of every one of thousands of participants and the work of passionate volunteers at the Ballarat Cycle Classic which are crucial in allowing this cancer research to continue in Ballarat.
Ballarat has an appetite for fun and this event is fun but Ballarat has an even bigger heart for a great cause, and this is one of them. Get out there and make your contribution to the dream.