The Dansick Family

The Dansick family of Geelong first became involved with fundraising for cancer research in 1993, when their healthy twelve year old daughter, Ainsley, was suddenly diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (a muscle tumour).

Through friends and Ainsley's school community 'Crazy Hat' and 'Head Shave' days were organised in support of Ainsley. Her good fortune at this time was to meet her dedicated and caring oncologist, Professor George Kannourakis, then at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. The funds raised were initially directed to Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital; however, as plans for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Laboratory took shape at Ballarat, funds were then donated to the C.I.C.A. (Cancer in Children and Adults) group at Ballarat.

In 1994, Rhonda Roguskyj, a close family friend, decided to organise a shopping tour to Melbourne warehouse outlets. 10% of the amount spent by the shoppers on the tour is donated to a nominated beneficiary. Approximately $800 was raised on that tour. When Rhonda fell pregnant the next year, the Dansick family decided to take on another tour. Still today, these tours are still an annual event. They now run three large buses of ladies to Melbourne and raising well over $2,000 per event.

Ainsley and her friends formed a group which and with her wonderful sense of humour, Ainsley named them 'Hair Today, Bare Tomorrow'. School events began to raise thousands of dollars. Professor Kannourakis visited the school to speak at a School Assembly, heightening the awareness of the whole school community about his research. Following Ainsley's passing in 2001, her family and friends have continued to organise events ranging from Dinner Auctions to Talent Extravaganzas and Fashion Spectaculars. Over $100,000 has been raised by 'Hair Today, Bare Tomorrow' and the group has gathered a band of loyal supporters, some who have also held their own private events for the Centre.

In 2009, in memory of Ainsley and in recogintion of the Dansick family's dedicated support to the Centre, the Ainsley Dansick Cancer Research Laboratory was opened by Professor Kerry Cox.