More than 780 Victorians walked or ran the Lighthouse Classic during the month of January to help shed new light on what causes cancer and how it can be treated more effectively.
Most participants chose to complete the Lighthouse Classic by walking the 12-kilometre return track from Urquhart Bluff to the Airey’s Inlet Lighthouse while others chose their own route including to the Olympics Rings Memorial in Ballarat, to the Queenscliff Lighthouse, along Port Melbourne beach and even to the Cleveland Point Lighthouse in Queensland.
Lighthouse Classic founder and Anglesea resident Janet Jones thanked participants and donors for helping to raise more than $70,000 in a month for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute (FECRI) in Ballarat.
“In just one month, the Lighthouse Classic brought hundreds of people together to rally behind an important cause, raise awareness and support those facing cancer,” she said.
“Thanks to the generosity of businesses and residents from Ballarat, the Surf Coast and beyond, the Lighthouse Classic exceeded expectations and raised enough money to fund a scientist at the Fiona Elsey Research Institute until the end of the year.”
“I’m also personally so grateful to my friends and family for supporting me and a cause that’s so important to me and to others affected by cancer,” she said.
Janet said support from the Eagle Nest Fine Art Gallery at Airey’s Inlet, the Lighthouse Tea Rooms at Airey’s Inlet, Yeux Apparel, Register Now, Impact Teamwear at Ballarat, a la grecque restaurant at Airey’s Inlet, Zoe Strapp Photography and Ocean Inlet Holiday Accommodation also helped to ensure the Lighthouse Classic was a success.
FECRI leading researcher Professor George Kannourakis, who has been Janet’s oncologist for more than 30 years, said the funds would help with research focusing on the role of the immune system in cancer.
“We are working on identifying proteins on aggressive breast cancer cells that act as a fog to immune cells. By identifying these proteins, we can block them so that immune cells can identify and kill the cancer cells without the need for chemotherapy and radiation,” he said.
“The Lighthouse Classic not only provides much-needed funds for our research but also helps with our work to take research biopsy samples at the time of diagnosis or recurrence of cancer. It is only through this approach that we can better treat aggressive cancers in the future.”
The research aims to help patients with a broad range of cancers – from Leukemia, Bowel, Ovarian, Breast, Renal, Lung, Melanoma and Pancreato-Biliary cancers, as well as haematological cancers.
SPECIAL THANKS TO