Australia’s only national charity dedicated to help cure and conquer blood cancer, the Leukaemia Foundation officially kick starts the 22nd World’s Greatest Shave across the country from Wednesday 11 March.
This year, the event aims to raise $16.5 million to provide vital support for the 41 Australians diagnosed with blood cancer every day – that’s one person diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other related blood disorders every 36 minutes.
Blood cancers are among the most frequently diagnosed and most deadly cancers in Australia. The latest statistics confirm that one in 10 Australians diagnosed with cancer will have a blood cancer, and approximately one in seven cancer deaths in Australia will be due to blood cancer.
Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said over the past decade, the incidence of blood cancer has grown by around 30 percent.
“We know that blood cancer is a significant problem in Australia. It doesn’t discriminate, it can develop in anyone, of any age, in any territory and at any time. Unlike other cancers, there are no screening programs available and no way to prevent a blood cancer through lifestyle change, ” Mr Petch said.
“Money raised through the World’s Greatest Shave is critical to ensure that Australians diagnosed with this deadly disease can gain the access they need to the best treatment, supportive care and trusted relevant information, regardless of where they live in Australia,” he said.
As the Leukaemia Foundation’s primary fundraising campaign, the World’s Greatest Shave continues to support and make a significant difference for Australians living with blood cancer. All of the Leukaemia Foundation support services including emotional, information, financial and practical support continue to be provided at no cost.
Last year alone, over 52,000 nights of accommodation were provided to ensure regional families have a home-away-from-home when needing to relocate to a major city for their vital treatment and close to 30,000 patient transport services were provided to and from medical appointments and cancer treatments.
With the support of the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt, the Leukaemia Foundation also established Australia’s first National Blood Cancer Taskforce, which includes 30 of Australia’s leading blood cancer experts and stakeholders. This year, the Taskforce will deliver Australia’s first National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer, an evidence-based blueprint to improve survival and quality of life outcomes for people living with blood cancer.
“Thank you to everyone taking part in the World’s Greatest Shave for your support and generosity. Your brave acts of shaving, cutting and colouring your hair make a significant difference to Australian men, women and children living with blood cancer. We can’t do this without you!” continued Mr Petch.
It’s not too late to register or support this year’s Leukaemia Foundation’s fundraising efforts, simply download the World’s Greatest Shave app, sign up online at worldsgreatestshave.com or call 1800 500 088 for more information.