A word from the founder
Dear parents, staff and all our little pirates,
I’d like to begin by saying thank you to each and every one of you who took part in Pirate Day last year. The day was a humungous success far exceeding any of our expectations. What started with just a letter from a dad ended up with over 500 schools/day care centres participating and over 100,000 kids dressing up. Now that’s a lot of pirates!
If you didn’t take part or if you haven’t heard about us before, the event is a pirate dress up day that took place in schools and day care centres across Australia. The primary aim of the day was to increase awareness of and to raise funds for research into finding a cure for childhood brain cancer.
A few years ago my little boy Conor (who was 5 at the time) was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The hospital performed several operations to remove the tumour as well as treating him with chemotherapy and radiation therapy with some success. Unfortunately, the tumour returned a few months later in a more aggressive cancerous state and the doctors gave him around a 20% chance of surviving two more years.
As you can imagine our whole family was devastated and I spent countless nights researching to see if there was anything more I could do to help my son. The more I read the more heartbroken I became. I read story after story of families who had lost their child to this terrible disease. I discovered that for every two children who were diagnosed with a brain tumour one of them will sadly lose their life and the ones that do survive often have severe lasting side effects. I also discovered that childhood brain cancer is responsible for more deaths in Australia than any other childhood disease and what’s even worse is that the treatment and survival rates have barely changed over the past 30 years.
Childhood cancer isn’t preventable like a lot of adult cancers. Kids can’t reduce their risk by eating healthier and exercising more. It can happen to anyone at any time. I found out that the only way to stop this awful disease is by finding a cure and the only way to do that is with research. It is only through research that my son Conor (who is now 9) has defied the odds and is still with us today. I wish I could say he has been cured of his illness but sadly his fight against cancer is not yet over and neither is mine.
Thanks to all of your efforts last year we raised more than $140,000 Australia wide and funded a whole new area of research at the Telethon Kids Institute. This year I’m hoping we can double that amount.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to all of you who took part last year and how proud I am as a parent, and as an Australian, of each and every one of you. On behalf of my son, my family and every single person affected by this disease thank you Australia, thank you all so much.