A Gift of Hope is a gift of financial support provided to in-need Australians with life-threatening conditions such as cancer. For patients who are struggling to afford the best treatment for their cancer, a donor-funded Gift of Hope can be life-changing.
Sarah*, a young mother of three, has a rare subtype of cervical cancer that has spread through her abdomen. Promising new research suggests that some cervical cancer patients can go into full remission with new immunotherapy treatments that are being used to treat other cancers such as melanoma. However, as this research is so recent, it will likely take years before the treatment will be funded by the government in Australia for this condition, leaving patients like Sarah with large out-of-pocket expenses.
Associate Professor Kynan Feeney, St John of God Murdoch Hospital’s Head of Cancer Services, says that his is a common difficulty with new cancer treatments.
“I trained as an Oncologist 15 years ago. During that time, immunotherapy was just a dream, gene therapy emerging in a few select conditions, and nothing was known about possible cures using these therapies. In the space of less than two decades, treatment for cancer is now looking at curing previously incurable cancers, treating conditions we couldn’t even previously treat, and all with less toxic therapies.
“One of the difficulties with these new treatments, however, is that they can initially be unfunded by the government due to the time it takes for government to approve drugs for funding. This is where Gifts of Hope make a difference.”
A/Prof Feeney has seen firsthand how a Gift of Hope can help patients like Sarah to access treatments that might otherwise be out of reach, bringing hope when patients may have exhausted all other treatment options.
"This treatment will give Sarah a chance to see her children grow up, a chance of life. Even if it doesn’t guarantee remission, it provides hope, a hope based on the possibility of a great outcome in a person who has a lot of life left to live and whom might otherwise not be given this chance. So it is a real Gift of Hope.”
To support a Gift of Hope, please go to sjogfoundation.org.au/hope or call us on 1800 281 288.
*Not her real name