Felishia Abbott (pictured) was so grateful for the support she received from the Flinders Cancer Clinic team during her battle with advanced ovarian cancer that she was determined “to give something back”.
She created the fundraising event Footing It For Flinders and, last year, with twenty-one other women all touched in some way by cancer, Felishia raised $101,500 for the new Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC) by taking part in a five-day trek through the Flinders Ranges.
On Monday – much to Felishia’s surprise and delight – at a special turning of the sod event for the soon to be built FCIC, State Premier Mike Rann pledged that his government would double that amount.
A joint venture between Flinders University, Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) and the FMC Foundation, the $27 million Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer will be an integrated cancer centre that focuses on innovative prevention strategies, clinical, biomedical and translational research and holistic patient care.
FCIC Director of Development, Professor Graeme Young said cancer prevention research could be the most effective ‘cure’ for cancer we will see in the next decade.
“Cancer does not form overnight – often taking years to develop,” Professor Young said.
“By understanding the biology of its development we are already finding ways to halt and alter its progression, diagnose and treat cells before they turn cancerous and also reverse damage.”
Cycling legend and cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong, after whose cancer foundation LIVESTRONG® a research wing of the new integrated cancer centre will be named, was present at yesterday’s event.
Detailed design on the Centre will continue over the next five months with bulldozers moving onto the site in July this year. The Centre has an expected completion date of August 2011.
Donations to support the LIVESTRONG Cancer Research Centre can be made by calling the FMC Foundation 8204 5216 or online at www.flinders.sa.gov.au/fmcfoundation
Felishia Abbott will lead a second Footing It For Flinders trek, this time along the Great Ocean Road, in November. To sponsor her or to take part, visit www.footingitforflinders.com.au or phone 8204 5216.