Helping us fight cancer, one donation at a time

You’ve probably heard that it takes a village to raise a child. But did you know that it takes a community to run a lab? The generosity and hard work of a huge range of donors and fundraisers helps to keep the GMRI staffed, stocked, and functioning year round. We’re grateful for every contribution we receive — no amount is too small to make a difference.

What strikes us most is people’s amazing ability to turn negative experiences with cancer into positive action, in the hope that it will save others. Over the years we’ve received support from people who’ve had cancer themselves, who’ve lost loved ones to the disease, or who’ve seen friends or relatives suffering because of it. Their spirit of hope is an inspiration to us.

Recently, we’ve met some wonderful people who have come on board to help us progress our research. In 2017, the Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club raised an incredible $65,000 for us. And later this year, Peter Besseling — who lost his wife to brain cancer last year — will begin a speaking tour of New Zealand to raise awareness of and funds for our work.

Cossie Club supports the amazing work of Dr Swee Tan and team

Dr Swee Tan receives a cheque for $65,000 from Charlie Clayton, President of the Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club.

The Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club has almost 8,000 members and runs regular fundraising events — from raffles, auctions, and housie nights to sports dinners and golf tournaments. In 2017, the club decided to make the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute their ‘Charity of the Year’ and donate the funds they raised to us.

Dean Candy, manager of the club, says that most of their members would know relatives or friends who have died from cancer. ‘Members really got behind the club’s fundraising efforts and I am continually amazed at the generosity of our members and sporting and social adjuncts to support worthy causes,’ says Dean.

At the GMRI, we’ve used the $65,000 donation to buy essential laboratory equipment: an autostainer (for staining sections of tissue), and a freezer (to store tissues at -80°C degrees). We’re very grateful for the efforts and generosity of everyone who helped make this happen.

Peter Besseling raises awareness and funds in memory of the woman he loved

The death of a loved one affects different people in different ways. For Peter Besseling, losing his wife Lyn to brain cancer last year gave him a strong sense of purpose. Peter will shortly set out on a trip around New Zealand in a motor home, stopping in towns to speak about his experiences. He’ll talk about Lyn’s glioblastoma, and he’ll talk about the study we’re doing at the GMRI to treat this cancer with medication instead of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

Read more about the glioblastoma study

Peter aims to connect with others who have suffered similar grief, and to share the hope of finding radical new ways to treat previously terminal conditions. He hopes that his experiences — along with his down-to-earth way of talking about complex scientific concepts — will inspire people to give what they can to support our work.

For many years Lyn taught children with special needs. She ‘did her utmost to fight for those kids,’ says Peter. And now, in Lyn’s memory, Peter is doing his utmost to fight for new discoveries in cancer treatment. Lyn’s memory and ashes will travel with him in his motorhome, providing moral support as he spreads his important message. Look out for Peter in a town near you.

How to donate

We’re always looking for philanthropic, corporate, and other donations so we can continue our important work. You can make one-off or regular donations, or you could even consider making us a beneficiary of your estate or family trust.

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