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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Daffodil Day raises hope for a cancer-free future

Students at Alfred Deakin High School (including our cover stars), are gearing up for Daffodil Day (Friday 28 August) where they will be working hard to raise money for Cancer Council ACT.

After a successful fundraiser in 2019, selling over 200 cupcakes, the ADVANCE (Alfred Deakin Values, Advertising, News and Current Events) student leadership group will be aiming higher this year with another cupcake sale, the entire school dressed in yellow (or florals), and a ‘mini festival’.

“Looking at last year and the amount of money that we raised … we were all over the moon at how much we ended up getting,” says Alex Scott, classroom teacher and ADVANCE coordinator at Alfred Deakin.

“We haven’t got a target in mind this year, but I know the student body is behind it.

“It’s pretty mind blowing that these young people are so super involved and is really impressive to me that they’re getting behind such an important fundraiser that probably affects a huge number of the population.”

Cancer Council ACT CEO Sandra Turner says it’s “really pleasing to see young people so dedicated to helping organisations like Cancer Council ACT to raise funds to help support research for cancer.  

“It’s wonderful to see such a sense of responsibility and care that they have to want to help people to be able to live better lives.”

The daffodil is the international symbol of hope for people affected by cancer, and money raised through the Daffodil Day Appeal goes towards funding vital research.

Ms Turner says the funding provided by Cancer Council ACT allows local researchers to look at specific areas of cancer, with the hope of improving treatments or finding a cure.

One such local researcher is Dr Keisuke Horikawa from the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the ANU, who received the Cancer Council ACT 2019-20 research grant to support his work in investigating Burkitt lymphoma – a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Dr Horikawa is looking at the role of MYB, a specific feature of the cancer cells thought to be involved in their growth and survival, with hopes the research could lead to more targeted and less aggressive treatments.  

Ms Turner says Daffodil Day will look slightly different this year due to COVID-19; you won’t be seeing volunteers selling daffodils in shopping centres around the region. Instead, the community is encouraged to send a ‘virtual daffodil’ or ‘go yellow for hope’ and host a yellow-themed fundraiser, either in person or online, anytime during August. Cancer Council ACT has also partnered with All Bids for a silent online auction with items donated by local organisations.   

“Daffodil Day is very different this year to what it normally is,” Ms Turner says. “We know that cancer doesn’t stop, so we’ve got to look at doing things in different ways.”

For more information, to send a virtual daffodil or to register your event, visit daffodilday.com.au/act

For the online auction, visit allbids.com.au/c/charity-community-auctions/cancer-council-act

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