Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation

One step closer to Zero Childhood Cancer thanks to Lions

We are one step closer to Zero Cancer thanks to Lions!

Any Australian child diagnosed with cancer will now be able to benefit from life changing DNA sequencing.

This follows the successful $4million Lions project with Australia’s Garvan Institute which mapped the genome of over 400 Children with cancer, to advance research and to guide personalised treatment.

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program will expand to all Australians aged 0 to 18 years with cancer by the end of this year.

Childhood cancer advocate and Founding Chairman of the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation (ALCCRF) Dr Joe Collins AM says:

“Childhood Cancer is a silent pandemic. Every year in Australia, almost 800 kids are diagnosed with cancers, many of them aggressive, hard to treat and with a high risk of mortality. Although the survival rates have improved greatly for some cancers, others still take a heavy toll on our young peoples’ lives.”

“In 2015 Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation with Australia’s Garvan Institute mapped out a plan to map the genome of over 400 Children with cancer and provide personalised treatment. The program exceeded expectations, saving and changing the lives of young Australians.”

“The Zero Childhood Cancer precision medicine program expanding to include all young Australians is an exciting step in eliminating childhood cancer.”

Over the past decade, the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation, with the help of our Lions volunteers and their communities, has raised over $12 million to fund vital research into Childhood Cancer.

“Lions volunteers across Australia are so proud that the successful $4million Lions project ‘Zero Childhood Cancer’ Program will expand to all Australian’s aged 0 to 18 years with cancer, by the end of this year,” says Lions Australia CEO Rob Oerlemans.

“A big thank you to our Lions volunteers for your vision, commitment and financial wizardry! So many children and families have a better outcome because of you!”

For more information on the Zero Childhood Cancer precision medicine program expanding to include all young Australians with cancer, click here. 


Lions Foundation doing a bloody good job


Over the next two years, The Lions Cord Blood Foundation will provide Monash Children’s Hospital in Victoria with $50,000 for neo-natal cell therapy research.

Announced in August, the grant will go towards improving outcomes for vulnerable babies by utilising the “reparative, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative potential of cell therapies”.

Cord blood is the blood that is found in the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. As a rich and diverse source of stem cells, this blood can be used for children and adults requiring bone marrow transplants.

The Lions Cord Blood Foundation was established in 1996 by Laurie Denton, a member of the Lions Club of Waverly in V5 and has raised more than $2.3 million for the Fight Cancer Foundation.

Ron Tregear, Chairman (3rd from left) & Pat Mills, Association Secretary (4th from left), Lions Cord Blood Foundation along with members of Newborn Cell Therapies group

Chairperson of the Foundation, Ron Tregear, says this research is “particularly rewarding”.

“It will involve bringing extremely premature babies into the world potentially in better health than they may have otherwise been,” he said.

Associate Professor Atul Mahlotra says he is grateful to the Foundation.

“This will directly feed into our cell therapies clinical trial pipeline including one study currently recruiting extremely preterm babies to investigate feasibility and safety of autologous cord blood cell therapy,” he said.

In Australia, cord blood has been used to treat over 80 conditions, including cancers, blood disorders, immune disorders and metabolic disorders.

You can learn more about The Lions Cord Blood Foundation here.

Lions Medical Research Scholarship Recipient

Her Excellency Congratulates Lions Medical Research Foundation Scholarship Recipient

Lions Medical Research Foundation Scholarships have been offered since year 2000, with $35,000 awarded to recipients.In 2022, the Foundation received 28 scholarship applications, with Emma Cheney the final 2022 recipient. Emma’s area of study under this scholarship will be in Myeloma Research at the University of Adelaide.Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. Emma is passionate about developing new treatment strategies that improve patient survival and quality of life.

Lions Medical Research Scholarship Recipient

Lions Medical Research Scholarship recipient Emma Cheney with her parents.

A reception was held at Government House to mark the special occasion at the invitation of Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC and Mr Rod Bunten.In welcoming guests, Her Excellency said, ‘South Australia has long had a tradition of world-leading medical research.“We need look no further than the garden outside Government House to see the bust honouring eminent medical scientist Howard Florey who played a vital role in the discovery of penicillin.“His bust stands amongst those of other eminent scientists such as Sir Lawrence and Sir William Bragg, after whom the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy under construction further down North Terrace as part of the Adelaide bio-medical precinct, is named.”“By supporting our best and brightest young medical scientists we are investing in healthy futures not only for our own community, but around the world where needs are pressing.”“Rod and I congratulate the Lions Medical Research Foundation for backing our “home grown” medical researchers through the scholarship program.”Indeed, the work of the Lions Medical Research Foundation, in supporting and assisting the development of ‘home grown’ medical researchers, can not be underestimated.Supporting South Australian academics by offering financial assistance to gain their PhD’s, while remaining in this state, is a large part of the foundations drive to support the health and wellbeing of our community.Emma Cheney completed a Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (majoring in Medical Science) at the University of Adelaide in 2019. Emma’s research work, under the support of this scholarship, will focus on novel immunotherapies targeting a protein called Gremlin1 and tumour supportive macrophages.From Her Excellency,  “I am sure I speak for everyone here in wishing you (Emma) the best for your research and your future career. We look forward to hearing of your progress.”

To find our more about the Lions Medical Research Foundation and its scholarship opportunities, click here. 

Kingborough (Tas) ALCCRF Presentation

Kingborough Lions Make Significant Donation to Childhood Cancer Research

Kingborough (Tas) ALCCRF Presentation

Photo L – R: Kingborough Lions Eric Madsen, DGE Paul Cairnduff, Mary Cairnduff, PDG Hester van Niekerk and Chair ALCCRF PDG Ron Skeen.

The Lions Club of Kingborough presented $86,500 to the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation (ALCCRF) at the 2022 National Convention. PDG Hester van Niekerk writes…

“…If it was my grandchild, I would want ‘light and hope’ at the end of the dark tunnel and only research will give this light and hope to a devastated family.

The Lions Club of Kingborough supports many projects and I asked……how can we promote the Lions Club, ALCCRF and raise funds? Forming partnerships was the answer”.


Since 2016 the Lions Club of Kingborough has donated over $86,500 to the ALCCRF. As part of their fundraising efforts, they have partnered up with a number of local businesses to reach this goal including:

• Management of their local Shopping Centre. This resulted in being asked to assist in many and various events such as assisting the Easter Bunny, dressing as the 3 witches at Halloween and assisting with children’s activities throughout the year.

They have also been doing Christmas Gift Wrapping for many years. Management provide everything needed for all events undertaken at no cost to the group.

• Professional cake decorator who agreed to ice the Lions 80g mini cakes to sell to schools, early childhood organisations and at their Christmas wrapping stall at the local shopping complex.

• Local shops who supplied toys and books to go into small raffles for children at their Christmas wrapping event.

• Local artists including a Master Artist who provided an original water colour work. This was sold with 100% of sale going to the ALCCRF.

• Local quilters who provided the group with quilts that are sold – and again 100% of sale going to the ALCCRF.

• Local newspaper who kindly allowed editorials promoting their activities and events.

“Our only cost is that of the mini cakes, but in exchange for the support we recognise our sponsors, promote Lions and ALCCRF…helping hands from members, partners and friends is what goes towards increasing the ‘light’ and search for a cure,” says PDG Hester.

Well done to the Kingborough Lions Club for your dedication to such an important cause.

To find out more about how you can support the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation, click here.


Alzheimer’s Trial

Male Volunteers Required For New Alzheimer’s Trial

Professor Ralph Martins and his research team from the Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (AARF) are currently conducting a major study and require Male Volunteers for an Alzheimer’s Trial in Perth or Sydney.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s. In fact, the only available drugs treat the symptoms of the disease rather than the brain changes themselves. This is a startling consideration given that Alzheimer’s accounts for up to 70% of dementia cases and dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia. The disease also places an immense strain on health services and families as sufferers become less and less capable of independent living over time.

Further, a global ageing population means that these impacts will only get worse unless research strides are made. Experts believe that prevention is the best intervention given that current knowledge suggests that the brain changes are irreversible.

Last year, the AARF together with researchers from Edith Cowan University commenced the largest clinical trial to date to investigate the influence of testosterone on a key marker of Alzheimer’s disease risk called amyloid beta. The dominant theory of the disease’s cause is that amyloid beta, a sticky protein, accumulates irregularly in the brain of patients and clumps together to form plaques. These plaques disrupt the communication between brain cells and trigger inflammation, ultimately causing the cells to die. This process continues while memory and other brain functions gradually deteriorate over time until the loss of basic functions or disease-related complications lead to death.

The trial, called the TotAL Study (Testosterone and Omega Three – Amyloid Lowering), is currently seeking volunteers. Specifically participants must be:

  • Men aged between 60-80, and concerned about their memory
  • Free from any major or unstable medical conditions, and not be currently taking testosterone treatment
  • Available over an 18 month period
  • Happy to complete a screening process to determine eligibility

Other criteria will follow assessments at the AARF’s Nedlands research centre. Most crucial of these is the individual’s current testosterone level – which is required to be on the low side of normal.

Finding participants within the required range for testosterone presents a challenge. A blood sample will be collected for this purpose for all interested participants, but if you have had a previous test and know (or suspect) that your testosterone is on the low side of normal, the Foundation would especially love to hear from you.

Participation requires initial screening to identify volunteers who are safe and suitable to take part. This is first done by a phone questionnaire, followed by two clinic visits to discuss the trial and your medical history with a study doctor, blood tests, and memory assessments. If eligible, you will be asked to undergo more memory testing, brain scans, and other assessments before and after being treated with testosterone and fish oil (or a placebo version of one or both) for a 56 week period. All study procedures are conducted in Nedlands and participation is expected to last approximately 18 months.

If you would like to take part or would like further information, please contact the study team on (08) 6304 3966 / (Perth) or 0493 152 142 / (Sydney).

(Original advertorial here.)

Lions supporting vital research in Rheumatism and Arthritis

1 in 6 Australians are currently living with arthritis. That’s almost 4 million people and it’s expected to be 5.4 million by 2030.  

Rheumatism and arthritis can affect anyone at any age, and can cause significant pain and disability. 

The Lions Rheumatism and Arthritis Medical Foundation is on a mission to support research to help control and possibly eliminate rheumatic and arthritic diseases.  

With the help of Lions Clubs and their communities right across Australia, the Lions Rheumatism and Arthritis Medical Research Foundation has donated over $460,000 to rheumatism and arthritis research.  

The Foundation has worked closely with Monash University providing pieces of equipment to help fund vital work. The Foundation has also sponsored a PHD student for 3 years.  

Recently a $10,000 donation was made to Monash University to purchase equipment for the Psoriatic Arthritis team.  

For more information on The Lions Rheumatism and Arthritis Medical Foundation visit 

Lions Alzheimer’s Foundation supports new children’s book to better explain dementia

One of the fastest growing diseases in Australia, Alzheimer’s is now the second largest cause of death.  

Research into the causes and prevention of Alzheimer’s has never been more important and Lions Alzheimer’s Foundation is committed to raising awareness and the much-needed funds to support this vital work. 

The Foundation has recently teamed up with celebrity chef Maggie Beer to contribute to a national breakthrough book: A children’s picture book about living well with dementia. 

Dancing with Memories is written by Sally Yule and illustrated by Cheryl Orsini. 

Professor Martins was West Australian of the Year 2010 and Maggie Beer was Senior Australian of the Year. They collaborated on the successful Recipes for Life book, published in 2019. 

In the book, Professor Martins provides expert advice with a dementia Q&A and Maggie contributes recipes for healthy children’s food. 

The book is available at: or email 

Part proceeds go to the Lions Alzheimer’s Research Foundation and the Maggie Beer Foundation, raising funds to support vital research in aged care and dementia. 

Lions Spinal Cord Fellowship raising funds for Step Ahead Australia

Spinal cord injury affects millions of people around the world and around 20,000 Australians are currently living with a spinal cord injury. The cost to patients and their families is significant. In Australia it is estimated to be $2 billion annually. 

Despite the costs and impact of spinal cord injury, funding to find a cure for chronic spinal cord injury is limited.  

The Lions Australia Spinal Cord Fellowship is committed to raising awareness and funds to support more research. 100% of funds raised by the Fellowship are provided to Step Ahead Australia, a leading Australian organization on a mission to improve the quality of life for patients and find a cure for spinal cord injury.  

Traumatic spinal cord injury results in the loss of neurons, support cells and the failure of severe nerve fibres to regenerate across sites of injury and re- establish neural circuits.  

Quadriplegia or Tetraplegia is the partial or complete paralysis of the upper and lower portion of the body, including legs, trunk arms and hands. Quadriplegia is a neck injury. Paraplegia is the partial or complete paralysis of the lower portion of the body, including the legs and, in many cases, some or all the trunk. Paraplegia is a back injury. 

By supporting the most innovative scientists and clinicians in Australia and throughout the world, StepAhead Australia is focused on the development of breakthrough nervous system repair technologies that can have a major impact on the quality of life for people suffering with these chronic disorders. 

To date the Lions Spinal Cord Fellowship has raised in excess of $2.3 million for StepAhead Australia.  

For more information on The Lions Spinal Cord Fellowship visit 

For more information on StepAhead Australia visit 

Childhood cancer research is getting a $1.05 million boost thanks to Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation

More than 800 children aged 0-14 years are diagnosed with cancer in Australia each year. Many of these cancers are aggressive and hard to treat and we are losing too many young lives. 

Although survival rates have improved greatly for some, most cancers take a toll on young people’s lives and often side effects of treatment can be serious and lifelong. 

Over the past 10 years, the Australian Lions Childhood Research Foundation has raised over $10 million for childhood cancer research.  

The latest project is $1.05 million of funding to the Telethon Kids Institute to support the Centre’s vital research aimed at improving survival rates, longevity and quality of life for children with cancer. 

“At Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation we believe every child deserves a chance at a healthy life,” Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation Chairperson John Thorpe said. “We are very proud to be providing $1.05 million worth of funding to Telethon Kids.” 

Chair of the Telethon Kids Institute, the Hon. Julie Bishop, said they are excited to be partnering with such a well-respected, community-oriented organisation like Lions Australia. 

“We are so grateful for Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation’s support,” Ms Bishop said. “This $1.05 million in funding will enable the Telethon Kids Cancer Centre to continue its leading research into childhood cancer – particularly in the area of cancer immunotherapy, which focuses on supercharging the body’s natural defences to destroy cancer cells.”  

Visit Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation for more information.