Peter Mac News

General News

Docherty kicks in another $30K to support cancer research

02 February 2024

Carlton’s Sam Docherty has given a further $30,000 to support ground-breaking cancer research at Peter Mac, taking his total contribution to an incredible $250,000.

Sam has twice battled testicular cancer and returned to play AFL football at the elite level, and his advocacy on men’s health issues was recognised at last year’s Brownlow Medal.

You can re-watch Sam’s powerful acceptance speech as he was handed the 2023 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award, which came with $40,000 to distribute to charity.

In 2021, Sam also found himself at the centre of a viral fundraising effort as the footy community rallied around him on learning his cancer had returned.

The “Do It For Doc” initiative – which saw his teammates and footy fans shave their heads and post messages of support on social media – raised $220,000 which Sam also gave to Peter Mac.

“Sam is a passionate advocate for men’s health and cancer research,” says Kate Torney, CEO of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.

“Support like Sam’s is integral to helping Peter Mac researchers to continue to make exciting new breakthroughs - breakthroughs which will improve health outcomes for all people affected by cancer.

“Thank you to Sam, the AFL, the Jim Stynes Foundation, and everyone who “Did it for Doc”, we are so grateful for your support.”


Blues fan and Peter Mac patient Liam Contarin also attended the official donation handover event this week.

Liam, age 23, was diagnosed with testicular cancer around the same time as Sam. He has now completed his treatment and is in a monitoring phase.

“In a way it helped that Sam was going through the same cancer treatment,” Liam told the Herald Sun.

“I play local football, so it helped just to know you can overcome this and get back to a normal life ... It shows me that this doesn’t stop my life.”

To hear this, Sam says, is humbling.

“You don’t know what difference you are making in the world at times, and the people you touch and the impact you have,” Sam also told the Herald Sun.

Sam and Liam

The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award recognises current AFL and AFLW players who demonstrate a commitment to the community and helping others.

It is supported by Telstra and the Jim Stynes Foundation, which perpetuates the work of the late Melbourne great Jim Stynes.

From this Award, Sam handed $30,000 to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation with the remaining $10,000 going to MacKillop Family Services’ “Paws4Kids” initiative.

“The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award has become the pinnacle of recognition for philanthropic achievements in our AFL community,” says AFL CEO Andrew Dillon.

“It’s wonderful Sam was able to meet with representatives from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation and MacKillop Family Services to officially present his donation.”

Award recipients also include Geelong Cats’ Joel Selwood (2022), Port Adelaide’s Travis Boak (2021), Richmond’s Bachar Houli (2020).