Their story of raising cancer research funds in memory of their late dad touched the nation. Now Matilda and Harriet Stepto, along with mum Fiona, have visited Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to personally deliver what they raised.

It was a giant cheque in more ways than one, totalling more than $46,000 to support important research projects at Peter Mac.

The girls also handed over bags of their own hair – cut-off at a public event in their home town of Ocean Grove.

“It just took off,” Fiona said as their fundraiser gained local newspaper and then national TV coverage.

“This has been a really positive thing for the girls.”

The girls launched their fundraiser in January in honour of their dad Nigel whom they lost to cancer a year ago.

He was Professor of Clinical Exercise Science at Victoria University and had a passion for research and science.

“How much would dad have loved this?” the girls said to each other as they were also taken for a tour of Peter Mac’s research labs during their 15 March visit.

They were met by Peter Mac’s Chief Executive Professor Shelley Dolan, along with Associate Director of Laboratory Research Prof Rick Pearson and representatives of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.

They also visited Peter Mac’s wig library, which on-sells donated hair to wig makers to generate funds for this free patient support service.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has donated and supported our fundraising,” the girls also posted to their fundraising page.

“We were so proud to raise this much money and we couldn’t have done it without you all.”