Peter Mac staff were privileged to have consumer representative Alison Jones share her journey with multiple myeloma with us at our recent State of Research Forum.
Alison is in no doubt that her life has been saved because of myeloma research and in 2010 embarked on the ambitious goal of raising $1 million for cancer research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation.
She is almost halfway there.
You can listen to Alison's talk in full above or read the closing excerpt below.
I'm grateful I've had the opportunity to savour not just the milestone occasions, but the mundane events too.
Thank you, cancer researchers, for family picnics, for being able to smell the freshly-mown grass whilst pushing my daughter on the swing.
Thank you for the opportunity to relax on a sunny day, and watch my sons play cricket, sometimes changing the game by taking late wickets.
And thank you for enabling me to become a grandparent of two precious children and for giving me the opportunity to enthral them by reading my favourite picture books.
But you've done more, much more. In those dark days of fear and despair, you gave me hope. When I thought my time was up I clung to the lifeline of cancer research.
And you brought hope to all the family. I remember collecting my young daughter from school one day, and her saying to me: "Mummy, maybe today is the day they'll find a cure for myeloma."
Simply put life-changing cancer researchers, all the endless years of your work, and the minute details of your research have saved my life. And let me watch my children grow into adults. And let me become a grandmother.
Thank you for giving me my life.
Executive Director Cancer Research Professor Ricky Johnstone says Alison's words were an inspiration to everyone listening.
"Her words rang true and strongly to all of us, and were a reminder of what gets us up every morning to do what we do – being able to see the end result of our research, the patients who have benefited," he says.
"Thank you Alison for everything you're doing for Peter Mac, not only sharing your story, but also for being such a strong supporter of our research."
If you'd like to read more of Alison's story she has written a memoir about her experience The Jones Family Food Roster with all author royalties being donated for cancer research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, or to contribute directly to her fundraising for medical research please visit her website.