When Preston’s Campania Sport & Social Club dissolved the members decided to donate the money from the sale of their clubhouse to four Melbourne charities including the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute.
The generous gift of $212,000 has enabled the Institute to create two clinician scientist fellowships and to purchase a bench-top centrifuge machine, which helps researchers to analyse blood samples at a cellular level.
The Campania Club was formed in 1975 by a group of men from the Campania region in Italy. Members met each week to enjoy social activities and to remember their home land. The Club members have been fundraising on behalf of local community organisations for decades.
The clinician scientist fellowships were awarded to Associate Prof Andrew Weickhardt and to Dr Chun Fong. Andrew is a medical oncologist at the Austin Hospital and a senior researcher at the Institute, who is investigating new treatments for aggressive bladder cancer. He has designed a clinical trial to test an immunotherapy drug that he hopes will boost the effectiveness of radiation and chemotherapy in shrinking tumours. Chun is a haematologist at the Austin Hospital and a clinician scientist at the Institute, who is focusing on developing new targeted anti-cancer drugs to treat acute leukaemia.
Find out more about cancer research at the ONJ Cancer Centre.