Steering the ship towards better odds for brain cancer

By Maddison Mulvany.

Play with a purpose … Ronan Dodds dresses up ready for Pirate Day Friday. Photo: Maddison Mulvany.

Communities on the Sunshine Coast are dusting off their favourite costumes in preparation for tomorrow’s Pirate Day Friday, the annual awareness day for children with brain cancer.

The idea started in 2014, when Nathan Coglan, the father of five-year-old Conor, was delivered the news that his son had an aggressive brain tumour.

Brave fighter Conor had always wanted to be a pirate, and at one stage wore an eye patch as a result of treatment.

With no sign of a cure, Mr Coglan created Pirate Day Friday as a fundraiser for the medical research and treatment in children with brain cancer.

The Kids Cancer Project CEO Owen Finegan says the genetically driven disease affects three families in Australia each day.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures show brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease. There has been no improvement in survival rates, despite increased research.

“The Kids Cancer Project currently funds 27 research projects across 14 institutions and it costs about $130,000 to fund a single project,” Mr Finegan says.

“The disease is non-preventable and the research is purely on creating stronger survival rates, with The Kids Cancer Project aiming for a 100 per cent survival rate.”

Both C&K Cotton Tree and Currimundi will be captaining the ship this Friday with events.

C&K Cotton Tree group leader Ballad Dempsey says she feels great compassion for the campaign and is excited to be a part of such an important event.

“I read a story on the father and son a few years ago in the staff room and it really hit close to home for me, especially being around kids all the time,” Ms Dempsey says.

“We have been involved in Pirate Day Friday ever since and the kids love getting dressed up, playing on the ship and hunting for treasure. It’s also the only day of the year the kids are allowed to bring swords.”

The official date for Pirate Day Friday is June 9, but it is encouraged all year round.

You can register your business or make a donation online.




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