Sarcoma Summit Sydney 2023

2023 Sarcoma Summit

22 September

Kerry Packer Theatre RPA, Sydney. 

A day emblematic of hope for the future.

The virtual & in person audience comprised of those living with sarcoma, families, bereaved family & carers, clinicians, researchers, local & fed government, allied health professionals & everyone in between. The event provided a platform for each to be heard, & to share more about this insidious cancer.

The idea was that of CEO, Sydney Local Health District, Dr Teresa Anderson AM, and her stellar team led by Chief of Staff, Hannah Storey, & marked the first step forward in moving the dial for sarcoma  in NSW, & nationally.

The MC for the event was veteran media presenter & cancer advocate, Julie McCrossin OAM, whose execution was flawless.  Julie was entertaining & brought much needed humour to an otherwise very dark topic by her unpredictability, & the ability to think on her feet.  It was a tough job, & it was done to perfection.

An outstanding line-up of presenters covered an immense body of topics & gave inspiring & highly informative presentations.

However, it was those who live the devastation of sarcoma who ultimately made the greatest impact.  It is an unspeakably tough job to relive that passage of life irreversibly changed by sarcoma, however these brave, articulate individuals provided raw & honest accounts of their individual experiences.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the attendees, many of whom travelled significant distances to be there, & many of whom are at differing stages in the sarcoma timeline.

Clinicians/researchers/allied health professionals took time out of their schedules to support the event & to come together with other members of this small, but powerful community.

Our infinite thanks goes to the panellists & speakers – Dr Teresa Anderson AM, Uncle Allen Madden, Julie McCrossin OAM, Drs Richard Boyle, Dan Franks, & Maurice Guzman, Neil Gibson, Rebecca Minty, Louise Hird, A/Profs Antoinette Anazodo OAM, Peter Grimison, & Wayne Nicholls, Emma Pechey, Neema Rajak, Kaela Graham-Bowman, Karen & Imogen Atkins, Mandy Basson, Emma Pechey, James Parr, A/Prof Rooshdiya Karim, Dr’s Emily Davidson, Isobelle Smith, & Aneesh Dave.

2023 Sarcoma Summit A4 Booklet Digital

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

On this day six years ago, our family and friends said our final gut-wrenching goodbyes to Cooper at his funeral service. 

It was the first day of spring, a day of rebirth, renewal and hope. 

What we didn’t know at that time was that September 1, also marks the start of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Cooper had not long turned 18 when his body finally failed him.  He was for all intents and purposes, still a child.

One by one, we saw Cooper’s hopes and dreams savagely torn away from him, despite the fact he clung onto them until the very end. The brightest of futures rewritten in the cruellest manner.

Tragically we now recognise Cooper was one of many.

More than 1,000 Australian children/adolescents will be diagnosed with cancer in 2023, & approx 5,600 will be undergoing active treatment for cancer.

Up to 20% will be diagnosed with sarcoma. 

2 out of 5 diagnosed will not survive and those who do may suffer long-term health issues as current therapies/treatment options can affect a child’s growing body, and cause severe disability.

Statistically, 1 in 5 will be diagnosed with a subsequent cancer within 10 years.

In 2022, the projected average years of life lost to sarcoma in Aus, (0-24 age group) was 2,510.  

2,510 years filled with the brightest futures, hopes and dreams – gone in the blink of an eye.

Hope for the future lies in research.

In May, a group of 12 highly recognisable Australians, most of whom had a very special personal connection to Cooper, joined us to highlight the devastation of sarcoma on our young. They spoke candidly about their childhoods and what led them to where they are today.  Their stories form a complete contrast with those of a young person diagnosed with sarcoma – uncertain future, dreams displaced, & wasted potential.

We are excited to share some very special snippets over the weeks ahead & ask that you give thought to the potential & opportunity lost to childhood cancer – in particular, sarcoma which hits our young disproportionately hard. 

Let’s work together and rewrite the narrative to ensure our children have the future always intended.

Don’t let sarcoma end the story …