It’s so good to deliver positive news after a week of deep sadness.
Funding for sarcoma research & patient support in Australia is largely philanthropically driven. Most often, those behind philanthropy are extraordinary families who have lost a loved one & want to change the trajectory for others. One such family is the extended Hardyman family.
Tom Hardyman was approaching his 21st birthday, & a wonderful life lay ahead, when he lost his life to osteosarcoma in April of 2020, leaving behind another family to pick up the pieces.
In 2019 Tom’s uncle and cousin Andrew & Ben O’Connor set out to summit Mera Peak – Himalayas with a target of raising $64,000 for sarcoma research which doubled reaching over $128k. The duo however, was forced to delay their attempt due to Covid. Despite the delay, funds raised were directed to an immunology study at QIMR, assessing IL-23/IL23R Cytokine pathways, particularly sarcomas- pivotal research for the IL23 at GIMR – CRBF’s first funding priority & a prime example of collaboration in research & funding.
Fast forward to 2022 & last week, Ben (now aged 15) summitted Mera Peak, whilst dad Andrew suffered from extreme altitude sickness. Both are thankfully safe & doing well.
This brings us to Lucy, the remarkable cousin of Tom, born two days apart. The two shared a very special and deep bond growing up, Lucy describing Tom as “having a built in mate”. Yesterday, in Tom’s memory, Lucy ran the Husky Half Marathon, Jervis Bay, completing the gruelling course in fine style. Lucy continues to grieve the loss of Tom, yet she has been heartened by the flood of support shown for her, for Tom, & the dire need to assist those living with a sarcoma diagnosis. Lucy’s efforts yesterday amassed an incredible $12,500 – rising by the hour & added to the $8,498 already raised under Running 4 Tom. All funds raised from this campaign will be directed to the forthcoming sarcoma helpline pilot, assisting sarcoma patients & families.
We thank this remarkable family, far too numerous to mention, & who despite the grief they live with daily, strive to improve life for those who walk behind their precious Tom.