Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals an estimated 776 Australian children under the age of 14 were diagnosed with cancer last year. The spike in cases is expected to place even greater demand on Fight Cancer Foundation’s accommodation services, which this year recorded its highest-ever waitlist.
In response to the concerning rise, the Foundation is calling on individuals, workplaces, schools, and families to unite and make a difference to the lives of children undergoing treatment for cancer with this year’s Footy Colours Day fundraiser.
From sausage sizzles to free dress days, morning tea events, and trivia nights; Australians are encouraged to proudly wear their footy team colours — be they AFL, NRL or soccer supporters — and organise a fundraiser event throughout the month of September.
Donations received from this year’s Footy Colours Day event will go towards providing crucial accommodations for over 1,000 Australian families, to help them stay close to their child undergoing treatment.
Sports stars including Renee Garing (Geelong AFLW), Tom De Koning (Carlton AFL) and Luke Brooks (Wests Tigers NRL) have already signed up to rally behind this year’s Footy Colours Day fundraiser, encouraging the public to join them.
Geelong AFLW player, Renee Garing, said everyone should get behind this all-important cause.
“As a mum myself, my heart breaks knowing so many children are diagnosed with cancer each year. Footy Colours Day is an amazing opportunity to put on your footy scarf or jumper and support not only children who are battling cancer, but also the families whose lives are turned upside down as a result,” said Ms Garing.
A child diagnosed with cancer will on average spend more than six months undergoing cancer treatment – a process that can leave them feeling isolated and left behind socially, emotionally, and academically.
Cara Davey, Acting CEO of Fight Cancer Foundation, said it’s more important than ever for Australians to get behind Footy Colours Day to help kids fight cancer.
“When a child is diagnosed with cancer, their entire life is turned upside down. It not only affects their physical health, but can have a lasting impact on their social lives, and the wellbeing of the entire family. Our services help keep their loved ones close to ensure children undergoing life-saving treatment have all the support they can get around them,” said Ms Davey.
“As we face the highest child cancer rates on record, Footy Colours Day is a fun, easy, and incredibly powerful way to help kids fight cancer and their families at a time when needed most.”
Workplaces, schools and families throughout Australia have already registered to take part in the 2023 Footy Colours Day, as the foundation sets its sights on a new fundraising record.
Each year, through the generous support of the Australian community, Fight Cancer Foundation provides 16,000 nights accommodation to families affected by cancer.
“Our purpose is to ensure Australians fighting cancer have a home-away-from-home to have life-saving treatment – Giving Hope, Saving Lives is our vision and it’s only with the support of the nation that we can continue to do this,” said Davey.
Footy Colours Day takes place from 1-30 September 2023. Anyone can register to participate and host their own event, Simply register online via: www.footycoloursday.com.au/
Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.