How we began
AF4G is a non-profit organisation established by Brisbane families who have had cancer directly impact their lives. In 2018, Hazel Harden’s 13 year old son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and is currently in treatment. In 2018 Shoni Philpot was diagnosed with breast cancer and has recently completed her treatment.
Shoni and Hazel have clinical, cancer data and research experience. They have worked together for 15 years since establishing the Cancer Alliance Queensland in 2004 (https://cancerallianceqld.health.qld.gov.au/). They have published in the areas of oncology, consumer engagement, clinical leadership and health services management. Together these families have developed AF4G to give every child and young person diagnosed with cancer the prospect of a better life.
Each year around 853 children and 1100 young Australians are diagnosed with cancer.
96% of children living with cancer will have a severe chronic health condition by 50.
The lifetime cost of healthcare for young people diagnosed with cancer in 2016 was estimated to be $146.5 million.
The economic value of the burden of disease from all cancers in young people diagnosed in 2016 was estimated to be $701.4 million.
Childhood & young people's cancer is different
Childhood and young people’s cancer is rare. Small numbers are a disincentive for pharmaceutical companies to invest and protocols continue to use drugs developed for adults thirty years ago. Tragically as a result, some cancers remain incurable and many children and young people suffer debilitating side effects which are accepted as ‘par for the course’ with a cancer diagnosis.
Population wide genomic information can accelerate the identification of smarter, kinder and more effective treatment options yet, it is not routinely offered.
At AF4G we believe children and young people deserve better cancer treatments and this can be accelerated by a family-led approach to genomics.