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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (14 August) . .

Page.. 2667..


Cancer Support Group

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (9.04): In June I attended a ceremony where the Love Your Sister campaign presented a cheque to aid the work of the Cancer Support Group. The Cancer Support Group provide financial assistance and help to patients with all types of cancer in the ACT, Queanbeyan and surrounding areas. They are currently assisting 714 individuals and 1,785 families. ACT Health contributes $120,540 annually to help the Cancer Support Group support cancer patients and their families.

The founders of the Love Your Sister campaign are a sister and brother team, Connie and Samuel Johnson. Connie, a young Canberra mother of two boys, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. She had already survived cancer twice in her young life and survived, but this time it was different. Her breast cancer is terminal. Cancer has spread through her body.

Faced with the fight of her life, Connie jokingly set Samuel the tough challenge of breaking the Guinness world record for the longest journey on a unicycle. Their aim was to raise $1 million for research and to spread Connie's message of breast cancer awareness and the importance of early detection. This challenge became a promise, and the campaign became known as Love Your Sister.

In a determined and remarkable feat, Samuel Johnson pedalled on his unicycle through every state and capital city to our country's most eastern and western points. He covered 15,478 kilometres, and did indeed break the Guinness world record. Donations have exceeded expectations, and the campaign so far has raised $1.75 million.

A publication of Love Your Sister by Connie and Samuel Johnson will be available in November 2014. Their book is part memoir, part travel diary, part conversation. The publisher reveals that it is an inspiring and unforgettable book that shows just how far one man will go for his sister. You can follow the Love Your Sister campaign on loveyoursister.org.

The Cancer Support Group has provided support to Connie for many years, and continues to provide support for cancer patients and their families throughout Canberra and the region. Connie's donation was a pledge to the Cancer Support Group of $200,000, with the remaining funds going to the Garvan research institute. Garvan's mission is to make significant contributions to medical research that will change the directions of science and medicine and have major impacts on human health. They will be establishing the Connie Johnson Fellowship for future researchers involved in breast cancer research.

The message from Love Your Sister is simple: "Don't fall into the booby-trap, be breast aware!" BreastScreen ACT is part of a national breast screening program that is aimed at reducing deaths from breast cancer through early detection. Breast screening is a free service and only takes 20 minutes. Women are encouraged to be vigilant


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