Our dedicated donors are the pulse of the RMH Foundation community. It’s through their continuous support that we are able to optimise the future of medicine at the RMH and raise significant funds for patient care, research and facility upgrades.
Each month we like to give one lucky donor the spotlight to recognise their contribution to the Foundation and this month it is Clair Aird.
Claire Aird’s Legacy
Head and neck cancer (including oral cancer) is an increasing problem in Australia. Last year alone, saw 5,212 people impacted and we are seeing a growing number of women with no history of smoking being diagnosed.
For over seven years, the RMH Foundation has been working closely with the Head and Neck Tumour Stream to raise awareness and to break down the stigma associated with this type of cancer. The unwavering support of our donors has funded numerous projects such as a support group for patients and their carers and genetic studies to identify mutations leading to oral cancer.
Claire Aird was 55 years old when she was diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Treatment required Claire to undergo an 11-hour operation with multiple teams of surgeons followed by subsequent radiation treatments. While her family motivated her to face her diagnosis with bravery and maintain her great sense of humour, sadly Claire lost her battle after her cancer returned one year later.
Part of Claire's legacy will help fund world-leading head and neck cancer research, headed by RMH Professor David Wiesenfeld and Tim Iseli in collaboration with Associate Professor Oliver Sieber and his laboratory at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute. The research project will involve surgically extracting patients’ cancer cells to grow organoids, upon which the team will test a range of different drug treatments that can be combined with chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Through this research, the team hope to transform the lives of future patients suffering the devastating effects of head and neck cancer by creating more personalised treatment plans. It's because of Claire's generous gift that this is possible and the RMH Foundation couldn't be more grateful.