In a powerful display of unity, Australians have rallied behind the Mark Hughes Foundation to raise $3.1 million in the quest to defeat brain cancer across the 2019 Beanie for Brain Cancer Round.
This year’s Beanie for Brain Cancer campaign urged fans to buy an MHF Beanie at all NRL matches or donate online with the aim of raising $3 million for research and surpassed that figure this afternoon.
All proceeds raised are directed straight to research and it’s only through innovation and teamwork that better treatments will be found for brain cancer patients. Immunotherapy is thought to have the promise for a breakthrough and the research platforms that MHF supporters have helped build over the past 6 years have research teams excited at what the future holds.
MHF Founder, Mark Hughes, said: “The NRL Beanie Round in 2019 has once again exceed our expectations.
Having the whole NRL Community on our side is so powerful. The funds raised is astonishing, and the awareness that brain cancer receives from this and the spinoff the Foundation gets - it goes on all year round.”
“From Todd Greenberg and the Prime Minister to the ball boys, we have loved seeing them all in our beanies smiling, proud and giving hope to brain cancer.
“I would like to acknowledge Nine, Fox League and all the media for coming together for our cause. Also, the coaches, players and fans to the wider community who just purchased a beanie online, at a game or in Lowes or IGA stores to support us, thank you!
“Our Scientific Committee now has the task of allocating this money as we continue our work towards a cure, with the next funding round opening around Australia at the end of August.
“This week, you have all given brain cancer patients and families hope for the future. What we have seen is bigger than a game of football. It has been a tidal wave of support and I can’t thank everyone enough.”
NRL CEO, Todd Greenberg, said: “The generosity and goodwill shown by fans, players, coaches and the entire rugby league community this weekend has been nothing short of incredible.”
“It’s a huge achievement and simply isn’t possible without the incredible drive and passion from Mark and the team at the Mark Hughes Foundation, broadcast partners Nine and Fox League, as well as the countless volunteers who gave up hours, days and weeks of their time to make today’s result so memorable.”
“Brain Cancer remains a killer but hopefully the funds raised across the weekend will help find a cure to tackle this disease once and for all.”
The NRL Beanie Round concept was the creation and continues the legacy of former Nine Rugby League Executive Producer Matt Callander, who was lost to brain cancer in 2017, with 2019 the third running of the round.
Daughter of Matt Callander, Maddy Callander, said: “The Beanie for Brain Cancer Round has blown me away, yet again, in 2019. I am so proud of my dad as his legacy now lives on in our fight to beat brain cancer. Nothing brings people together like the toughest of challenges.
“My family and I could not be prouder of the support shown. Thanks to all of you, the NRL’s Beanie for Brain Cancer Round has proven that together, we can and will ‘change the world’. One beanie at a time.”
170,000 MHF Beanie’s were sold during the Beanie for Brain Cancer campaign.
Sportsbet donated $55,000 after 55 tries were scored in Round 19 ($1000 per try).
Brain Cancer statistics
- Survival rates have increased by 1% over the last 30 years
- Kills more children than any other disease
- Only 2/10 people diagnosed will live more than 5 years
- Kills more people under 40 than any other cancer
- Receives less than 5% of federal funding for cancer research
- One person every 5 hours is diagnosed in Australia
The Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) is a charity formed in Newcastle by Mark and Kirralee Hughes following Mark’s diagnosis with Brain Cancer in 2013. The Mark Hughes Foundation’s mission is to raise much needed funds for research, to create awareness and support brain cancer patients and their families.