Seven weeks ago, 17-year-old Baxter Hutchinson couldn’t feel his arms or legs, swallow, or see after surgery to remove one of his two malignant brain tumours. But today, Baxter is tackling Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s Walk4BrainCancer Perth, boosted by the news that billionaire philanthropist Andrew Forrest’s Eliminate Cancer Initiative will dollar-match everything he raises, up to $100,000.
Better yet, if Baxter reaches that milestone, Mr Forrest will donate another $100,000, resulting in a potential $300,000 boost for world-class brain cancer research.
When Mr Forrest learned of Baxter’s inspiring story and his journey with medulloblastoma - a common and often deadly form of brain tumour in children - he and the team at Eliminate Cancer Initiative supported Baxter’s family. On Sunday, they will all join more than 800 other passionate West Australians at Walk4BrainCancer Perth, taking to their feet for the annual event in a bid to raise funds and awareness to help find a cure.
“I want to fundraise as much money as possible so that kids have an easier time going through any type of brain cancer in the future,” Baxter said. “Andrew’s challenge gave me something to strive for each day, a goal to work towards, and something to focus on, other than things like treatment and getting my own body better.”
“Brain cancer has an awful impact on too many young Australian families, and we desperately need more research funding to find breakthroughs, so that young people like Baxter can receive better treatments and have better outcomes,” said Michelle Stewart, CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. “The passion and determination of the brain cancer community, coupled with the incredible generosity of Australians like Andrew Forrest, is a formidable force, and we’re so excited to get behind this inspirational campaign. Good luck, Baxter!”
“Raising $100,000 in just a few weeks is a mighty challenge but Baxter has well and truly stepped up to the plate,” Mr Forrest said. “He has shown tremendous character in fighting this terrible disease, and then so quickly turning his mind to raising funds to help find a cure. Cures require research, and research requires capital, so I call on all Australians to step up like Baxter has, accept the challenge and contribute to a better future for people with cancer.”
It’s not the first time Cure Brain Cancer Foundation has teamed up with the Forrest family’s Minderoo Foundation to fight the disease. Last year, the foundations were instrumental in the establishment of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission - a landmark $105 million plan to double brain cancer survival in ten years and improve patients’ quality of life. Mr Forrest also dollar-matched the fundraising efforts of young brain cancer survivor Jacob Trzecinski at last year’s Walk4BrainCancer Manly, raising more than $300,000 for the cause.
Help Baxter reach $100,000!