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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Ascending hope: Kosi Challenge unites rare cancer advocacy

Health Industry Hub | March 15, 2024 |

Pharma News: Today marks the commencement of the much-anticipated Kosi Challenge, an annual event organised by Rare Cancers Australia (RCA) since 2013. This initiative draws together individuals from every corner of Australia, ranging from patients and their families to representatives from the pharmaceutical sector, all with a shared goal of ascending Mount Kosciuszko, the highest peak in the country.

The Kosi Challenge isn’t just a physical feat; it symbolises a collective endeavour to to raise crucial funds and support those battling rare forms of cancer, offering hope and solidarity amidst adversity. This year marks the first climb led by RCA’s new CEO, Christine Cockburn.

As participants gear up for the climb, the fundraising leaderboard showcases the dedication of various corporate teams. Leading the charge is MSD, having raised an impressive sum of over $49,500, closely followed by AstraZeneca with nearly $41,000, and Johnson & Johnson, surpassing $33,200 in contributions.

Among the individuals making a significant impact is Bronwyn White, who is the top individual fundraiser. Reflecting on her journey, Ms White shares a poignant testimony, “In November of 2020, a persistent sore muscle in my leg led to a diagnosis of Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Sarcoma; I was told I had cancer.”

Ms White’s battle with this rare cancer, affecting less than 1% of adult cancers, has been arduous, with an 11cm tumour in her right calf, aptly named ‘Donald,’ representing the unwelcome intrusion of the disease.

“Unfortunately, routine follow-up scans in September of 2021 found that it had spread into multiple ‘lesions’ around my body as well as an aggressive tumour in my upper back,” she recounts, referring to the emergence of ‘Donald Jr.’ Yet, amidst the adversity, a glimmer of hope emerged with the discovery of a genetic mutation, granting her access to a trial drug at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

Despite grappling with the debilitating side effects, Ms White’s optimism remains unyielding.

“Results so far have been ‘ridiculously good’,” she shares, highlighting the positive trajectory she’s embraced amid the daily challenges of living with cancer. Her journey underscores the multifaceted emotional rollercoaster that accompanies the battle against cancer, from anger and despair to resilience and hope.

As participants embark on the ascent of Mount Kosciuszko, they carry with them not just the weight of their own challenges but also the collective hopes and aspirations of a community united in the fight against rare cancers.

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