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Ovarian Cancer Australia calls for urgent action following the passing of two ambassadors

Health Industry Hub | January 13, 2020 |

Ovarian Cancer Australia was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of two of Australia’s most prolific ovarian cancer ambassadors – ABC Newcastle Broadcaster Jill Emberson and Queensland Young Australian of the Year Finalist Kristen Larsen.

Jill and Kristen passed away within days of each other, only 10 months after standing together at Parliament House calling for urgent funding. Both Jill and Kristen were instrumental in securing $20 million funding for ovarian cancer research and a further $15 million for clinical trials into gynaecological cancers in 2019.

Although it is the largest injection of government funding the sector has ever seen, the passing of Jill and Kristen within days of each other shows that more funding is desperately needed to improve ovarian cancer’s five-year survival rate which languishes at just 46%.

Acting CEO of Ovarian Cancer Australia Josy Shaw offered her deepest condolences to Jill and Kristen’s family and friends. “Both women showed great tenacity and vulnerability in their efforts to raise much needed funds and awareness. Although the funds secured will assist ovarian cancer researchers, hundreds of millions are needed to really make the impact needed to have any hope of saving lives. Ovarian cancer researchers have made more progress in the past two years than they have in the past two decades. We are seeing women with late stage ovarian cancer living longer. While this brings a lot of hope and promise, we need to have the significant funding other cancers have received to have any hope of saving women’s lives. Jill and Kristen had possibly the greatest impact we’ve ever seen at Ovarian Cancer Australia. Their positive impact and momentum will continue for years to come. Their advocacy and action has given so many women impacted by this insidious disease hope for the future,” Mrs Shaw concluded.

In 2019, over 1500 Australian women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and it is estimated that more than 1000 will die from the disease. Ovarian cancer is the most lethal women’s cancer and the sixth most common cause of cancer death in Australia.

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