As we approach the end of the year, I have come to reflect on my first year as CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. As CEO it has always been my mission to maintain a strong focus on the people and families living with brain cancer who we support and advocate for.

I have spoken with Third Sector both at the beginning of my tenure in January, outlining my goals for the organisation, and now most recently, on demonstrating how we have delivered against those goals as the one-year mark approaches.

I am honoured to reflect on key fundraising successes throughout my first year, and to be able to look back at all that has been achieved in a year of challenge and change.

When I first spoke to Third Sector in January, I outlined the main priorities for 2021:

  • To increase fundraising by digitising events.
  • To collaborate with other charities in brain cancer not only in Australia but also globally.
  • To leverage the best minds working on brain cancer.

Since then, I am proud to say that we have delivered on these goals through a range of activities, including:

  • Achieving our most successful Walk4BrainCancer event to date- from reach and awareness, to net profitability. In 2021, we expanded our virtual Walk4BrainCancer across borders to our first ever international Walk4brainCancer event in New Zealand. Our fundraisers worked hard, raising more on average than ever before, contributing to making this our most successful Walk4BrainCancer ever.
  • Successfully delivered our first ever Facebook fundraising challenge #Burpees4BrainCancer, which has exceeded its fundraising target of $250,000, with some funds still incoming.
  • We have leveraged digital only appeals, continuing in our mission to keep costs low, and our fundraising activities safe and accessible for both our staff and our community, with both our Tax Appeal and current Christmas Appeal.
  • Collaborated with other charities, including St Vincent’s De Paul’s Society, the DIPG Collaborative, and Peace of Mind Foundation.
  • Established our first ever Global Ambassadors Program, to connect the brain cancer community with their vast networks, drive our message across a global scale, and ensure ongoing support for our Foundation into the future.
  • Reformed the Foundations Scientific Advisory Committee, including internationally renowned brain cancer researchers and clinicians. The strength of our Committee is testament to our commitment to responsibly and impartially funding the best minds working on brain cancer.
  • Funded an Early Career Fellowship, worth $345,000 over three years, to provide support and stability so Dr Yolanda Sanguino can focus on her research that aims to uncover novel therapies for the deadliest childhood brain cancer, DIPG.
  • Launched the world’s largest brain cancer-dedicated Clinical Accelerator program. The program aims to progress drugs and therapies from the pre-clinical environment of the lab to the point where they can be delivered to patients in a clinic. Submissions are currently being reviewed with results to be announced in the first half of 2022.

These are just some of the amazing achievements the team at Cure Brain Cancer Foundation have delivered in 2021, to hit our goals and make the greatest impact for the brain cancer community, as we strive towards our vision of a cure for brain cancer.

You can support the Foundation to continue achieving outcomes like this by donating to our Christmas Appeal.

It is with pride that I am able to demonstrate what was promised and what has been delivered this year and look forward to doing the same for 2022.


Lance Kawaguchi

CEO, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation


Read the latest article demonstrating a year of fundraising success and impact:

Read the article from January outlining the goals of the Foundation for 2021: