Your gift this Christmas will enable critical research into earlier detection and more effective treatments for people with brain cancer. It will give the gift of time.

Will you please donate today?

At 43-years-old, Mick had everything to live for. A beautiful wife, a young family and an exciting and fulfilling career. He had a long bucket list, full of bold plans for crazy adventures.

Mick was incredibly strong, uncompromising and larger than life. He was in peak physical condition. Known to his colleagues as Mick ‘Crazy’ Koerner, he loved his demanding job as Senior Sergeant in the South Australian Police STAR Group.

Away from work, he was a devoted family man, the kids’ sports coach and side line cheerleader. He’d frequently whisk his family away on weekend adventures, too.

But after his City-Bay run in 2008, Mick felt unwell. He developed a headache that just wouldn’t go away. His left arm felt ‘floppy’ and he noticed he was catching his foot on the floor as he walked.

Your gift today will fund research into earlier detection of brain cancer to give more time to someone with a devastating diagnosis.

“On Wednesday morning, Mick still wasn’t feeling right, so we decided to go to hospital for a check-up,” explains Mick’s wife, Jody.

We sat at the kitchen table, ate our cornflakes like any other normal day, dropped the kids to school, then met up at the hospital.”

By 5pm that night, everything had turned upside down. Life would never be ‘normal’ again.

Mick was diagnosed with a glioblastoma grade four brain tumour – the most common and deadly form of brain cancer.

He was told he only had weeks to live.

“It was surreal. He was so young, fit and full of life. We drove home in the car crying, trying to work out what to do,” says Jody.

How do you tell your kids they are about to lose their father?”

Significant advances in early detection, awareness and treatment in other cancers, like breast and prostate cancer, has provided hope for many.

But brain cancer is a different story.

A brain cancer diagnosis today offers very little hope. Your support will change this.

Early detection and targeted treatment could lead to improved survival rates.

Further research could even lead to a cure for brain cancer.  

Please give today to help change the future for people with brain cancer.

Despite his battle with cancer, Mick ‘Crazy’ Koerner remained optimistic, never giving up for a moment. His best mates visited him in hospital, just before he underwent surgery to try and remove the brain tumour.

Mick’s positive attitude inspired many riders in the inaugural Ride Like Crazy fundraiser in 2008. Mick’s family continued to honour his legacy for 10 years in Ride Like Crazy.

Survival rates for many cancers have improved greatly over time.

But brain cancer survival rates have barely changed for 30 years.

The underlying causes remain unknown.

Sadly, brain cancer kills more Australians under 40 than any other cancer.

It also takes the lives of more children than any other disease.

In fact, less than 5% of people diagnosed with glioblastoma will survive more than five years.

Right now, brain cancer researchers, Dr Cedric Bardy and Associate Professor Simon Conn, are working to detect and diagnose brain cancer earlier, and find more effective treatments.

They’re two of Australia’s brightest minds working right here at Flinders.

Your kind gift will help their critical brain cancer research to continue. It will create new hope - and give the gift of time.

Fourteen months is the average time a person lives after a glioblastoma diagnosis. And, it can take months to determine whether a treatment is working, while causing terrible side effects.

Your support today could be the reason someone like Mick gets longer to spend with their loved ones.

Your gift could mean getting the right treatment quicker, so you have more quality time to spend with loved ones.

You could be the reason researchers like Dr Bardy and A/Prof Conn find a cure for this insidious disease. 

Will you please give today to help with earlier detection and diagnosis of brain cancer?

We want to give cancer patients like Mick more time.

Dr Bardy and his talented team are working on perfecting an in-lab ‘brain avatar’ to aid in discovering treatments of brain cancer.

“Brain cancer survival rates are so incredibly low. They’ve been the same for more than 30 years,” explains Dr Bardy. “Our research project aims to change this.”

“Currently, we can remove the bulk of the tumour surgically; however, some cancer cells are always left behind. They infiltrate deep in the surrounding healthy brain tissue and cannot be removed surgically.

“These cells kill the patient within months or a few years at best and are unresponsive to current treatments.

Dr Bardy’s project uses state-of-the-art technologies to recreate live mini human brains in the laboratory.

“This way we can study how cancer cells interact with the healthy human brain tissue, and why they are resistant to current treatments,” explains Dr Bardy.

“This gives me great hope that we will be able to screen out new drugs that specifically target the remaining cancer cells and ultimately save the life of people like Mick,” explains Dr Bardy.

To give patients more time, researchers need to find the right drugs, quickly. Dr Bardy’s brain avatars will speed up the drug screening process to find effective treatments for brain cancer patients.

Your generous gift will allow doctors to treat a patient with the most effective drug, quickly. This could mean more time with their loved ones.

By the time Mick’s cancer was discovered, it was too late. Unfortunately, this is the same story for the majority of people with glioblastoma.

A/Prof Conn’s research is focussed on the earliest detection of brain cancer. Success in this area could revolutionise survival for every person who gets this disease.

We aim to profile a range of patients with different grades of brain cancer,” explains A/Prof Conn. “We’ll identify how specific molecules play a role in driving cancer.

“Furthermore, if these molecules can be detected through a simple finger-prick blood test, it will become a biomarker for the earliest detection of brain cancer.” 

A/Prof Conn’s research - predicting brain cancer before it develops – will be an incredible leap forward for the future. It will be the first real glimmer of hope to prevent brain cancer.

This is critical and groundbreaking research. Your generous Christmas gift could help rewrite the future of brain cancer. Will you please give today?

Right now, brain cancer researchers, Dr Cedric Bardy and Associate Professor Simon Conn, are working to detect and diagnose brain cancer earlier, and find more effective treatments. 
They’re two of Australia’s brightest minds working right here at Flinders. 

Dr Cedric Bardy – brain cancer researcher

Associate Professor Simon Conn – brain cancer researcher

Mick never gave up for a moment.

Mick began a swift and heart-breaking decline over several weeks. He encountered loss of speech and limited movement. He couldn’t eat and he faced dangerous weight loss.

Miraculously though, he began to respond to chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. He proved everyone wrong.

“Mick always said he was going to get better,” says Jody.

“I’ll never forget the day he was able to walk again – only weeks after he started treatment. He told me he wanted to go back to work, and he did - on light duties. It was incredible. 

“Mick put his bucket list into overdrive,” explains Jody. “He jumped out of a plane, swam, rode a bike. We travelled to New Zealand and went skiing. We went to Alice Springs, where he climbed Uluru.

“He was determined, unstoppable and amazing, just as he had always been.” 

Despite this improvement, 14 months after his diagnosis, Mick tragically passed away, his beloved family around him.

Mick still had so much to do. Still so many things to tick off the bucket list.

But he had run out of time. 

Mick never gave up. And we’re not giving up either. 

Will you please send an incredibly kind gift to enable researchers to find a way to detect brain cancer and find better treatments, sooner?

When she relives the terrible moment Mick’s tumour was discovered, Jody says it seems like yesterday.

Yet 10 years have passed, and a brain cancer diagnosis still means the same thing. Weeks, maybe months, to live and no effective treatment.

Mick is still a part of every Christmas at the Koerner household. Each year, Jody sets a place for Mick at the table, along with a special champagne glass.

“Right until the end, 14 months after that devastating day in September, Mick refused to give in.

“We were drinking Möet together the day before he died, in that very glass. These small traditions keep his memory alive in our hearts and home. 

“Mick was an eternal optimist – the ‘never say never’ guy,” says Jody. “He would never have wanted us to give up fighting to find a cure, to find better treatments for brain cancer.

“He would have given anything for one more month, one more week, one more day with us.

“So many people, even young children, are diagnosed with brain cancer every day. If you are able, I urge you to support this very special appeal this Christmas.

“It won’t bring Mick back to us. But it might just give another family hope, and more precious time.”

Please donate today to help researchers like Dr Bardy and A/Prof Conn forge ahead with their critical research.

Your support could even help lead us to a cure.

Thank you.

"So many people, even young children, are diagnosed with brain cancer every day. If you are able, I urge you to support this very special appeal this Christmas. It won’t bring Mick back to us. But it might just give another family hope, and more precious time" – Jody, wife of Mick

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