The Higher Thinking Fund was established in 2011 by Shalom Andrews and her husband Dave Taylor. The funds objective is to support brain cancer research at the University of New South Wales Lowy Cancer Research Centre in Australia.
As a brain cancer patient herself, Shalom has genuine insight into the challenges of living with brain tumour. As well as the personal difficulties involved, Shalom and Dave have recognised the need for greater research, particularly in the area of low grade brain tumours. There are many different kinds of brain tumours, and the World Health Organisation has broadly categorised them all as being either low grade (slower growing) or high grade (faster growing). There is minimal funding for low grade tumours, despite the significant potential for progression into life threatening high grade cancer.
By supporting Higher Thinking, you are maintaining the work of Dr Kerrie McDonald, world leading scientist based at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre. Higher Thinking is already supporting a three year doctoral research program supervised by Dr McDonald, and we are confident that with your contribution, significant gains can be made in understanding tumour progression.
Jeffey Morton is a brain tumour patient. He and is family have made possible the new Higher Thinking Scholarship for Low Grade Tumour Research which is very exciting news. Here is his inspiring story:
'I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010 after a serious car accident. I underwent an awake craniotomy and it was discovered I had a Low Grade Glioma (Grade 2 Oligodendroglioma). Since then I have had further treatment with both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. I have a wife Fiona and two daughters Ruby aged 7 and April aged 5. Fiona’s father died from high grade brain cancer in 1999 so my diagnosis hit really close to home for us.
After my operation I struggled to get back to my full capacity and that led to an early retirement from my business 3 years ago. Since stepping back from work I have been able to spend time with my girls and we have been able to travel as a family which has been nice. Recently I have regained my motorsport licence and have really enjoyed being able to compete again.
When I heard about Higher Thinking Fund earlier this year I was excited to discover that something was being done for low grade brain cancer research as there are currently no novel treatments. I’m hopeful that in time the research being done by Dr Kerrie McDonald and her team at Lowy Cancer Research Centre will result in the development of new clinical trials for Low Grade brain tumour sufferers.'
The Schorlarship has required a significant financial commitment from the Morton family, for which Higher Thinking is very grateful. It means a new PhD researcher will join the team next year to assist with Ashraf's excellent work. Higher Thinking remains the only fund in Australia to address slow growing brain tumours (that have the potential to grow into high grade cancer)
Louise Halliday and her friends are supporting Higher Thinking by participating in the Bridge to Brisbane Day on Sunday 28 August. She says "there are some scary statistics when it comes to brain cancer which can make for uncomfortable reading! I don't want to dwell on these, rather, I like to focus on the many positives of my experience and my prognosis. I have been treated by exceptional medical professionals, in excellent facilities with state of the art treatment options available, some of which are available in Hervey Bay! All of those that I have met in the medical profession are doing everything in their power to further improve outcomes for people like me. As a result, I want to give back by raising much needed funds, particularly for those involved in research.
Fortunately for me, my tumour is considered a 'good' one and my long term prognosis excellent, which is indeed a lot better than most others who have brain tumours. Even whilst undergoing chemotherapy treatment, I am well enough to participate in The Sunday Mail Suncorp Bank Bridge to Brisbane 2016 (although this year I'll be walking, not running!!). I've also enlisted the support of some of my besties who will be walking with me. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot!"
We wish Louise and her team the very best, and thank them for their initiative!
The second annual Tour de Southern Highlands in support of Higher Thinking has been completed, raising over $8000. One of the intrepid riders, who asked to remain anonymous, said "the ride seemed longer and the hills seemed steeper than the 2015 ride, although this was not the case in reality. I'm afraid that some of us might be well meaning, but middle aged gentlemen." Despite being very tired after the long ride, the group (and their partners) had no apparent difficulty in mustering the energy required for a lengthy celebration dinner.
Thank you to all participants. They represented: Camden Hire, Dartanyon Homes, Dart West Developments, Hillbrick Bicycles, Kelly Partners Chartered Accountants, Marsdens Law Group, Perich Group, Rodmar Landscaping Services and TRN Group.
Brain cancer is one of the most under-studied of all cancers yet receives very little research funding. In particular, people living with slower growing brain cancer are largely ignored. Higher Thinking is one of the only funds in Australia that supports the research of slower growing brain cancer, despite the potential to find treatments to stop rapid progression into deadly high grade cancer. Discoveries in this area may also have positive implications for the breakthroughs of treating other types of cancer.
Rapid and slower growing brain cancer can be the cause of serious disability both from the disease itself, and as a result of its treatments - surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Disabilities might include paralysis, speech or language disturbance, seizures, increased risk of blood clots, weakness and decreased function of arms and/or legs, impaired fine motor coordination, or problems with balance. Possible changes in cognition, coordination, strength, vision, and other neurologic functions may necessitate specific work restrictions and accommodations. Some job requirements may be impossible for individuals with brain cancer, and permanent disability is not unusual.Donate