About Us
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  • 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.

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  • Dr McDonald

    When you want to speed up the process of finding brain cancer treatments, where do you start? We hunted across Australia for best person or place that we felt would make a difference. At a brain cancer conference a couple of years ago, we were fortunate to meet the chair Dr McDonald who leads the neuro-oncology lab at the University of NSW.  We could not be more impressed with her achievements, talents, knowledge of the latest progressions, positivity and the ability to explain everything to non-science people like us! All of Dr McDonald’s research objectives align intimately with what is actually needed in the clinic and wider community. She has a sustained track record in neuro-oncology research and over the past 8 years, Dr McDonald has made significant and rapid advances toward reducing the gap between 'bench' and 'bedside', which will lead to improvements in the survival rates of brain tumour patients. She leads 14 young and dedicated scientists and clinicians all working specifically on brain tumours. The two central themes of the laboratory include (1) understanding patient response (or lack of) to treatment and (2) identifying new therapeutic targets and strategies. Dr McDonald is the Director of the Steve and Lynette Waugh Brain Tumour Bank, Co-Director of AGOG (Australian Genomics and Clinical Outcomes of Glioma), Chair of the Cancer Institute of NSW Oncology Group (NSWOG): Neuro-oncology, Deputy Director of Translational Research for the Brain Cancer Discovery Center (BCDC) and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) for the Australian Clinical Trials Group, COGNO. Phew! Suddenly I feel very underqualified.

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Why Donate

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.

Brain Cancer Facts

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.

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Higher Thinking Fund

PO Box 127, Camden NSW 2570

Email: answers@higherthinkingfund.com


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