In Australia, cancer is one of the leading causes of death every year—more than 42,000 people died from cancer in 2012, and one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed by the age of 85.

As the CEO of Cancer Council New South Wales, I am motivated every day by the work that we do in the community, and for the community, to help beat cancer.

The good news is that we’re making progress. Survival rates from cancer have risen by 40 per cent over the past two decades, and nearly 30 per cent more Australians are alive who would have otherwise died from cancer 20 years ago. This is due, in part, to our contribution into research and advocacy programs, and a continued focus on cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and access to vital cancer information.

Above all, Cancer Council NSW is an organisation for purpose. We are one of the only cancer charities that work across all cancers and every aspect of cancer, including advocacy, research, prevention, information, and support services. Cancer Council NSW is 97-per-cent community funded, and it is through the generous donations from the community, fundraising events, corporate sponsorships, and bequests that we are able to continue working towards realising our vision that together we will beat cancer.

“Cancer Council NSW is an organisation for purpose. We are one of the only cancer charities that work across all cancers and every aspect of cancer, including advocacy, research, prevention, information, and support services.” – Jim L’Estrange

Our flagship fundraising events, such as Daffodil Day, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, and Relay for Life, have helped raise millions across Australia since their inception over 20 years ago. Our generous fundraisers choose to contribute in a range of ways from setting up beneficiary events, running marathons, or starting up unique challenge events.

Bequests are particularly vital, as they play a big role in helping Cancer Council achieve its mission to beat cancer. In 2013–14, our bequest program raised $11.5 million through the generosity of people leaving a gift to us in their wills. In the past 10 years, we have received gifts ranging from $500 to $5 million, with the average gift of estates being $88,000.

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