Bundaberg resident fundraiser and dad of 2, Luke Russell, has been busy raising funds for QIMR Berghofer over the past few months.

In 2018 Luke’s mother passed away from cancer. Since then it has been Luke’s mission to help find a cure for this terrible disease. Friend and former Melbourne City Football player, Josh Brilliante, kindly gifted Luke a Melbourne City shirt signed by the team plus Josh’s personally signed boot, for Luke to use as part of his fundraising.

Luke decided to host an online raffle in memory of his mother in which over $600 was raised for QIMR Berghofer.

Thank you to both Luke and Josh for your support of our research and helping us strive towards a cancer-free future.


In 2011, Play for a Cure founder, Leigh Martyn, shaved her head and raised thousands of dollars for cancer research.

Leigh decided to do it all again this year in honour of 2 very special players, Kirsty and Addie, who fought and are fighting cancer. Leigh, and her good friend Jodie and her dad, Dean, braved the heat to take part in the 10-year head shave as part of the Brisbane Panthers Softball Club Pink Panther Day. Thanks to the enormous generosity of Play for a Cure Foundation, their supporters and the Brisbane Panthers Softball Club, funds raised from the shave and Pink Panther Day surpassed $10,000, which will support research in Ewing sarcoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma at QIMR Berghofer. A huge thank you to everyone for your amazing efforts and support. It is truly appreciated.


This year our usual Donor Thank You Tea was cancelled due to the pandemic. But we were not giving up celebrating the wonderful generosity of our donors this year.

A special wall of ‘Share Your Story’ dedication cards was displayed outside our cafe, which was enjoyed by our scientists and staff during their breaks. The cards contained the stories of the people behind their memorial plaques, which was one element of the Tea that was much missed in person this year.

Thank you to all of our donors who sent in a card – we loved reading the beautiful stories of the meaning behind the plaques.


Florist Just Cause Bunch was founded in 2016 with the objective of enriching people’s lives in more ways than one. They aim to seed hope, create change and better our local community by supporting worthwhile projects and causes. Offering daily bunches and a selection of gifts, they’ve proudly raised over $250,000 for meaningful Causes over the last 5 years and are delighted to support QIMR Berghofer’s medical research from 18 January through 30 March.

Daily market bunches are delivered throughout Brisbane Metro, Monday to Friday, from $59.

To find out more or to place an order, visit
and select ‘QIMR Berghofer’ at the checkout.


Congratulations to Brothers Reid – Ride Around the World fundraiser Dylan Reid and his partner Clare who welcomed their beautiful baby boy Joseph into the world in early November 2020. We are so happy for you both!

Laurie’s Love

Julie Pavone knows all too well how quickly glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer, can claim a loved one. Her husband Laurie was diagnosed at the end of 2018, and died just 10 months later.

Laurence was first diagnosed with cancer in 2005, 6 weeks before their first child Claudia was born. He had a low-grade brain tumour — an Astrocytoma Glioma. It was treated with radiation and shrunk away to nothing.

But then in 2018 he heard the diagnosis no one wants to receive – his brain cancer had returned in the most aggressive form and it was inoperable.

But Laurence’s spirit did not falter. While battling his cancer, Laurence set up the Laurie’s Love Foundation to spread a message of love and hope while raising awareness of brain cancer and raising funds for research. His selfless act is a lasting legacy helping others in the fight against aggressive brain cancer.

Laurence was a third-generation Queensland cane farmer from Ayr, and well-loved within the community. It didn’t take long until the Burdekin district got behind Laurie and his message. From wearing Laurie’s Love T-shirts, filling the main street of Ayr with the foundations colours, red and black, and donating towards his mission.

When Laurie passed in November 2019 at age 42, his wife Julie and the Laurie’s Love Foundation board members and community committed to continuing his legacy. Since then the Foundation has held multiple fundraising events, including 2 24-hour rows, and raised over $440,000.

The team in The Sid Faithfull Brain Cancer laboratory at QIMR Berghofer are honoured to be a part of Laurence’s legacy and to help move closer to his vision of curing GBM. The lab recently received a $100,000 donation from the Foundation and a pledge for ongoing support over the next 2 years.

‘We are so grateful to the Foundation for understanding the importance of ongoing support. We are all working towards the same goal, just holding different pieces of the puzzle and if we can continue to work together, that is when answers can be found,’ said researcher Professor Bryan Day.

The project will look at targeting multiple cell states that exist within GBM tumours through new combination immunotherapy treatments.

Professor Day says, ‘We share the Laurie’s Love Foundation vision that we need to find the answers that will improve survival rates and give those diagnosed with GBM hope and a chance to “love a little longer”.’

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