News and Stories


June 8, 2023

$1 million donation allows Genetic Predisposition Testing for Childhood Cancer at Westmead

In March 2023, we committed $1 million to Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation to fund the Kids with Cancer Foundation Cancer Genetic Risk Program, which will offer genetic testing and counselling to patients of the Cancer Centre for Children at The Children’s Hospital Westmead.

The program will help children like 14-month-old Lily, who was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, an early childhood cancer of the eye, late last year.

Since her diagnosis, Lily has undergone genetic testing to determine if her cancer was caused by the same genetic mutation as her dad, Scott, who was also diagnosed with Retinoblastoma when he was Lily’s age. The results will help inform Lily’s ongoing treatment and management, while also giving her family valuable information to help with future family planning.

“Information about the genetic makeup of a child’s cancer is invaluable in predicting how the cancer is likely to behave and in developing the best possible treatment programs,” Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza, Director of the Cancer Centre for Children at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, said.

“By examining the child’s underlying genetic risk, we can get a far greater understanding of a child’s future risk of cancer and put measures in place to minimise or eliminate that risk, which could be a gamechanger for some of the families we see.”

Kids with Cancer Foundation’s $1 million funding will support the Kids with Cancer Foundation Cancer Genetic Risk Program for the next three years.

Dr Dalla-Pozza said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Kids with Cancer Foundation for supporting this important program and helping us continue striving towards changing the outcomes for children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer.”

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation CEO, Kristina Keneally, said: “Everyday healthcare professionals and researchers are changing the landscape of paediatric care, with the impact being felt across treatment rooms, outreach programs and beyond.

This incredible philanthropic gift marks over $18 million in lifetime giving from the Kids with Cancer Foundation – an amazing contribution that has helped hundreds of children undergoing cancer treatment for more than 25 years.

We are so thankful to the Kids with Cancer Foundation for helping us equip healthcare experts with the funding to support them in delivering extraordinary care and creating innovative solutions to some of the most challenging conditions affecting children and young people today.”