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The Christmas Gift of Better Health

Dec 10 2015

In a remarkable act of altruism, Newcastle schoolgirl Lillian Harding decided last Christmas not to ask for presents – instead she wanted money to donate to cancer research through HMRI.

Her 11th birthday came and went, with family and friends again contributing money, and a few more dollars were raised during the year by doing extra household chores.

Last week, Lillian and her mum Julie came to HMRI with a wonderful cheque for $1375.40 which they donated to the cancer cause.

“I decided to do it because my grandmother died of breast cancer, my uncle died of bowel cancer and my other uncle presently has throat cancer,” Lillian explains.

As she moves into Year 7 in 2016, Lillian is hoping to be a medical researcher, a nurse or a doctor ‘to save people’.

Julie Harding was pleasantly surprised when Lillian mentioned her idea out of the blue and persisted with it through the year.

“It all came from her and she was very determined, so we’re very proud of her,” Julie says. “It’s not a huge amount of money but hopefully it can make a bit of a difference for somebody and their treatment.”

In thanking Lillian, HMRI Director Professor Michael Nilsson said that every dollar made a lasting difference when supporting research.

“As billions of dollars are spent this Christmas on presents that people may or may not need, Lillian’s idea of donating to medical research is a gift that really will keep on giving,” Professor Nilsson said.

“She has set a wonderful example for other kids and with our cancer researchers working across so many fronts we hope Lillian’s money can help her own family members as well as everyone in the Hunter community.”

You can make a donation HERE.

HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the Community.