Are our glasses suddenly rose-coloured or do the giant GrainCorp silos at Carrington really look pink?
From dusk the silos are bathed in pink lighting to draw awareness to breast cancer and acknowledge the research being undertaken by scientists and clinicians from the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and Calvary Mater Newcastle, supported by HMRI and the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance.
In April this year GrainCorp shone blue lights on the silos to support autism and they used red and yellow for NAIDOC Week, but it’s the first time in 10 years it has been done for breast cancer.
"A few of our staff have been impacted by breast cancer through their family and friends and I was also approached by two of our contractors about using the pink lights,” GrainCorp NSW Ports Operation Manager Mark Farnham said. “We’re more than happy to help support the cause as it’s close to our hearts.”
World-class experts such as surgical oncologist Professor John Forbes and geneticist Professor Rodney Scott are leading multiple research projects in the Hunter, including clinical trials that have a major bearing on treatment régimes and determining or reducing risk factors.
HMRI’s development team has a close and personal connection to the disease after losing one of its staff members, Karen Brown, in 2013. A special fundraising event is being held at Merewether Surfhouse on October 29.
“Proceeds from the luncheon will be supporting Karen’s legacy by seed-funding new projects in the breast cancer sphere,” HMRI Director Professor Michael Nilsson said.
“Each year more than 15,000 Australian women are diagnosed with breast cancer and by 2020 it’s estimated there will be 17,000 new cases. But layer by layer, researchers are breaking down the disease complexities with increasingly targeted therapies.”
Cancer geneticist Dr Michelle Wong-Brown will be speaking at the lunch about her research into a hereditary risk factors, including a study for triple-negative breast cancer where potentially deadly gene mutations were found in almost 10 per cent of patients.
* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.