When Nadine Udorovic’s father, John was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2005, it came completely out of the blue.
The previously fit and healthy lawyer had a seizure at work and just days later was diagnosed with central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma, a rare type of brain cancer.
“We were all quite shocked when we were told, one minute he was fine, the next we had to get our heads around the fact he’d been diagnosed with something that has a really poor survival rate,” Nadine said.
“I knew nothing about this sort of cancer or brain cancer in general, so as one of my father’s principal carers I learnt a lot about it and the various treatments.”
“He went through it all – chemotherapy, radiotherapy, stem cell therapy and a number of surgeries.”
Sadly, John lost his battle with cancer almost three years to the day that he was diagnosed.
Almost two decades on, Nadine is back at The Alfred working with the Alfred Brain Tumour Bio-databank (ABTB) team to raise awareness and much-needed funding for brain cancer research in order help improve outcomes for future generations.
“He fought a brave battle, and we were able to spend some precious time with him over those three years, but ultimately there wasn’t a lot that could be done.”
“Twenty years after his diagnosis, little has changed in the way of treatment options or prognosis so I’ve reconnected with The Alfred biobank team to help raise awareness and funding for research.”
ABTB manager Emily Galea said further research is imperative in order to provide a brighter outlook for future generations.
“The bio-databank is a stored collection of samples and data from patients who have been diagnosed with a brain tumour. These samples and data are used for research purposes,” she said.
“The combination of stored samples and data forms an extremely valuable resource for researchers today and into the future.
“We hope that the research this will lead to a major breakthrough in treatment options and improve the prognosis for those impacted by brain cancer.
“In an effort to raise vital funds to help further this research we’re hosting an online auction to accompany the inaugural Alfred Brain Ball.
“For anyone who didn’t get a ticket, I’d encourage you to place a bid at our website."