I first met Carrie outside the WEHI building in Parkville, Melbourne when she came to meet with one of our brain cancer researchers Associate Professor Misty Jenkins. I was instantly struck by the passion and drive Carrie showed through her work with Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer.
Carrie’s foundation got to know and understand WEHI, and vice versa, leading us to develop a vision that reflected our shared commitment to improving the lives of people diagnosed with brain cancer.
While our individual efforts were quite different, we were able to combine the best of both our approaches to form The Brain Cancer Centre – a place where some of the nation’s brightest minds can unite to develop potential new treatments for a disease that currently has no cure.
Founded by Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer, The Brain Cancer Centre was established in partnership with WEHI with support from the Victorian Government, and in collaboration with amazing partners like Peter Mac, The Royal Melbourne Hospital and The Royal Children’s Hospital.
In order to achieve our ultimate goal for brain cancer, we need a real sense of urgency to make a difference for patients today, as well as the resilience to research this problem long-term. This will allow us to make gradual improvements that will hopefully be punctuated with major breakthroughs.
Carrie really understands this; she wasn’t interested in giving us funding and then walking away. She wanted to be a part of the journey with our researchers.
She is acutely aware medical research is an endeavour that requires lots of stamina and patience – and she has been fully invested in this journey for years. Several hundred thousand people have bought her beanies and she cares about every single one of them.
Carrie wants to ensure she is repaying the trust that people have shown in her, and that tenacity and determination is something that has resonated with me.
I think the reason Carrie and I work so well together is due to the different ways we perceive the world. To me, that is the most exciting part about collaborations. Healthy challenging is essential to a healthy collaboration and partnership, like the one Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer and WEHI has formed.