AN organisation which hopes to cure child cancer is setting up a friends group in Bendigo.
Cancer in Kids at Royal Children’s Hospital (CIKA) has successful Friends of CIKA groups in regional areas such as Hamilton and on the Mornington peninsula.
The organisation held a luncheon yesterday at the All Seasons to pursue the idea of a Bendigo fundraising committee.
CIKA is in its 33rd year and is composed primarily of parents whose children have had cancer.
Funds raised by CIKA goes to Royal Children's Hospital research into cancerous solid tumours, with the aim of stopping children contracting these cancers all together.
CIKA president Sandra Lehrer said the group also wants to ensure if children do get cancer, the treatment they receive is successful and side effects are minimal.
“It’s about treating each child person as they need to be treated,” she said.
“We want specialised treatment, tailor-made for each child.”
She said there had been active members fundraising for CIKA in central Victoria for many years.
Macedon Ranges Focus Group member and bike rider Ruth Edelsten has raised thousands of dollars for the organisation.
Ms Edelsten has also organised a Bendigo Cup day luncheon in October.
“We rely on support from people everywhere,” Ms Lehrer said.
Royal Children’s Hospital donor development coordinator Ellie Pateras said the turnout in Bendigo yesterday was excellent.
“It’s a way for so many people to learn about CIKA," she said.
“As you can see from the people around the room- distance doesn’t matter.
“We have people from everywhere come today to support the cause.”
The Royal Children's Hospital's Children's Cancer Centre treats about 160 children newly diagnosed with cancer every year.
Between 30 and 40 children die each year of incurable cancers.
The mother of a four-year-old Axedale girl diagnosed with cancer said the work CIKA does was "life-saving stuff".
Abigail Pickrill was found to have a Wilms tumor which was invading renal blood vessels and nodules on her lungs earlier this year.
Abigail was given a 60 per cent chance of surviving.
She had six weeks of chemotherapy, which thankfully, killed the tumour.
Axedale Preschool, where Abigail goes, held a fund-raiser in June to raise money for the family.
They raised over $20,000.
Mrs Pickrill said it was important to sport the work groups like CIKA do.
"What Abigail has, which is a solid tumour, is the focus of the research," she said.
"Research is the way to find a cure.
"It's life-saving stuff."