Cherish Fundraising Trek takes on Mt Kilimanjaro in 2023

In Australia, over 6,500 women and girls are diagnosed with gynaecological cancer each year. One in three of these women will not do well and others will have to live with the devastating side effects of their treatment. We urgently need to fix gynaecological cancer by investing in research.

People hiking up a mountainBy taking on the Cherish Challenge to Climb Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in September 2023, you will help by raising funds for vital research that will result in kinder and more effective gynaecological cancer treatments for women. I have registered and am looking forward to the opportunity to raise funds and – at the same time – enjoy an adventure.

About the adventure

For seven days we will be trekking in the Tanzanian wilderness, with the ultimate goal - reach Africa's highest peak. Our teams will follow the Rongai route, the only trail approaching Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. While raising funds, it’s an incredible opportunity to witness the scenery and wildlife of the world’s fourth tallest mountain.

About Cherish Women’s Cancer Foundation

I founded Cherish back in 2012 to raise crucial funds to support research projects which have the potential to produce real outcomes for those touched by gynaecological cancer.

Since then, Cherish has invested over $1million in several clinical trials and research programs developed by Australian researchers through the Queensland Centre for Gynaecological Cancer Research (QCGC Research). This investment has resulted in much better, kinder treatments for women with gynaecological cancer and at the same time saved lives.

Examples of research funded

LACE – Less invasive surgery recommended for hysterectomies

The Laparoscopic Approach to Carcinoma of the Endometrium (LACE) trial, which ran from 2005 until 2010 has had a significant impact on how surgeons perform gynaecological surgery in Australia and worldwide. It examined the treatment of endometrial cancer via a laparoscopic (key-hole) hysterectomy versus traditional, open-abdominal surgery.

LACE involved 760 patients and 27 gynaecological cancer surgeons from 21 cancer centres throughout Australia and New Zealand over 15 years. It showed that women with endometrial cancer who undergo a laparoscopic hysterectomy have equivalent survival rates compared to women receiving an abdominal hysterectomy. And at the same time, the risk of complications was lower by 33%. That, in turn, also reduced the cost of treatment of several thousand women treated for endometrial cancer every year in Australia.

FEMME –  Improving the treatment for women with early-stage endometrial cancer

Cherish funding helped to jumpstart the feMMe trial which aimed to treat obese women with early-stage endometrial cancer less invasively. Currently standard surgical treatment of endometrial cancer is a total hysterectomy. The femme trial tested treatment options that preserve the uterus including the use of an intra-uterine device (IUD) combined with a weight-loss program and a diabetes drug.

The potential benefits include fewer hospital bed days, less radical surgery, fewer complications and lower costs to patients. Importantly, it will also allow more young women to retain their fertility. This trial enrolled 165 patients across Australia and New Zealand and has now finished. You can read more about the positive trial results here.

Cherish has supported far more research trials (including in ovarian, cervical and vulvar cancer) but that would be challenging to describe them all here.

Take part or donate

If you are interested in joining us to raise funds, there are limited spots left. Register your interest here

The Cherish Challenge Kilimanjaro team aims to raise $200,000 this year.

You can donate to help find kinder treatments for gynaecological cancer here


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