BARRY Knowles, who is fighting mesothelioma, gave Professor Bruce Robinson a cheque for $50,000 to help fund work at the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD), at a Rotary Club of Perth meeting today.
Families affected by mesothelioma helped the Rotary Club of Perth and Rotary Club of Esperance raise the money that will help generate new vaccine treatments aimed at stimulating an immune attack on the cancer.
Mr Knowles (73) has survived without medical intervention for six years after first being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2010.
“The tumours in my body have suddenly become aggressive and I know now there is not a lot of time left for researchers to unlock the secrets to my immune system,” he said.
“But the money raised by the Foundation will help them get started and I pray they discover something positive that will eventually produce a cure for those who will suffer this horrible disease in the years ahead.”
Prof Robinson said the $50,000 would enable NCARD to fund a research fellow to undertake clinical trials that would start early next year.
“We are international leaders in many aspects of this work and through Barry’s remarkable survival we are confident of finding a vaccine that destroys the asbestos-induced cancer cells causing mesothelioma and lung cancer,” he said.
Rotary Club of Perth President Larry Hirsch said Mr Knowles’ passion to see an end to the disease had become infectious among several Rotary clubs that had helped raise money for the Foundation.