Twins share a dream to conquer cancer

Twins Tenielle and Courtney George have both received Cancer Council WA scholarships to continue their cancer research.
Twins Tenielle and Courtney George have both received Cancer Council WA scholarships to continue their cancer research.

The 22-year-old sisters said they were so close that it ‘just made sense’ to share a passion for cancer research.

‘We grew up in a small country town and boarded at high school, so we’ve always been together,’ Tenielle said.

‘Even when we try to be different, like how Courtney went to Edith Cowan University and I went to Curtin, we still end up doing the same thing anyway.’

Courtney said she was halfway through the lab work for her thesis at the Telethon Kids Institute to investigate how a particular gene spread the common childhood brain cancer medulloblastoma.

‘It’s important because metastasis of medulloblastoma has severe health effects on children and they usually don’t have a very good chance at survival,’ she said.

‘I don’t think it is fair for children to have to live with cancer, so if I can help with that in some way, then that would be really cool.

‘When I was younger, we would drive past the institute and I would say ‘I want to work there one day’ and it’s funny because now it turns out I am.’

Tenielle said she was hoping to identify new therapy targets for metastatic melanoma through her thesis at Curtin University’s School of Biomedical Science.

‘There’s been a lot of research into potential targets, but so far it is still difficult to find something that is effective,’ she said.

Courtney said she and her ‘ready-made study-buddy’ Tenielle hoped to work on a project together one day.

‘Helping cure cancer seems like a big dream to take on right now, so these scholarships are a good incentive for us to keep going,’ she said.