Shining a Light on Brain Cancer

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For the last month, the shiploaders at Port Waratah Coal Services’ Carrington Terminal have been lighting up Mark Hughes Foundation blue, in support of the Foundation’s Beanie for Brain Cancer fundraising and awareness campaign.

The annual illumination project at the Carrington Terminal commenced at dark on Wednesday June 1, and ran each night until Sunday July 3, which also coincided with the National Rugby League Beanie for Brain Cancer Round in support of the Mark Hughes Foundation.

In Australia, brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in children and adults under 40 years of age. On average, approximately 1,970 brain cancers are diagnosed each year, that’s roughly one person every five hours.

Kirralee and Mark Hughes established the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) in 2014, following Mark’s own diagnosis of high-grade brain cancer. The idea from his hospital bed was to raise awareness and funds for research and improve patient outcomes.

Incredibly, since its inception, MHF have sold more than 800,000 beanies and over $20 million dollars has been raised for brain cancer research.

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“We’re a small team at MHF with an amazing network of volunteers and supporters. The funds we raise goes directly to finding a cure, better treatments and patient care,” said Mr Hughes.

“Port Waratah’s support through the generosity of their employees and the organisation’s dollar matching commitment has been a fantastic local partnership over the last six years.

“We were so excited to see the Carrington shiploaders light up in our blue and help launch our campaign in Newcastle this year.”

Port Waratah CEO, Hennie du Plooy, said he is pleased to celebrate their long partnership with the Mark Hughes Foundation.

“Our employees and local community feel very connected to the Beanie for Brain Cancer drive and the Mark Hughes Foundation putting a spotlight on this very important cause,” said Mr du Plooy. “Health is priority area for our Community Investment and Partnership Programme, and we are proud to support the Foundation and help raise awareness this year by shining a light too.”

In addition to the shiploaders lighting up, Port Waratah held a breakfast on Wednesday June 8 with Mark and about 60 employees in attendance. They also had one of their community partners, the Clontarf Foundation, whose focus is to support young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men attend school, finish year 12 and enter employment, come along to assist with the event and talk with the team.

This is Port Waratah’s fifth annual ship loader illumination project to raise awareness for one of their community partners. The initiative lit up the shiploaders in green in support of the Hunter Medical Research Institute in 2018; pink in support of Hunter Breast Cancer Education & Support Network in 2019; blue in support of Hunter Prostate Cancer Alliance in 2020; and purple for Domestic Violence Awareness in support of Got Your Back Sista in 2021.

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