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Meet Liz Dawes of the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation

Taking a tragedy and turning it into something with purpose and meaning is no easy feat. Liz Dawes shares why she founded the RCD Foundation and what you can do to help.

Can you share a bit of your background and why you started the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation?

In November 2011, our 17-year-old son Robert ‘Connor’ Dawes was diagnosed with an anaplastic ependymoma (a type of brain cancer). Major surgery resulted in loss of movement to his right side, impaired vision and severe short-term memory loss. Intense radiation, chemotherapy and rehabilitation followed, but Connor never stopped smiling.

For 16 months Connor’s brilliant mind, strong body and gentle soul faced off against an ependymoma. But on April 20, 2013, Connor’s own battle ended.

Inspired by his spirit and determined to ensure no family had to go through what ours did, we created the RCD Foundation in his honour – to fund the science to end brain cancer and support patients in the meantime.

What are the key events taking place to fundraise for the Foundation?

Connor’s Run is our biggest fundraising event of the year, and is also the largest event for paediatric brain cancer in Australia. This year Connor’s Run will be held on Sunday September 16, with the ambitious goal of raising $700,000 for Brain Matters to fund crucial research, development and care programs.

The best part of Connor’s Run is that it’s not about winning or even running, it’s about having fun and celebrating Connor. There’s live music and entertainment along the course and a fantastic after party along the Yarra – it’s truly a great atmosphere.

Go Grey in May is another fun way people can get involved with our Foundation. During the month of May (brain cancer awareness month), we encourage workplaces and schools to ‘Go Grey’ for a day with an item of clothing, or a whole outfit!

hockingstuart is a presenting partner of Connor’s Run 2018. 

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