Patron and Committee

The CIKA team consists entirely of volunteers who give their time to raise money for research into children’s cancer. The current team consists of :

Fred Bergman
Leah Bergman
Julie Casilli
Sam Casilli
Colleen Clift
David Clift
Bernie Dawson
Jim Dawson (Treasurer)
Andrew Duyvestyn
Christine Duyvestyn
Dean Duyvestyn
Ruth Edelsten

Steve Halligan
Wendy Halligan (Secretary)
Renate Harrington
Louise Learmonth
Sandra Lehrer (President)
Steve Lehrer
Faye Love
Michael Love
Mary McGowan
Pam Phillips
Sala Rubinstein
Ellen Webb (Vice President)

Hard at work planning the next year’s fundraising.

CIKA Vice-President, Ellen Webb describes her involvement with CIKA to a Combined RCH Auxilliaries Meeting.

Good morning. I’m delighted to be here today. I’ve been asked to tell you about three things: 

• Why I support the Children’s Hospital 
• What being an auxiliary member means to me
• What I am proudest of in the last twelve months

As a mother who lives nearby, I was destined to spend time at the Children’s. Over the years I’ve come here with each of my children, for minor mishaps and serious ailments. We came one Christmas morning after my daughter Katie had an incident on rollerblades, in the kitchen, with a knife. My son Andrew was born in Emergency, when he decided he couldn’t wait for the ambulance. Trying to open a mandarin tin, my daughter Madeline nearly severed the nerve in her hand, but much to the relief of her hockey coach, has made a full recovery. I can look back on these stories, and laugh now, but I wasn’t laughing when my son Brian was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Brian had excellent care, and I do remember moments of laughter during his treatment, as we got involved with music therapy, and jumped on his bed whilst watching the Wiggles. Despite his excellent care, and our efforts to remain upbeat, Brian died 8 months after his diagnosis. 

At one bereavement support group I heard about the Cancer in Kids Auxiliary. I went to a meeting, and I found something I hadn’t expected, a new family. They took me in and accepted me as I was then, and gave me the support I needed. They understood when I couldn’t find words, and together, we got on with raising money for cancer research. 

CIKA members are very creative, and love nothing more than finding new ways to raise money. We have monthly stalls and annual balls. We’ve had dog shows and pie throwing competitions, and every year I get the chance to go camping at the Old Time Wood Days. Over the years I have met the most incredible people, and had my faith restored countless times. Being part of CIKA lets me do things for Brian; to achieve things I hope he would be proud of me for, and has given me many wonderful friends.

Together we have raised very significant amounts of money, which we use to fund research into solid tumours. When CIKA was first formed in 1980, most kids didn’t survive. Whilst this has improved, there is still a way to go. Last year, we commenced funding for the Translational Research Centre in Paediatric Solid Tumours. This is a project that is being conducted through a partnership between The Royal Children’s Cancer Centre and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. 

By working together we hope to realize our common vision, that through research we can not only improve treatment but also discover a way to prevent childhood tumours. By all of us working together, we can continue to support this hospital, so it can look after the health and well-being of the children of today, and tomorrow. 

Thank you for listening to me today.