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21st February 2023

Netball SA and Adelaide Thunderbirds join the fight against brain cancer in renewed partnership

Thunderbirds with Cate West

The fight against brain cancer will be the special focus of a renewed partnership between The Hospital Research Foundation Group, the Adelaide Thunderbirds and Netball SA in 2023, in support of terminally ill Thunderbirds member and young mum Cate West.

The partnership also aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the wider netball community.

The mission

Brain cancer kills more Australians under 40 than any other cancer and tragically there is no cure. Despite significant increases in survival rates for other cancers, brain cancer survival rates are low and have hardly changed in 30 years.

The Hospital Research Foundation Group CEO Paul Flynn said the organisation was proud to partner with Netball SA and the Thunderbirds for a second season to help spread awareness.

“Every day we are in the fight against devastating diseases and illnesses, as well as finding better treatments and cures for people like Cate and her loved ones. We’re so grateful for the Thunderbirds, Netball SA and their community for getting behind such an important cause to make a difference together in 2023,” Mr Flynn said.

“The Foundation is already committed to innovative research into new treatments to help combat aggressive brain cancers but this vital work can only continue with the generous support of South Australians.”

Netball SA CEO Bronwyn Klei said the business was honoured to partner with a like-minded organisation that has been committed to fighting for the health of South Australians for nearly 60 years.

“The Hospital Research Foundation Group is South Australia’s largest non-government supporter of world-leading medical research, and helps deliver better treatments, services, clinical trials and life-saving equipment that improves the lives of patients and their families,” Ms Klei said.

“As the leading sport for women and girls in South Australia, netball plays a significant role in promoting health and wellbeing for all South Australians – a philosophy we share with The Hospital Research Foundation Group.”

Cate’s brave fight

Cate West is a loving mum, wife, sister, daughter, aunty and friend – and is in a daily battle with Stage 3 Astrocytoma. She is bravely joining the Thunderbirds’ mission to raise awareness and funds for better treatments and research for brain cancer.

It was late 2021, following three months of severe headaches, nausea, occasional numbness in her limbs and countless visits to her GP, that Cate was eventually told the worst.

She was diagnosed with a 6cm brain tumour, resulting in a Stage 3 Astrocytoma.

“My life changed in an instant, and life as I knew it was no longer,” Cate said.

She was immediately admitted to hospital and nine days later underwent an emergency craniotomy, where 90% of the tumour was removed, followed by six weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments.

Cate has recently celebrated her 40th birthday but still experiences devastating effects from her disease, and doesn’t want anyone else to go through what she’s going through.

“I am passionate about trying to help raise funds for brain cancer research to find early diagnoses, better treatments and ultimately finding a cure for brain cancer,” Cate said.

“I wholeheartedly share the vision where we see a world where brain cancer is a treatable and survivable disease, and where no lives are lost to brain cancer.”

Stronger together

By banding together, Netball SA, the Adelaide Thunderbirds and The Hospital Research Foundation Group can spread the word far and wide – raising awareness and funds for brain cancer treatments and improving the overall health of our community.

The partnership kicked off on Sunday 19 February at the Thunderbirds’ popular Fan Day, which included fun activities for supporters and a trial game against NSW Swifts.

The Hospital Research Foundation Group logo will also be front and centre on all Thunderbirds’ gameday dresses, alongside signage throughout the Mile End stadium.