Braver Stronger Smarter Incorporated begins with the story of Eva Wheatley who was diagnosed with metastatic embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma at 4 years of age, in early 2012. She fought this beast for 2 years and 8 months, losing her left arm to it in January 2014. Conventional treatment options were exhausted early in her battle and she tried a number of treatments not tried on her cancer type before. Our little hero never allowed cancer to beat her despite leaving us on 28th October, 2014. Eva beat cancer because of how she lived with cancer. At her young age she opened people’s hearts to endless possibilities, and inspired hope and healing in countless individuals. Our vision is to help create a world where there is always hope and where no family fears childhood cancer as we did.
We are dedicated to continue not only Eva's legacy by honouring her example, but to honour all children who have fought, are fighting and who are yet to fight childhood cancer. We believe new treatments designed for children targeting the unique molecular variants of their disease are desperately required to save lives and improve quality of life. We are dedicated to:
Raising community and government awareness of the need for better treatments for childhood cancer, and empowering others to become involved and make a difference for children fighting cancer.
- Sharing the stories of our Superdoll ambassadors (these dolls are made in the likeness of their real life counterparts and represent children and adolescents who have endured the impact of childhood cancer).
- Social media campaigns.
- Educating policymakers and community on the impact of limited treatment choices on survival and quality of life, and building awareness and understanding of everybody's critical role in bringing about change.
- We encourage global partnerships with childhood cancer superheroes.
Raising funds to invest in ongoing research, and supporting innovative postgraduate students to help find better treatments for childhood cancers.
- Unfortunately, most children fighting cancer continue to be treated with medications that were developed thirty to forty years ago which were originally designed to fight adult cancers.
- The impact of these highly toxic treatments on developing bodies often results in serious long-term health problems.
- For 20% of all children diagnosed these treatments remain ineffective. In Australia, up to 4 children die from cancer every week. Cancer remains the biggest killer by disease of our children.
What We've Achieved
Braver Stronger Smarter Inc is part of the founders circle of supporters for the Children's Cancer Therapy Development Institute. This is a research group that is focused on closing the "pre-clinical gap" in childhood cancer research. To end the stalemate in curing childhood cancers, cc-TDI is dedicated to translating knowledge from basic scientific advancements into proven, viable treatment options that can be tested in clinical trials. Currently collaborating within the 'Needle in a Haystack Project' to find better treatment options for rhabdomyosarcoma. Contributory partner towards "A Patient-Derived Xenograft Model of Parameningeal Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma for Preclinical Studies."
Postgraduate student support at the Children's Cancer Institute. The objective of the student’s project was to develop optimal conditions for growing rhabdomyosarcoma tumour cells in the lab for screening new drugs to seek effective treatments for children and adolescents with this disease in clinically useful time frames. For personalised medicine to work for rhabdomyosarcoma (and other cancers) we must be able to grow a child’s cancer cells in the lab in biological models. This is a critical step within the Zero Childhood Cancer Initiative.
- Assisting an extensive 'Big Data' research project in the rapidly emerging field of personalised medicine being led by Associate Professor Dan Catchpoole from The Kids Research Institute at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Associate Professor Paul Kennedy from the University of Technology in Sydney. For several years Drs Catchpoole and Kennedy, with numerous other international experts, have been working on a computational strategy which builds together the activity of the gene driving a tumour with information about the variations in the genes, as well as the clinical history of current and past patients to provide understanding of the differences and similarities between patients. The goal is to assist clinicians by providing a virtual tool to aid them in determining a tailored treatment regime for each individual. View 'Bespoke Therapy for Young Cancer Patients'.
Development of a listing of organisations and entities within Australia which provide financial, social, psychological, medical, research and advocacy support which target improved outcomes for children with cancer and their families. Find what Australia has to offer at: childhoodcanceraustralia.org.au