Madden family's mission to fund cancer cures

Paul Madden was in the peak of his life with a young family when he was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive type of cancer called Osteosarcoma.

Determined to beat it, he gave up alcohol, improved his diet and continued to exercise almost every day. That was coupled with an aggressive treatment plan of two major operations, 41 sessions of radiation therapy and eight months of chemotherapy at Peter Mac.

Despite everyone’s best efforts, Paul passed away on May 17, 2015, aged 37.

Since this date, Paul’s family and a very generous network of friends have raised more than $65,000 for research into cancer cures.

Paul’s wife, Evonne, says: "Paul was very grateful for the wonderful care he received at Peter Mac, and relieved to know he was in the very best place for treatment. We all were. However, it was also upsetting to know that the treatment, and survival rates, for his type of cancer hadn’t improved much in three decades. More research is needed to find cures and more effective treatments for patients like Paul, and we know that’s extremely expensive. Thanks very much to everybody who has donated to Peter Mac in memory of Paul. He would be blown away by your generosity."

Executive Director of Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, Jennifer Doubell OAM, reinforces the need to continually fund research. "Many of us have been affected by cancer, whether it's you, a family member, or a friend... cancer research requires significant time and resources. The generosity of our supporters is vital to the life-saving work we do at Peter Mac, providing the specialised resources needed to explore innovative new ideas." 

When Paul died, Evonne found grief overwhelming and her journalist background led her to asking other how they coped. She quickly realised that there was solace in sharing, but that grief was not talked about. She turned these conversations into stories, as well as another fundraising endeavour for Peter.

Her new book Life After, published by Affirm Press, is the result of conversations with 60 ordinary and well-known Australians who have bounced back after heartbreaking loss.

Evonne is donating half of her author book royalties to Peter Mac in the hope she can help fund more research discoveries in rare cancers like Paul's.

This August, Evonne will also trek the Larapinta Trail in memory of Paul. We wish Evonne all the best with her book and trek and thank her for joining us in the fight against cancer.

If you are interested in fundraising for Peter Mac learn more here.