Employees at Macquarie Bank were out in full force to support GI cancer research last Thursday night, raising over $80,000 at their annual charity trivia night.
This year, the event was for a very personal cause. James Watson nominated the GI Cancer Institute as the charity to support in memory of his brother Andrew, who passed away from oesophageal cancer earlier this year at the age of 28.
The employees at Macquarie Bank didn’t hesitate to help. The event was packed, with close to 300 people attending and 29 trivia teams taking part on the night, and members of the community donated prizes for a raffle and silent auction. A team of volunteers, made up of James’s colleagues, worked through the night, collecting donations and ensuring that the event ran smoothly.
There was a pervading spirit of generosity and community, with the bar staff buying books of raffle tickets, and everyone deciding in the spur of the moment to give more by holding a ‘shorts day’ in support of the GI Cancer Institute the following week. One attendee said that it was “a truly fabulous night – raising awareness and much-needed funds,” and that “some of the statitstics presented were truly eye-opening and heartbreaking at the same time”.
Dr Lorraine Chantrill, a Director of the GI Cancer Institute, attended the trivia night and spoke about the importance of clinical trials in changing outcomes for GI cancer patients. James also spoke, thanking everyone for their support of clinical trials on behalf of himself and his family.
A number of AGITG members also contributed to the incredible success of the night. James and his family acknowledged the work of Dr Josie Rutovitz and A/Prof Nick Pavlakis, who treated Andrew and referred the family to the GI Cancer Institute when they were looking for a charity to support.
The funds raised on the night will go towards oesophageal cancer research and clinical trials. As oesophageal cancer is a rare type of cancer, with a five-year survival rate of just 22%, this kind of support is crucial to raising public awareness and supporting research that can improve outcomes for patients in the future.