With the support of his patients and their families, Medical Oncologist Dr Matthew Burge has been awarded the Fundraiser of the Year Award by the GI Cancer Institute for his incredible fundraising for Gastro-Intestinal (GI) cancer research. Dr Burge has raised over $47,000 this year for non-profit clinical trials finding better treatments for GI cancer.
As a medical oncologist, he sees every day how important research is for his patients. Dr Burge leads clinical trials himself, and is aware of the improvements they can make to patients’ outcomes.
He is currently the Study Chair of the MONARCC trial, investigating whether a ‘lighter’ form of chemotherapy could be more tolerable for elderly colorectal cancer patients. Learn more about MONARCC
Despite his busy workload, conducting research and treating patients, Dr Burge has made time to raise funds for vital clinical trials. He partnered with the GI Cancer Institute, and committed to taking on a ‘Gutsy Challenge’. In total, this year he has raised an incredible $47,240.
“Once I understood what fundraising meant and how crucial it was to fund the GI Cancer Institute’s Innovation Fund grant, my interest in fundraising really grew. I found that when I explained to people the crucial importance of research in making steps forward in terms of our treatment for patients and outcomes, they were very interested and keen to support. ” he says.
100% of the funds he has raised will go towards the Innovation Fund. This fund provides a grant of up to $200,000 each year to a researcher conducting new research in GI cancer with the potential to change medical practice.
His incredible achievement this year was not his first foray into fundraising. He climbed Argentina’s Mt Aconcagua in 2017, the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, for his first Gutsy Challenge team adventure.
“Taking on my first Gutsy Challenge in 2017 was life changing and one of the best things I’ve ever done,” says Dr Burge. “I’m very humbled and very thankful to my patients and their families that have supported me. It is because of them that my achievements are recognised by this award. I will keep pushing forward and fundraising into the future as much as I can, and I’m looking forward to the next Gutsy Challenge when COVID finally settles down.”
Dr Burge’s fundraising efforts are so important because GI cancer research is often neglected and underfunded. This is reflected in the five-year survival rate for GI cancer, which on average is just 51%. In comparison, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 92%, and for prostate cancer is 95%.
Do you want to help fundraise for GI cancer research like Dr Burge? Learn how to get involved