Brisbane Melanoma survivor Anne Stanton has received the Clive Berghofer Humanitarian Award for raising almost $300,000 for the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.
The mother of four has spent almost 30 years living with melanoma and was driven to set up a charity after watching so many friends lose their battle against melanoma.
“I felt guilty that I was still here and I knew there was a reason. That’s why I set up Walking on Sunshine, to raise funds to help researchers find a cure,” says Anne.
Anne was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 1987. She underwent surgery which took her eye and marked the beginning of a very long battle.
In July 1997, 10 years after the initial diagnosis, Anne was told she had secondary melanoma.
Sixty per cent of her liver, gall bladder and some lymph glands were removed.
Over the next 16 years, the cancer would keep reappearing attacking various parts of her body and each time, Anne would undergo more invasive surgery.
The cancer still returns and sometimes it can’t be accessed surgically, so radiation and drug therapy are Anne’s only options.
On the outside, Anne is strong and brave, but those closest to her know she is bravely fighting for her life.
Anne was determined to use her story and strength to help others.
In 2003, she started raising funds for melanoma and cancer research under the banner of “Walking on Sunshine”, named after her favourite song by Katrina an
d the Waves.
The singer has even endorsed the charity after meeting Anne earlier this year while on tour in Brisbane.
After 12 years of fundraising through various events, Walking on Sunshine achieved a significant milestone last year when it was listed as a Foundation.
Anne’s newly announced Humanitarian award is further recognition of her selfless determination to help others going through a similar battle to her own
“I am so humbled to accept this award but I am very aware that there are so many family and friends who have supported me and who are all helping to spread the Walking on Sunshine message. I am grateful to each and every one”, says Anne.
QIMR Berghofer medical research institute says Anne continues to be one of its strongest ambassadors and fundraisers.
For more information on how you can help Anne raise money for melanoma research click here!