Dr Toby Trahair childhood cancer researcher and fundraiser with Tour de Cure

26 Apr 2018


One of our Clinical Research Fellows, Dr Toby Trahair, is taking part in the Tour de Cure Signature Tour 2018 which starts on Friday 27th April, raising money for cancer research by cycling 1110km from Mackay to Cairns.

Not only is Dr Trahair a Clinical Research Fellow at Children’s Cancer Institute, he is also a Staff Specialist in Paediatric Haematology & Oncology at the Kids Cancer Centre based at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, and a conjoint lecturer at the University of New South Wales.

Tour de Cure are an organisation devoted to raising money for cancer research through challenging and inspirational tours and events across Australia. They raise money to fund new and innovative research, for talented scientists and ground breaking projects that they believe will have the biggest impact on cancer. We are delighted to have Tour de Cure providing such significant support to our research again this year.

Dr Toby Trahair in his kit ready for Tour de Cure

Dr Trahair told us why he is taking part in this very worthy and tough challenge:

“I was awarded a Tour de Cure established researchers grant in 2017 to support ongoing research at Sydney Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Cancer Institute to use better molecular (genetic) tests to identify high risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in children and teenagers.

“As a children’s cancer specialist, I see the impact that cancer and its treatment have on children and their families every day. Ruby’s story gives a glimpse of the journey that these families must take.

“Research is a vital part of finding better cures, which means more effective treatments with fewer side effects. In 1960, every child with cancer died. Decades of children’s cancer research has seen child cancer survival rates reach 85% today, but that’s not good enough.

 Tour de Cure's Signature Tour 2018 Route 

“We can and will do better. I’m privileged to work with a large team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, researchers and many others at the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Cancer Institute. We’re committed to children’s cancer research to find better treatments and continue to improve cure rates. However, we can’t do it alone and we’re grateful for the support of community partners and organisations like Tour de Cure.

“In 2017, Tour de Cure awarded grants totalling $1.3million dollars to 10 research projects at the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital and Children’s Cancer Institute. Tour de Cure has funded research projects for acute leukaemia, neuroblastoma, brain tumours, stem cell transplantation and precision treatments for high risk cancer (the Zero Childhood Cancer Program). Tour de Cure continues to support a specialist nurse co-ordinator at the Kids Cancer Centre for children diagnosed with brain tumours.

“To represent Children’s Cancer Institute, Sydney Children’s Hospital, and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the researchers funded by Tour de Cure (Richard Mitchell, Tracey O’Brien, Glenn Marshall, David Ziegler, Liz Bland, Michelle Haber, Murray Norris, Richard Lock, Maria Kavallaris, Rosemary Sutton, Pei Lui, Dan Carter, and Maria Tsoli) and to acknowledge the long term support of Tour de Cure, I’m riding the 2018 Tour de Cure Signature Ride and fundraising for Tour de Cure. So, I’d ask you to support Tour de Cure to improve child cancer outcomes.”

Dr Toby Trahair has so far raised over an amazing $12,000 but is striving to raise even more, you can donate here and follow the Signature Tour on Tour de Cure’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

PhD student Ashleigh Fordham, who is supervised by Dr Trahair, tells how her mum’s diagnosis with breast cancer was the catalyst for her future career – a scientist curing cancer. Read the story on our blog here.