Leila Rose Foundation demand increasing

A TRIP to the big smoke could produce both a night to remember and the chance to raise money for a good cause.

The Leila Rose Foundation is holding its Make A Difference Gala on August 11.

The event will be held at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club with 200 people expected to attend.

It will be the third time the gala has been held with $60,000 made on the night last year. The 2017 gala was hosted by former AFL player Danny Frawley.

Leila Rose Foundation executive director Christopher Broadley operates out of Melbourne and said the foundation, founded in Warrnambool, was building solid support in the state’s capital. 

“The Leila Rose Foundation board is based in Warrnambool but we are supporting families all over Australia,” Mr Broadley said.

“The foundation continues to build its profile in Melbourne as people discover what a great cause it is.”

The foundation was set up in 2011 by Warrnambool’s Andrew and Tracy Chow in honour of their daughter Leila Rose, who succumbed to a rare rhabdoid tumour at 20 months of age.

Since its inception, the foundation has helped more than 140 families who have children under the age of 14 with a rare cancer.

“The demand on the foundation is on the up,” Mr Broadley said.

“We supply financial support but we also have a family support co-ordinator in place.

“That support person can help families navigate through the whole medical system, which can be bewildering when it comes to this level of care.

“Our aim is to leave no stone unturned in helping children affected by a rare cancer and their families.”

Mr Broadley said this has included paying for tissue to be sent to Boston for the latest genomic screening.

He said in one case, this led to an early diagnosis which resulted in a life saved. 

For those people unable to make the Brighton gala, the annual Warrnambool Leila Rose Christmas Ball will be held in December.

The fundraising efforts of the Leila Rose Foundation received a boost recently with $10,000, courtesy of a Centenary Grant from the Commonwealth Bank Business Centre Warrnambool branch.