Carrie Bickmore has made an emotional announcement about her next career move, telling The Project on Monday she was “so proud” of the news.
Passionate brain cancer awareness advocate Carrie Bickmore has announced the launch of a new facility dedicated to research into the devastating disease that took her husband Greg Lange in 2010.
On Monday night’s episode of The Project, following a segment on an eight-year-old girl’s brain cancer diagnosis and treatment, an emotional Carrie, 40, revealed she will be launching The Brain Cancer Centre in collaboration with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI).
The beloved TV host and founder of Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer told viewers she’s “on a mission to raise as much money as possible to give brain cancer patients hope”.
Revealing that around 3000 people have died from brain cancer in the past two years, Carrie said: “It’s a reminder that cancer diagnoses haven’t stopped while our focus has been on Covid the past few years.
“Survival rates haven’t changed in 30 years which is just unacceptable and that’s why I, along with many other brilliant advocates around the country, have been on a mission to raise as much money as possible to give brain cancer patients hope.”
The Brain Cancer Centre has already secured $40 million in funding through the sales of Carries Beanies 4 Brain Cancer, with additional grants and collaborations with research institutes. The Victorian State Government is also investing $16 million over four years to the centre.
“This is a collaborative centre, it’s a collaborative initiative, and we hope to end brain cancer as terminal illness,” she said, adding that she was “so proud” to be working with the WEHI, a “world-renowned research institute that has been making discoveries for 100 years”.
Carrie has been candid about her experience with the disease over the years, tearily opening up on ABC’s Anh’s Brush With Fame about losing her husband.
The couple discovered Greg had a brain tumour in 2001, and the diagnosis changed their lives forever.
“It just completely threw everything we knew, everything we had planned, everything we thought, it just threw everything on its head. It was the start of an incredibly hard journey,” she told comedian Anh Do.
Greg lost his battle with brain cancer in December 2010.
In 2015, Carrie gave an incredible speech as she accepted the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian television, famously donning a blue beanie to raise awareness for her foundation.
She later revealed to the Today Show that it almost didn’t happen.
“I almost didn’t do it,” she said.
“There was a minute before where I thought, ‘Nup, don’t do it,’ because it’s such a downer for a room full of people who were so happy and so excited and then at the last minute I thought, ‘I’m just going to do it’ and I’m so glad I did.”
During her speech, Carrie pulled a bright blue beanie and placed it on her head as she spoke of her desire to raise awareness about the disease, which she says kills eight out of ten people who are diagnosed.
“Everyone thinks it’s this rare form of cancer, it is not.
“It kills more people under forty (than any other cancer) — and that’s a lot of you in this room.
“It kills more kids than any other disease.
“In 2010, my husband Greg was one of the unlucky ones. And after a long, long, long battle he died from brain cancer.
“Over ten years I watched him suffer multiple seizures a day, lose feeling down one side of his body,” she said, describing her late husband as “an incredibly brave man” and “great dad, husband and brother”.
Carrie and Greg welcomed son Ollie, now 14, three years before his father passed away.
The TV personality found love again with producer Chris Walker, with whom she has two daughters: Evie, 6, and Adelaide, 2.