Originally the Gastro Intestinal Cancer Institute (GICI), The Gut Cancer Foundation was founded in 2008 after the founding board members recognised the need for a For-Purpose organisation to fill the serious funding gap for clinical research focused on cancers of the digestive system.
Over the years GCF has evolved, and whilst funding research and clinical trials are still our core purpose, in recent years we have also moved into awareness raising and education with some patient support through information our website. Our mission is to be the voice for all cancers of the digestive system and have had a real focus on performing this role for the pancreatic cancer community in the last 2 years.
In 2020 we ran our first nationwide Pancreatic Cancer Month awareness campaign thanks to the fantastic support of WPCC. Our ‘Its About Time’ campaign made headline news on national newspapers, evening news broadcasts and breakfast TV, and saw a number of landmarks Light It Purple on November 19th. With the help of some fantastic patients and families we made a powerful campaign video which had huge reach and engagement on social media. To raise the voice of the pancreatic cancer community in New Zealand and make Kiwis aware of the symptoms and risk factors was hugely important and very satisfying.
This year we are looking to step up our campaign. We are looking for more media coverage, more landmarks to light it purple and more social media engagement and are looking forward to working with WPCC to get this vital message out to New Zealanders. Building on last year’s success we are launching the ‘Big Purple Dinner’, a fundraising campaign asking Kiwis to host a purple dinner in support of pancreatic cancer, and we are excited about the inaugural PanCan Gala, the only gala event in New Zealand dedicated to raising funds for pancreatic cancer research.
Last year, GCF was featured in segments on Breakfast TV, Newshub and Newstalk ZB along with a front page article in the NZ Herald, and extensive online coverage including an op-ed in stuff.co.nz by Dr Siouxsie Wiles.
To learn more about The Gut Cancer Foundation, visit their website here.