Donating for cancer

12 July 2013

Fletcher Construction has donated $35,000 to match the efforts of a team of University staff who are cycling in New Zealand’s inaugural Ride to Conquer Cancer challenge.


In a bid raise funds for cancer research at the University-based Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre (ACSRC), the Auckland Division of the Cancer Society has launched the epic, two-day Ride across the country.  Each entrant will aim to raise $2,500 by the time of the 200 kilometre ride on November 16-17.  

Already the ACSRC itself has formed a team called Drug Runners, comprising 14 staff and others, with a goal of raising $35,000. Fletchers Construction will match this.

Says Greg Pritchard General Manager, The Fletcher Construction Company, Building+Interiors: “The five year project to redevelop the Medical School facilities has made many Fletcher people acutely aware of the tremendous work being undertaken by researchers at The University of Auckland.

Our sponsorship of the University team participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer is a gesture to recognise what is being achieved within the facilities we have delivered and to honour the commitment of the University and its people as they pursue medical advances.”

Professor Mark McKeage, Team Leader of Drug Runners, and one of the ACSRC’s four co-directors, says the donation is “a huge boost which will help the team get new members on board too”.

The ACSRC is one of the world’s most productive academic cancer drug development groups. To date it has brought 12 new drugs to clinical trial in New Zealand and around the world. Proceeds from the Ride to Conquer Cancer will support research into targeted cancer therapy for many different cancers  including lung, breast, melanoma, colon.

“Funding is very tight at the moment both from the industrial and government sector,” says co-director, Professor Bruce Baguley. “So this will help enormously.”

Cancer is the leading cause of death for both males and females in New Zealand, accounting for 29% of all deaths. More than $500million dollars a year is spent by the public health system diagnosing and treating cancer.   Since its inception in 2008, the Ride To Conquer has raised significant funds for cancer research, development and care programs across Canada and Australia.

“The Ride has big bold goals, which is a perfect fit for the role of the Cancer Society,” says Alannah Hunter, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Auckland Division.  We are striving every day to reduce the effects of cancer on our community, and find ways to develop better treatments and ultimately cures.” 


Join the University of Auckland Team

As well as the ACSRC team, staff across the University are invited to join The University of Auckland Team. Captained by Anna Ma (School of Asian Studies) and James Harper (ITS), the team has already begun training and planning together.

“We will be doing training rides, helping each other to fundraise, and generating awareness of the  ACSRC’s critical research,” says James.

“We’re here because we know that cancer is too big a disease to ignore.  It affects many of us personally as well as our family, friends and loved ones.  By riding in this event we are doing something about it.    It’s an awesome triumph physically and emotionally as well.”

Staff across the University are invited to donate to or join the University of Auckland and/or the Drug runners teams at: