“I have two young children and I want them to have a better chance of survival when they are 37.”Bill Walsh
In 1975 Bill Walsh was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was one of the first patients to be treated with chemotherapy at Royal North Shore Hospital. During his treatment he discovered that funds for cancer research at the hospital were very low and became frustrated with the lack of hope for cancer sufferers.
Determined to raise money for a cancer research unit, Bill organised the Bill Walsh Art Union. Despite being told that “no one can walk out and start their own Art Union” Bill raised almost $500,000 in the most successful Art Union at that time. His donation to the hospital was the largest single benefaction the hospital had ever received. This money was used to establish the Bill Walsh Cancer Research Fund. However, Bill still wasn’t satisfied. He also set up an ongoing employee contribution scheme with the Electricity Commission to ensure funding for cancer research would continue beyond his lifespan, leaving a lasting legacy to this day.
In 1978 Bill was awarded the British Empire Medal for Services to the Community. Sadly he died in 1979 and didn’t see the realisation of his dream, the Bill Walsh Cancer Research Laboratories, which opened in 1980 as a result of his fundraising.
Bill was an inspiration to everyone. He was one of the great pioneers of fundraising for cancer research. His courage in the face of adversity led to hope for all cancer sufferers. Today the Bill Walsh Cancer Research Laboratories continue to represent Bill’s dream – a future without cancer.
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