23 Aug 2011
By Gail O’Brien

The build is about to start but research continues


Next month is going to be an exciting time for many, as work finally begins on constructing the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA.

And although there is still much ahead of us in terms of the actual building of the facility, as well as in the areas of planning and operations – discoveries in the area of research continue unbounded.

Cutting edge research carried out right here in Australia, as well as work being done all over the world means new breakthroughs and discoveries are occurring virtually every day.

But we’re not just talking about research being carried out directly in the area of cancer. Perhaps just as importantly as a contributing factor is any relevant research which on a large scale can benefit the overall physical, mental and emotional health of people.

Each day, week and month I get sent a myriad of information about what’s happening here and Australia in terms of medical news and I’m always astounded by what scientists and researchers are finding – and the wider health implications of each study.

Whether it’s finding out more about how specific cancer cells operate or new findings about how natural remedies and treatments can benefit various conditions and ailments such as the common cold, research is king.

Indeed, at a recent event held in Sydney to commemorate the anniversary of my late husband, Professor Chris O’Brien, the NSW Health Minister, the Hon. Jillian Skinner delivered a thought provoking speech on the importance of research as a critical element of the health system -because of the benefits it has on aiding the prevention of diseases, as well as finding the cure.

And although this seems simplistic –the mechanics of putting the appropriate structures in place to keep pace with progress will always be one of the challenges of government, but a challenge where so much can be gained from rising to the occasion.

Like Cadel Evans recently showed us on a world stage in Europe by winning the Tour De France, great things are possible as he made the most of every opportunity, even saying at one stage “I’m only in the lead by a very small margin but, tactically, every second counts ”.

So just as Cadel makes the most of his time – so too do all those hard-working researchers.

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Posts: 2


  1. yip cheong says:

    Your tireless efforts are greatly appreciated.
    There are also patients with Lupus and Parkinson (unknown cause and no cure)

    • Gail O'Brien says:

      Thank you so much.

      There are certainly many diseases and conditions which can benefit from any research carried out by dedicated scientists.

      Research in itself is one of the most valuable elements to improve the health outcomes for so many different groups of people.

  2. Lyn Wallace says:

    I have just finished reading Chris’s book “Never say Die” I had always wanted to read it, never imagining that one day my own husband would be afflicted with the same brain tumour as Chris (Glioblastoma Multi grade 4). This is a cruel disease with little hope. Myself and my two children are devasted. Thank you Gail and Chris for being such an inspiration.

  3. Gail O'Brien says:

    Dear Lyn,

    This is the most testing of times for you all, I know. Don’t lose hope……….just take it step by step, one day at a time.

    “Hope” is at the very core of our existence and we can’t let that be taken away. I remember Chris saying to me after his diagnosis “we are going to hold our heads high and not be defeated by this.”

    It was incredibly tough, but Chris’ Never Say Die attitude remains with me still. Wonderful things are happening in terms of his vision for integrated cancer care. Things that would not have happened, had he not become ill.

    Sending every good wish for the road ahead to you, your husband and children, Gail

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