Komatsu employee Julie Aplin has seen firsthand the impact childhood brain cancer can have on families. Her son Scotty was diagnosed with a grade 3 brain tumour at the age of 15. He had to undergo two brain surgeries, followed by radiation therapy, and then 12 months of chemotherapy, but now, 13 years later, Scotty is doing well, and Julie wants to give back to those who supported her, Scotty and her family during that difficult time.
Julie is a recipient of one of Komatsu’s Live you Dream 2023 grants, which gives our employees the opportunity to contribute to their local community or wider society. Julie chose to direct her $10,000 prize to The Pirate Ship Foundation, a charity that helps raise vital funds which are directly invested into childhood brain cancer research programs, including the brain tumour research program at WA’s Telethon Kids Institute.
“To watch not only our son but so many other children go through such a horrendous course of treatment was heartbreaking, but Dr Nick Gottardo and his huge team from The Pirate Ship Foundation work tirelessly to save so many kids, so I wanted to find a way I could give back,” Julie says.
“Childhood brain cancer kills more Australian children than any other disease, and leaves survivors with severe life-long impacts. On average, two kids are diagnosed with brain cancer every month in WA.”
As part of Julie’s ‘dream’, she is in the middle of planning a fundraising event for the foundation, which she is hoping to hold in January next year.
“The fundraising event is called ‘Walk the plank’, and the idea behind it is that children and their families affected by brain cancer have to be pretty brave and we think we should be too! I’m hoping to get as many businesses as possible involved, just like Komatsu. We’re asking people to nominate a boss to ‘walk the plank’, and the more money we can raise the higher the plank.
“Thank you so much to Komatsu for supporting this cause that is so close to my and my family’s hearts. It’s great to see the prize being put towards research that is so badly needed,” Julie says.