The Rebecca Gumley
Blood Cancer
Research Fund

This fund has been established in honour of Rebecca Gumley to support research that will save and improve the lives of people affected by blood cancer.

Rebecca was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at just 27 years of age. She fought courageously against this disease and managed to enter remission following a stem cell transplant she received from a selfless, unknown international donor. Sadly, significant challenges followed her transplant resulting in her developing a condition known as Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) that ended her life two weeks before her 29th birthday. This disease attacked her skin, eyes, lungs, liver and stomach, depleting her immune system and leaving Rebecca unable to fight serious infections that eventually overwhelmed her body.

Rebecca’s strength during her treatment was inspirational as she constantly strived to find ways to promote awareness of leukaemia treatment, GvHD and blood donation to help others just like her. This awareness created numerous blood drives that introduced new blood and stem cell donors to the Australian register and raised vital funds for the Leukaemia Foundation. Rebecca also underwent numerous clinical trials to help medical professionals develop new blood cancer treatment to benefit future individuals and families.

To honour Rebecca’s enduring strength, loving heart and passion for change, her family and friends have come together to fund breakthrough research into blood cancers to help those individuals and families facing this disease today. Funds raised will be directed to the Centre for Blood Transplant and Cell Therapy, bringing together Australia’s best clinicians and researchers in this field to improve outcomes for people living with blood cancer.

With your support, this memorial fund will ensure advances in research can continue well into the future.   

Graft versus Host Disease

Graft versus Host Disease affects more than half of patients who undergo stem cell transplantation. It occurs when donated cells (the graft) see your body cells (the host) as foreign, and attack them.

GvHD is not rare

50% - 70%

of patients develop GvHD

It can be fatal

20%

develop severe acute GvHD resulting in more than half of those people dying.

Debilitating and life threatening

Attacks the skin, digestive system, liver, lungs, connective tissues and eyes, often leading to irreversible damage and life-long symptoms.

Current treatments and understanding are failing patients

In Australia, treatment of GvHD is currently based on steroid administration, and while many other approaches, including additional immune suppressants are commonly employed, none have clearly proven effective. Unanswered questions remain that could provide the solution such as can we halt the disease early on? Are there ways to predict which treatments will work best? Why do the effects vary between patients? Can we modify donor cells pre-transplant to improve outcomes? Can we harness the immune system to conquer GvHD?

There is a pressing need for new treatment approaches to both prevent and especially, to treat GvHD.

Centre for Blood Transplant and Cell Therapy Research

This is a major Australia-wide and international research program which aims to change clinical practice for people dealing with Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) as a consequence of treatment of their blood cancer.

The Leukaemia Foundation is the only non-government organisation supporting this 5 year NHMRC endorsed Centre.

The Centre aims to discover biomarkers that will have diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive power to prevent and treat the disease. It will also explore the use of nenovel agents such as CAR T Cell, immunomodulatory and immunotherapy agents, genetically modified T cells to reduce cancer relapse and improve patient survival.

The Centre’s major research and trials will be conducted in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne (RBWH, Westmead, RMH, The Alfred) with involvement from the stem cell transplant units in Adelaide and Perth. The Centre’s scientific partners are QIMR, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and Monash University and international centres- the University of Minnesota and Icahn Centre for Science and Medicine at Mt Sinai in New York.

To ensure patients have equitable access to the research and trials conducted by the Centre, the Leukaemia Foundation are also providing funding for eligible patients for their transport and accommodation needs.

A big thank you to our Supporters

The real heroes who are kindly helping us achieve our goal

$125

Tony And Les Surtees

Our hearts go out to you Steve, Sandy and Jonathan on learning of your great loss. Becky will always be remembered for the lovely little girl we knew and loved, in Tasmania. With heartfelt condolences for a wonderful cause.

$3.22k

Peachi Pt

Bec, your strength motivates me every day and the belief you always had in me helps me lift every time I doubt myself. Peachi PT wouldn't be where it was without your voice in my head and the inspiration you've given me, and as a community we are now dedicated to raising funds and awareness for blood cancer research every year. So much love from Kim and the Peachi PT community xx

$515

Emily Lauk And Luke Olson

Always in our hearts

$515

Margie Quinn

$50

Alex Morthorpe

Bec was a beautiful human and the world's a darker place without her xx

$515

Meredith And Craig Anderson

An amazing legacy to a beautiful young woman.

$100

Julie And Chris Short

$500

Anne And Anthony Prowse

$120

Lloyd Bradbury

$52

Freda Stevens

$120

Sarah Toohey

$104

Grant Harslett

$209

Laura & Adrian Harbison

$52

Emily Wilson

$50

Danielle Redman

In memory of Bec and her endless positivity and courage all her life

$21

Julie Anderson

$209

Anonymous

$200

Joanna More

Thanks for letting us know before the end of the financial year, lots of Rebecca memories...

$125

Margaret Stoklosa

With love and hope for better outcomes in the future

$50

Jemma Keast

I played netball with Bec, and was so saddened to hear of her passing. Glad to help towards this research, in the hope of a future where GVHD can be managed.

$200

Jeremy Rosen & Nicola Westoby

$515

Matthew Lauk

$120

Thomas Hofbrucker

$125

Rosemary Skourletos

$261

Nan

$209

Harry More

Caitlin and I have been remembering Rebecca over her anniversaries and our thoughts are with her family through this difficult time. Good luck to the research centre in achieving it's aims, we hope this donation helps

$15k

Jonathan And Kaitlin Gumley

$104

Cherry O'toole O'toole

$1.5k

Cheryl And Peter Lauk

Sadly missed and quietly remembered.

$120

Lou & Cam

Happy birthday Bec! Thinking of you and family xox 💗

$515

Ron And Anneli Hardman

💕

$5k

Estate Of Rebecca Gumley

$50k

Steve And Sandy Gumley

One year ago our amazing daughter was lost to family and friends. Love you forever. 4 June 2020

$50

Fiona Bender

$515

Kellie Earl

Miss you Bec, can't believe it has been a year xx

$125

Alan Perrott

$2

Stephanie Moran

$31

Malia Naupoto

$515

Rick Gumley

$156

Liz And Kevin Mcnamara

$52

Caitlin Sum

$120

John Forwood

$6.98k

Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar

The Strathcona community are pleased to contribute to the The Rebecca Gumley Blood Cancer Fund with the donation raised from a recent raffle. Bec will be remembered fondly by the staff and her peers as a wonderful young woman who was very courageous.

$515

Anne And Anthony Prowse

$260

Jamie And Fiona King

$30k

Namarrgon International Pty Ltd

$30

Rachel Mckay

$208

Cherry And Matthew O'toole

$125

Jess Greenaway

$179

Christine Johnson

$125

Alan Perrott

$415

Sue Dunford

$52

Chris M

$2.02k

Anonymous

💖

$62

Fiona Fowler

A wonderful way in which to honour Bec

$125

Nick And Rosemary Skourletos

$104

Grant And Rosemary Harslett

$104

Lindy Edney

For Bec, a continuing inspiration!

$515

Meredith And Craig Anderson

$125

Helen & Craig

$2.5k

Cheryl And Peter Lauk

$250

Nan

$125

Lauren, Luke, Murphy And Milla

$8.02k

Aaron Hardman

💖

$200

Joanna More

Brave Bec, anything to help others.

$100k

Stephen And Sandy Gumley

$25k

Jonathan And Kaitlin Gumley

$50

Fran Martinez

$31

Timothy Middlemiss

$208

Gemma Barlow

$2.02k

Tom & Margaret Lupfer

So sorry to hear the news of Bec. Peace be with her family and friends at this sad time.

$120

Scott Cullen

$50

Anonymous

$62

Wine Club Friends Of Anneli

$62

Anna Trengove

$515

Graham And Anne Hodges

$42

Malia Naupoto

$52

Ryan Milsop

Bec was one of the nicest, most genuine people I ever had the privilege to meet. I'm so sorry for your loss.

$125

Lisa Stanyer

Bec was one of those most inspiring women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Without a doubt the most sensational Leaders in our work force. Rest Peacefully Bec, fly high. Xx

$104

Anonymous

$21

Anonymous

$400

Anonymous

$515

Andrew And Kellie Earl

$104

Anne Lauk

far too young. Heart breaking for family and friends. RIP dear Bec.

$52

Anonymous

In memory of Bec, so young, & such a fighter.

$125

Rein And Vivianne Valling

$125

Anne Laats

$125

Lloyd Bradbury

$104

Alistair Mclean

$200

Daniella Phair

$100

Jonathan Wong

$52

Daniel Johnstone

$120

Sandhya Menon

$208

Harry More

$125

Tegan, Chris And Savanna Williams

$31

Sarah Aitken

$50

Ellie & Dave Medlin

Aaron, Ron & Anneli we are so sorry Bec’s treatment was not successful. This is a great way to help others not go through the pain of losing their loved one.

$100

Freda Stevens

$500

Ron And Anneli Hardman

$21

Shelley Hine-haycock