“Magic Beanies” - this year’s Mark Hughes Foundation “Beanie for Brain Cancer” campaign - kicks off this Saturday, June 1st, when the fabulous new 2019 beanies go on sale.
Mark Hughes, together with his wife Kirralee, formed the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) in 2014 soon after Mark’s brain cancer diagnosis to raise funds and help find a cure for this disease that kills more children in Australia than any other and more Australians under 40 than any other cancer.
And they wanted to do it FAST!
“When you live with brain cancer you really appreciate how precious time is” Mark said. “We came up with the idea of a beanie for a fundraiser after noticing a lot of patients wearing beanies to cover bandages and scars and keep their shaved scalps warm. And so... ‘Beanie for Brain Cancer’ was born!”
The first year they ordered a few hundred beanies and, with family and friends, stood outside Bunnings and footy games and anywhere they could selling beanies and raising awareness about the shocking lack of funding for brain cancer research. Mark’s friend, team mate and mentor, Paul Harragon, said something in these early beanie days that would resonate long after.
Mark recalls “With beanie in hand, he looked me in the eye and said with such conviction - ‘you know... there’s magic in these beanies, mate!’- and, as crazy as it sounded then, it turned out to be true.
How else can we explain the phenomenal support we’ve received over the past 5 years. Not just from people who know us, our local community and the rugby league community... but from people across Australia and beyond!”
To date these little knitted beanies have raised a bit over $5.5 million. The MHF overall has raised over $10million in 5 years which has helped fund breakthrough research and trials that are prolonging lives today, as well as help establish a biobank and brain cancer care nurses to name a few of the life-changing outcomes.
So now it’s up to all of us to continue this momentum and create awareness so that governments can’t ignore the need for funding any longer. Everyone can help by; buying a beanie for $25 from one of many outlets listed on the website as well as selected Lowes stores Australia-wide and selected IGA stores. You can also come along to any NRL Round 19 game July 25-28 and buy a beanie, or host your own Beanie Day fundraiser during Beanie Week July 28 - Aug 2.