The Champion, the Headgear and the Amazing Act of Kindness

A ten year old Brisbane girl who was lucky enough to catch Johnathan Thurston’s head gear at the 2015 NRL Grand Final has decided to ‘pay it forward’ and return it to raise money for charity. North Queensland Cowboys star ‘JT’ graciously accepted Caitlyn’s kind offer and has donated this unique slice of sporting memorabilia to the Mark Hughes Foundation to help tackle brain cancer.

Channel 9’s ‘The Footy Show’ will feature the story and officially launch the online auction on their Wednesday March 30 program.

An emotional Mark Hughes was humbled when he heard the news “I am overwhelmed that firstly, this young girl and her family thought it was a good idea to give away their prized possession to raise money for charity... what a completely unselfish thing to do. And secondly - that JT thought of my Foundation. I know he supports quite a few charities and for him to select ours was an unbelievable honour. I can’t thank them enough”.

Johnathan Thurston, who met Caitlyn and her family recently, said “It’s a very kind gesture from the family to return it, and it’s going to raise some money for the Mark Hughes Foundation”.

90% of Australians are unaware that brain cancer kills more children than any other disease*. It also kills more people under 40 in Australia than any other cancer. Around 1200 people die each year from brain cancer... that’s one every 7 hours.** Yet brain cancer receives less than 5% of federal government cancer research funding.

For this reason every cent raised by the Mark Hughes Foundation is vital. The online auction will commence 8.30pm Wednesday night and will continue for 10 days only. It is expected to attract some fierce bidding from Cowboys fans, philanthropic league fans and maybe even some big names of rugby league with big hearts. The headgear, worn by JT in the first half of the Grand Final, is also signed by him. 

To make a bid, click here or visit and follow the link.

Ten year old Caitlyn had the last word “Hopefully it will raise some money and help with the research for brain cancer and hopefully find a cure”.

*Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010 – 2014), 3303.0 Causes of Death, Australia (2009 – 2013), ‘Table 1.3: Underlying cause of death, Selected causes by age at death, numbers and rates, Australia, Ages 1 - 14 (2009 – 2013) **Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2015. ACIM (AustralianCancer Incidence and Mortality) Books. AIHW: Canberra, 2008-2012

For more information or interviews contact 

Kris Buderus on 0428 147 000

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