Best wishes and our sincere thanks to Vanessa and Daniel

Engagement parties and gifts are an essential way for newlyweds to celebrate and prepare for their life together.   However, when Vanessa Gandel and Daniel Avrutis held their engagement party they decided to forgo personal gifts and instead asked guests to support Australian blood cancer patients with hope.  This beautiful selfless act raised over $27,000 that will be directed toward circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) research.

Currently, diagnosis and assessment of blood cancer progression relies on an invasive biopsy of the lymph node or bone marrow, depending on the cancer type. The biopsy is then analysed to determine the genetic make-up of the tumour that ultimately influences the treatment path. Unfortunately, the procedure is painful, and the genomic analysis is limited to the biopsied area.  However, new research indicates that DNA from the tumour can be found circulating in blood.  Analysing ctDNA may provide a broader perspective of the tumour that is not limited to the biopsied area. Eventually, it is hoped that a simple blood test can replace an invasive biopsy.

The Epworth Foundation kindly agreed to match the donation resulting in $55,000 being contributed.  This equates to 55 blood cancer patients receiving a genomic test.

Snowdome would like to sincerely thank Vanessa, Daniel and their generous guests for helping advance urgent blood cancer research.  We wish them all the best for their upcoming wedding and look forward to sharing the results of the project that their gift supported.

If you are inspired to consider supporting Australian blood cancer patients at your upcoming celebration, please contact the Snowdome Foundation at and we will be more than happy to assist with ‘making hope real’ for Australians with blood cancer.