At Snowdome, we are committed to raising funds for blood cancer research. We collaborate with world-leading Australian and International blood cancer researchers to accelerate new therapies and bring next-generation treatments to Australian blood cancer patients faster.
We are the only not-for-profit organisation exclusively focused on raising funds to support translational research into blood cancers: myeloma, lymphoma and leukaemia, research that takes basic scientific findings to create new treatments.
Snowdome’s mission is to accelerate next-generation treatments for Australian blood
cancer patients to help them live longer, better lives. Put simply, we’re making the
hope that patients can beat their blood cancer a reality.
Blood is essential in maintaining life. Our blood performs many functions including transporting oxygen, nutrients and hormones around the body, in addition to carrying white cells and antibodies to fight infection. When the normal blood cell development process is interrupted by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal types of blood cells, blood cancers can develop. This affects the production and performance of our blood cells with rogue blood cells accumulating in the glands, marrow and organs in our body, resulting in infections, fatigue and bleeding. This can lead to death.
There are three main types of blood cancers; lymphoma, myeloma and leukaemia and they are a significant priority for Australia.
Blood cancers are the second most diagnosed cancer, and the third biggest cause of cancer deaths in Australia. In 2023, it was estimated that more than 19,500* would be newly diagnosed with a blood cancer, accounting for 12 per cent of all cancer cases.*
This is the equivalent of 53 people per day or one person every 27 minutes.
Alarmingly, the incidence continues to grow, increasing by 47 per cent in the past decade.
There are no screening programmes or lifestyle changes that could reduce the risk of developing a blood cancer, and many are still considered incurable.
We need greater understanding through the support of translational research and clinical trials to discover new treatments and cures and accelerate patient access to new discoveries.
This is our challenge.
Since establishment in 2010, Snowdome has committed more than $52 million to ground-breaking blood cancer research. We have funded 65 research projects, enabling over 90 funded, multi-year, research positions. Across Australia, we have facilitated 119 clinical trials, helping more than 1,200 patients access world-class clinical trials.
Through philanthropic funding, Snowdome helped establish the Wilson Centre for Blood Cancer Genomics at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre where over 5,000 genomic tests have been conducted, resulting in better diagnoses, treatment pathways and prognoses for patients.
With the rise of immunotherapies, Snowdome partnered with the Epworth Medical Foundation to build and launch the Epworth Centre for Immunotherapies and Snowdome Laboratories in March 2021. The first patient was treated in early 2023.
Over the years, we have proudly supported a rich diversity of innovative research projects in the quest to discover new and better diagnostic tools and treatments to help Australians living with blood cancer access next-generation treatments, faster.
Recognition and Awards
2022 Small Charity of the Year by the Third Sector Awards
2022 Volunteer of the Year by the Third Sector Awards for the incredible work of Geoff Nyssen
#348 Top 500 Financial Times High-Growth Companies in Asia-Pacific 2021
Finalists in the Charity Business category of the 2016 Victorian Telstra Business Awards
What’s in a Name?
In 2007, Chloe Rutherford was diagnosed with leukaemia. Chloe seemingly beat the disease only to relapse and pass away from complications from pneumonia in 2009.
Our Foundation name emerged from a case of mistaken identity rather than a flash of inspiration, but it is entirely fitting.
On one of the first of her over 250 visits to the Royal Children’s Hospital, Chloe thought she saw a gift shop, with snowdomes from all over the world adorning its glass walls.
In was in fact, the nurses’ station where she was having surgery. To Chloe it was beautiful and magical, and like all things beautiful, she just had to have a snowdome of her own. Of course, she got what she wished, and as she bravely underwent each treatment for her cancer, more and more snowdomes appeared; gifts from family, from friends both old and new and from the nurses who cared for her.
Soon, her collection grew to over 50 and every one of them has a story. Mostly bought from overseas, one was even blessed by a Chinese monk, in China, of course. One came from Paris where Chloe’s best friend was at the time and sat alongside her and her mother in the Church of Notre Dame as they lit a candle and said a prayer.
So, the Snowdome Foundation name was born. Snowdomes are symbol of hope and wonder as much as Chloe is a beacon of love and strength for all those who continue to live with the most random of cancers.
Interview with Helen Buckingham OAM
We recently sat down with Snowdome Board Director, Helen Buckingham OAM, to get her thoughts on the funding of a new immunotherapy treatment for myeloma, and how clinicians and patients can have their say.Read more
Vital boost to blood cancer treatment
A state of the art, purpose-built laboratory complex in Victoria will provide new hope to Australian blood cancer patients.Read more
International collaboration to fund breakthrough research to shape the future of precision medicine
Snowdome is incredibly proud to continue our international collaboration with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the USA and the Leukaemia Foundation to fund Australian blood cancer researchers and clinicians.Read more