Michael has thrown his support behind a campaign to build youth
cancer centres of excellence in Australia.
"I was stunned to learn that, once you turn 16, your chances of surviving
cancer are halved. A big part of the problem is that, until 15, cancer
cases are treated in the children's system.
"Think about this: two teenagers, same cancer. One is 16, the other 15. The
younger kid is twice as likely to survive simply because the treatment
protocols for adults and children are so different.
"As someone who has gone through cancer treatment as a 9 year old and then
again as a 34 year old, I understand the difference and I can't imagine
being 15 and having vitually no choice.
"Those teenage years are so teenage: it's SO not like
being an adult or a child. I'm convinced we can really improve on survival
rates for young adults if we have treatment protocols specifically designed
for them and centres where they can be teenagers with other teenagers,"
The You Can Campaign, a partnership between Sony Foundation Australia and
CanTeen, aims to raise $15 million by recycling old mobile phones. The
campaign's public appeal - 'You Can' - addresses the need for specialised
youth cancer treatment centres for Australia's 'forgotten generation',
those aged between 15 and 25 fighting cancer.
Dr Louise Messara, Executive Director, Sony Foundation Australia, explained
that in the last 25 years there has been virtually no improvement in
survival outcomes for the 15 to 30 age group.
"More can be done. The creation of these new centres virtually guarantees
an increase in the survival rates, through the collaboration of medical
experts, the development of specialised treatments and the opportunity for
young people to be amongst peers in a dedicated, encouraging environment,"
How You Can help
Unwanted mobile phones can be donated at a variety of retail partners
Australia-wide including, Sony Centre, Harvey Norman, Best & Less and
Leading Edge Computers.
For more information on the You Can campaign visit
Photo: Michael attended the campaign launch where he met Chris Bond,
cancer survivor and National Vice President of CanTeen. The pair plan to go