Penny, Zoe and Clint Stanley.

A Geelong family’s fight for brain cancer research

August 22, 2019 BY

A charity gala established in memory of a five-year-old Geelong girl who died of brain cancer will be held at Mount Duneed Estate this September.

Launched in 2018, Zoe’s Fight was spearheaded by local mum Penny Stanley and husband Clint following the loss of their daughter Zoe at Christmas in 2017.

Penny said founding the charity became her life’s mission when she learned that brain cancer research remained significantly underfunded despite its harmful effects on the population.

“After Zoe lost her battle to brain cancer, we wanted to help others facing the same fight that she so bravely fought for nine months,” Penny said.

The bereaved mother recalled Zoe’s sudden decline and noted a bout of ongoing headaches as the initial scare.

It wasn’t long before Zoe was told she had an incurable brain cancer – a tragic moment for the family who had just experienced the uncertainty of Penny’s breast cancer diagnosis 12 months earlier.

“Three years after receiving treatment, I am still here, and Zoe is not,” Penny said.

“I’m still in disbelief that our daughter didn’t have a chance because there were no treatment options available for these tumours.”

According to Cancer Council Australia, there were 1439 deaths caused by brain cancer in 2016. The five-year survival rate for brain cancer is 22 per cent.

Last year Zoe’s Fight Gala Ball raised $22,000 for paediatric brain cancer research. Penny said it would be “truly amazing” if this year’s efforts matched that amount.

“Zoe was the light of our lives. She was so happy, outgoing, and will always be our little miracle,” said Penny.

Zoe’s Fight Gala Ball will be hosted at Mt Duneed Estate with all proceeds directed to a clinical trial named in Zoe’s honour at Royal Children’s Hospital.

Due to high demand, an extra 30 tickets to Zoe’s Fight Gala Ball have been released. Visit for more information.

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