Second Lighthouse Classic to honour Janet Jones

January 7, 2022 BY

Janet Jones near the Aireys Inlet lighthouse during the first Lighthouse Classic. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE second Lighthouse Classic, being held this month to raise funds for cancer research, will also honour the event’s founder, who recently lost her own battle with cancer.

Now in its second year, the Lighthouse Classic was established by the late Janet Jones to shed new light on what causes cancer and how it can be treated more effectively.

Participants can walk or run anywhere they like to complete the challenge any time during the month of January, with 12km as the suggested distance.

Last year, more than 780 walkers and runners participated in the 12km challenge, with most choosing the return route from Urquhart Bluff to the Aireys Inlet lighthouse.

As a result of Ms Jones’ vision for the Lighthouse Classic, more than $70,000 was raised for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute in just over a month – enough to fund a cancer research scientist at Ballarat’s Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute until the end of 2021.

A former Ballarat resident, Ms Jones personally faced three separate battles with cancer over 33 years and was always passionate about research that might help others facing similar challenges.

She first began supporting the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute in the early 1990s when it was known as the Cancer in Kids Auxiliary.

Leading the research at the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute is Professor George Kannourakis, who was Ms Jones’ oncologist for more than 30 years.

He was inspired to establish the research institute in the early 1990s as a promise to terminally ill teenager, Fiona Elsey.

Ms Jones was part of this development from the very start, assisting to drive fundraising for the establishment of the centre.

Prof. Kannourakis encouraged Victorians to participate in the Lighthouse Classic to raise funds for vital research and as a tribute to Ms Jones.

“Janet was courageous, determined and inspirational in her efforts to help achieve better results for all cancer patients,” he said.

“The Lighthouse Classic raises much-needed funds for our research to better treat aggressive cancers in the future.”

All funds will go to the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute, which is Australia’s only regionally-based cancer research centre.

The institute has world-class facilities at the Ballarat Technology Park and also maintains an extensive program of local and international collaborations with other research centres.

The research aims to help patients with a broad range of cancers, including leukemia, bowel, ovarian, breast, renal, lung, melanoma and pancreato-biliary cancers, as well as haematological cancers.

To sign up to take part in the Lighthouse Classic, head to the event’s website.

Participants can also share their achievement on Instagram by using the hashtag #lighthouseclassic21.

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