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AGCF CEO Kimberly Downes wants to create a world where her daughter doesn’t have to worry about cancer

Since joining the AGCF in October 2021, I have been overwhelmed with the warm welcome I have received from our community. It’s been an honour to have so many deep and meaningful conversations with potential partners who understand our mission and want to help us solve the early detection of the eight gynae cancers.

I am ashamed to admit that as a woman in her mid-50s, I was truly dumbfounded to learn about the eight gynaecological cancers and the lack of early detection tests for ovarian cancer. This contrasts with cervical cancer where the screening has been available for many years and now with the HPV vaccine it might one day be eliminated. And I have been having way too many conversations with women who also had no idea that these cancers existed.

So I have developed a new mantra: I want to create a world where my daughter and granddaughters don’t have to worry about gynaecological cancers.

Ambitious you say? Look at the strides that have been made in breast and cervical cancer detection and survival in the last ten years. Why can’t we have that success with all gynae cancers? I believe it’s achievable.

We all have women in our lives: mothers, sisters, aunties, daughters, besties, grandmothers and neighbours. And we want every woman to have the very best chance at beating these cancers.

Unfortunately, it all comes down to research funding. As we live through a pandemic and witness how quickly vaccines were developed, we can thank governments and individuals that helped save so many lives from Covid by funding the urgent and vital research that was needed.

AGCF has an essential role to play in raising awareness and funding research for ALL gynaecological cancers. It’s not good enough that once a woman discovers she has ovarian cancer that most times it’s too late. Those are the scary facts.

I hope you join me in making my mantra come true.

Kim Downes