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Peter Nelson leukaemia research fund logo proudly supporting cancer council sa

Make a donation in memory of a loved one.

Donate to the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship today.


The Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund was established by Marjorie Jackson-Nelson—the Lithgow Flash and former Governor of South Australia—in memory of her husband, Australian Olympic cyclist, Peter Nelson who passed away from leukaemia.

Nearly 50 years of progress

The Fund was established to support researchers, in an accredited research department, to undertake research into leukaemia, with the goal of finding a cure for this type of cancer.
Over the past 47 years, the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund has supported 10 talented researchers working towards a cure for this deadly disease.

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Current recipient of the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship

Dr Claire Homan (University of South Australia)

Dr Claire Homan’s research focuses on understanding the link between genetics and leukaemia, in particular acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

Dr Homan herself is a rare disease patient. It’s only through the power of research that she has been able to discover a genetic diagnosis for her own disease.

Dr Homan is leading a global study that collects and analyses genetic information from AML patients. Her ultimate aim is to use her understanding of genetics to develop targeted therapies that not only better treat leukaemia, but also prevent it from developing in the first place.

She believes that by developing leukaemia prevention therapies, she has the potential to save families and patients from the distress and heartache caused by a cancer diagnosis and ultimately, save lives.

Researchers like Dr Homan are the key to unlocking a future free from leukaemia and continuing to increase survival rates for generations to come. That’s why it’s so important that we keep momentum going by funding more leukaemia researchers as they work towards the next cancer breakthrough.






What is acute myeloid leukaemia?

Last year, it was estimated that more than 4,900 adults and 280 children were diagnosed with leukaemia in Australia. The disease is categorised into four main types, one of which is acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). AML is the same type of leukaemia that took Peter’s life.

Acute leukaemia is a blood cancer that appears suddenly and grows quickly. It starts when undeveloped white blood cells – called blast cells – become cancerous. These abnormal blast cells are known as leukaemia cells. They multiply quickly and continue to divide but never mature into normal cells.

Because the leukaemia cells are undeveloped and abnormal, they don’t carry out the usual infection-fighting role of white blood cells. They also crowd out normal white blood cells, which then can’t work properly. This increases the risk of infections.

When the bone marrow fills with leukaemia cells, there is also little room for normal red blood cells and platelets. This can cause fatigue, bleeding problems and other health issues.

A message from Dr Homan:

“Being the recipient of the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship is incredibly meaningful and humbling to me. It signifies recognition of my dedication to advancing leukaemia research and provides crucial support. It also represents a profound opportunity to contribute meaningfully to leukaemia research, ultimately bringing hope to patients and their families affected by leukaemia.”

Your gift is needed

How your support will help this year

The Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund neither seeks nor receives any government funding. Marjorie Jackson-Nelson’s personal time and effort—along with that of a group of passionate volunteers—have been the driving forces of fundraising so far, with the generous support of Rotary and other groups, companies and individuals who respond to the calls for help.

Your support means that research into leukaemia can continue toward our goal of a future free from leukaemia. 

If you have already opted to leave a Gift in your Will, we recommend the following:

  • Check that the wording is correct and your bequest is to the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fund. Please call our Philanthropy team on 08 8291 4111 for more information.

The Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund is administered by Cancer Council SA. For more information please contact Cancer Council SA on 1300 65 65 85.

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