Cancer patients learn to LIV ON

By Nadia Dimattina

Australian cancer survivor, Olivia Newton-John attended this year’s Wellness Walk and Research Run to promote the LIV ON campaign being launched at the end of the month.

‘Share your journey LIV ON’ campaign is about giving people hope, helping people thrive and to remember those they have lost to cancer.

Marketing supporter at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, (ONJCRI) Helen Horvell, said the campaign hopes to create an environment for people to go and share their cancer stories.

“What we want to do is create a global digital community of care so people can go onto the website and learn from other people’s experiences,” she said.

Director of Marketing and Communications at ONJCRI, Karen Gallagher said that the name of the campaign came about through Olivia Newton-John’s name and her new song titled ‘LIV ON’.

“Olivia rewrote some of the verses of her song to incorporate some of the concepts that were part of the campaign. It is now an anthem for it.” she said.

Karen Gallagher and Helen Horvell were promoters of the new campaign at the Wellness Walk and Research run. Photo: Nadia Dimattina

Cancer patient, Natasha Stork said the campaign is very positive and would have really helped her when she was suffering from advanced melanoma.

“When I was first diagnosed with cancer I didn’t have anywhere to go to find out about other people’s experiences and get support. This is a great campaign for people [with cancer] to hear other people’s stories,” she said.

Cancer patient, Natasha Stork said her daughter gave her hope and support through her cancer journey. Photo: Nadia Dimattina

Alongside the new campaign, this year the Wellness Walk introduced the first Research run and changed location from the suburban streets of Ivanhoe to the grounds of La Trobe University, Bundoora campus.

Australian Olympian, Steve Moneghetti said he was honoured to be the inaugural leader for the research run and it was a positive extension to raise more awareness for the cancer centre.

“You kind of get the link that there is a cancer centre and then there is the research component so the focus is on both areas,” he said.

Four time Olympian, Steve Moneghetti lead over 300 runners in the first ever Research Run. Photo: Nadia Dimattina

Medical Oncologist at ONJRI, Belinda Yeo participated in the first Research Run and believed that the new location made it worthwhile.

“The campus is beautiful; you feel like you are in the country. We are key partners with La Trobe [University] and the research that they do, so the venue is perfect,” she said.

Australia Zoo ambassador, Bindi Irwin also attended the event for the first time to support Olivia Newton-John.

“I think that this event is such a great time to reconnect and spread awareness as well as raise funds for a fabulous project,” she said.

Australian conservationist, Bindi Irwin participated in the Wellness Walk and Research run alongside Australian celebrity Olivia Newton-John. Photo: Nadia Dimattina

The Wellness walk and Research run raised over $200,000 for the Olivia Newton John Research Centre. These much needed funds will go towards research as well as wellness and supportive care programs at the centre.

More information about the new campaign can be found on


Founder of the ONJ Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, Olivia Newton-John said the event was a huge success. Photo: Nadia Dimattina


Nadia Dimattina

Alyssia Varricchio