“It always seems impossible until it is done” - Nelson Mandela
I have always lived my life believing in my abilities to challenge the status quo and
relentlessly shift paradigms. When people try to doubt my ability to do so, this only
strengthens my resolve and willingness to succeed. I tell people to not listen to what I
say, but to watch what I do and trust the process, because while it is always easier to
avoid climbing the mountain, the view at the top is worth it if you are willing to do the
hard yards. My journey with Cure Brain Cancer Foundation (CBCF) is a great example.
In fulfillment of a pledge I made to my mother who passed away from pancreatic cancer, I made a bold decision and left my successful career as an investment banker and became CEO of CBCF in 2021. After being told it was impossible to turn things around, I helped steer a once volatile foundation to become the peak organisation for brain cancer research in Australia. In December 2022, I became the first CEO of an Australian charity to ring the opening bell of Nasdaq with the mindset to shift the paradigm away from siloed strategies and collectively address cancer on a global scale.
Nasdaq was just the beginning. To keep shifting the paradigm, I need to be a force
multiplier to keep turning heads. I need to showcase my dedication to putting it on the
line for cancer; be a first mover, even if that meant shouldering the load. That’s when it
struck me. I had heard tales about the icy wilderness that is the South Pole. Never did I
consider myself winding up there. That’s why it was perfect. Crazy, but perfect. Stepping
out of my comfort zone and embracing a challenge I couldn’t even begin to comprehend. As difficult as it would be, I reminded myself of the “why?”. Cancer patients endure hardships far beyond compare. If they could fight with unwavering courage, then so could I. In the face of daunting adversity, their resilience became my driving force.
I announced in February 2023 that I will undertake the first trek to the South Pole by a
brain cancer charity CEO. I will be a Flagbearer for not only for CBCF—, but charities
worldwide, with a message for global collaboration. Already, 17 other cancer charities
from US, UK, Asia, Middle East, and Australia have signed on. I have designed the trek so
that these likeminded peer organizations can also raise funds for their respective
programs, all the while the onus being on myself. Shouldering the load. Together, we
will create a force-multiplier effect that will echo around the world. The stage is set.
In the next series of blogs, I will give an insight into the trek and the extensive planning
and preparation that is required to successfully complete this expedition. From the
physical training to build my strength and endurance; to my nutritional needs; as well
as the understanding required of the challenges and skills associated with surviving in
sub-zero temperatures. Stay tuned!