By Martin Vedris
SYDNEY, NSW: Sony knows how to entertain, and that’s what the company aims to do for the ‘Forgotten Generation’. This is cancer patients aged 16 to 30 who fall into a gap in the health system at the very age their chances of survival halve.
The Forgotten Generation is those teenagers and young adults aged from 16 to 30. Sony Foundation has called it the Forgotten Generation because from age 16, cancer patients are treated in cancer wards for adults. And as much good as they are intended to do, cancer wards for adults can be very bleak places. Compare this to wards designed for children aged up to 15 where the focus is on providing hope and joy through entertainment such as clowns and ‘make a wish’ activities and visits from celebrities, sportspeople and performers.
However, on its website, Sony Foundation states that at the very age where young cancer patients are moved into the adult wards —16 years old — they are in the age bracket where their chances of surviving some cancers is halved and that in the past 25 years there has been virtually no improvement in survival outcomes for 15- to 30-year olds.
Sony Foundation aims to change this and provide hope for the Forgotten Generation by giving them their own cancer wards built specifically for their age bracket and with entertainment facilities to make their stay in the ward much more pleasurable. And they have asked for the community to help with donations.
Yesterday at Woolloomooloo Wharf in Sydney, Sony Foundation hosted a charity lunch to launch the drive for funds. The Woolloomooloo Wharf restaurants of Otto, Manta, Velero, China Doll, Aki’s and Kingsley’s Steak and Crabhouse were fully booked for the afternoon.
Sony music artists Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian, David Campbell and Hugh Sheridan (also from Packed To The Rafters) joined Australian Idol contestants and some So You Think You Can Dance dancers in entertaining the crowd. There were charity auctions and all proceeds went to the Sony Foundation.
The Australian Federal Government has pledged $15 million to improve services, support and care for young adults with cancer (aged 16 to 24) through its Youth Cancer Networks Program.
Sony Foundation is joining with CanTeen to raise a further $15 million.
Everyone can donate to this charity through Sony Foundation’s Buy-a-Builder promotion. There is a dedicated microsite set up called www.buyabuilder.com.au where people can log on to donate money by buying a virtual builder or avatar and personalising it to their preference.
Those donating $5 can buy a cutomisable brickie avatar, $10 gets you a chippie, for $25 you can buy a cutomisable sparkie, $50 gets you a cutomisable site foreman avatar and for $100 you can buy an architect avatar.