Open LMS join Pancare Foundation in innovative partnership to enable vital volunteer platform delivery in support of Australians impacted by upper GI cancer.
Leanne Drummy’s Story
Leanne was eCreators longest-serving employee at the time of her passing in February 2020 after a short battle with stomach cancer. The HR Manager was loved by all of her colleagues for her friendly and confident nature – she was always up for a chat and wanted to help everyone out in any way she could.
Leanne was a devoted mum, ensuring her three children received as much love and attention as possible, while ensuring they remained resilient – Leanne personified grit. She took them on an amazing holiday to Singapore a few months before her passing, making sure she prioritised their fun despite how she would have been feeling at the time.
Four days after Leanne’s passing, by coincidence, Liam, Open LMS Senior Director of Sales met Doug Hawkins, CEO of Pancare at a networking event. After Doug and Liam got talking, it was clear that the organisations needed to do something together.
“It was such a strange coincidence to meet Doug only a few days after Leanne’s passing. With such a personal connection to Pancare’s mission, I think we both decided that night that we needed to work together, it was only a matter of time.”
The challenges of a stomach cancer diagnosis
Stomach cancer is an upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancer that often goes undiagnosed in the early stages as symptoms often only appear once the cancer has reached a more advanced stage. Symptoms can be vague may include unexpected fatigue or weakness, nausea, indigestion, and unexplained weight loss. There are no early detection tests available.
Once upper GI cancers reach advanced states, their spread to other nearby organs means that any chance of curative surgery is effectively eliminated, and chances of survival drastically reduced.
Out of all the major cancers, upper gastrointestinal cancers have some of the lowest survival rates and collectively represent a leading cause of cancer death in society.
In fact, over the past 10 years alone, more than 100,000 Australians have been diagnosed, with more than 75,000 losing their life as a result. That’s thousands more than lives lost to leukaemia, breast and prostate cancer combined.
Yet, they receive very little attention or funding to support vital research and improve patient outcomes. The support networks and services that exist for more common cancers, are lacking for upper GI cancers. As a result, receiving a timely diagnosis, access to information, ease of treatment pathways and overall survival are compromised.
It is estimated that in 2021, 2,392 new cases of stomach cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (1,558 men and 834 women). Stomach cancer is classified as a less common cancer and is rarely diagnosed in people aged under 50 years. With a 5-five-year survival rate of just 33.5%, stomach cancer is also considered a low survival cancer, although survival rates are improving. Between 1988-1992 and 2013-2019, five-year relative survival for stomach cancer improved from 19% to 33.5%.
Pancare Foundation is a leading charity committed to inspiring hope, raising awareness, supporting families and funding research for upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. It is their mission to improve survival rates and support for Australians diagnosed with pancreatic, liver, stomach, biliary and oesophageal cancers.
The Open LMS and Pancare commitment to drive change
eCreators was acquired by Learning Technologies Group in October 2020 and merged with Open LMS to become the world’s largest provider of open-source learning technology. Merging companies is difficult, but the project of creating a volunteer learning portal and induction package was perfect to unite the Open LMS team behind a common cause and to ensure Leanne’s legacy lives on.
Liam sees a great opportunity in the partnership, “The partnership with Pancare comes at an important time for Open LMS. Leanne was eCreator’s longest-serving staff member, so when eCreators decided to merge with Open LMS last year, we wanted a common cause to unite the team. By working together to provide Pancare Volunteers world-class onboarding, our team has an opportunity to bond while building Leanne’s legacy.”
A powerful legacy
Pancare’s new partnership with Open LMS will be multifaceted. The pro bono development and implementation of eCreators/Open LMS platform and volunteer training program for Pancare Foundation will enable Pancare to engage and mobilise a growing national volunteer workforce. National Volunteer Program Manager, Bernie Muscat believe that this program will have a significant positive impact on the program, “Typically volunteer programs can be very resource intensive, however this new volunteer training platform will enable Pancare Foundation to free up resources and onboard Pancare Foundation Volunteer’s as quickly as possible so that they can commence their invaluable contribution to the Foundation.”
Pancare will also become a referral partner for Open LMS. This means that any new clients introduced to Open LMS by Pancare through its networks will result in a profit share going back to the Foundation to help fund core programs. Contact James Stewart at Pancare to find out more at: [email protected].
The outcome of a better future for patients and families is at the heart of this innovative partnership to enable the rapid activation of our vital volunteer network, create awareness and deliver long-term, sustainable revenue to Pancare.
It is a wonderful legacy for Leanne which will have significant impact on Pancare’s ability to help more Australians affected by upper GI cancer. This new partnership will also help deliver the outcome of a better future for patients and families impacted by upper GI cancers.
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