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Sharks forward Toby Rudolf.

A record $4.1 million has been raised for the Mark Hughes Foundation through the 2021 NRL Beanie For Brain Cancer Round.

This year’s campaign urged fans to buy an MHF Beanie online, at selected IGA and Lowes Australia stores, or donate with the aim of raising $3 million. The goal was surpassed this afternoon, giving brain cancer research an enormous boost.

MHF Founder, Mark Hughes, said: “Every year the rugby league community digs deep but this result is truly incredible. From the 28 people who trekked 150km from Sydney to Newcastle, the $1 million donated by McCloy Family Foundation, the NRL and to every single person who bought a beanie and held a fundraiser big and small– thank you!

“Behind the scenes there are so many people who give so much to make this round happen. I would like to acknowledge the NRL, Nine, Fox League and all the media for coming together for our cause and making the message reach so many Australians. Everyone comes together to make this such a special round.

“With what has been raised in the last five years we are now in a position to put the best brain cancer research and support team in the world together, here in Newcastle, and this is helping us change the outcome for future patients diagnosed. We are truly humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude.”

NRL Beanie for Brain Cancer Round 2021.
NRL Beanie for Brain Cancer Round 2021. ©NRL Photos

Up until Sunday afternoon, 160,000 MHF Beanies sold during the Beanie for Brain Cancer campaign.

A special announcement at the Knights-Warriors game Saturday saw the newly formed McCloy Family Foundation pledge $1 million towards the recently announced MHF research commitment to the University of Newcastle.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo congratulated the rugby league community for the outstanding fundraising result.

“To raise $4.1 million and sell 160,000 beanies is an outstanding result for the Mark Hughes Foundation. This highlights the power of the rugby league community, in particular our fans, who have been so generous this weekend,’’ he said.

“I often say rugby league brings people together and Beanie For Brain Cancer Round is a fine example of that. One of the best things about working in our game is making a positive contribution to the community and I’m proud our sport has played a role in ensuring over $4 million will go towards Brain Cancer research.

“To our clubs, players, broadcasters and most of all our fans, who have shown their support and bought beanies - we should all be extremely proud of our collective ability to unite for a common cause. I also want to pay tribute to the McCloy Family Foundation for their remarkable act of generosity.

“I especially want to acknowledge Mark Hughes. He was a champion player on the field and has overcome adversity to become a community leader off the field. His ongoing leadership with the Mark Hughes Foundation will have a lasting impact on so many people.”

Sportsbet will donate at least $64,000 after 64 tries were scored in Round 15 up until halftime in the Titans-Sea Eagles match. That commitment is on top of a $50,000 donation from the purchase of Clive Churchill’s first ever Kangaroos jersey that will sit in the NRL’s Heroes & Legends Museum.

McCloy Family Foundation CEO, Hayley Van de Stadt, said: “Mark and Kirralee's commitment to the Foundation, and the positive impact it has had on a local and national level is both remarkable and inspirational. So much so, that our recently established McCloy Family Foundation is proud to donate $1 million to MHF to help fund lifesaving research into brain cancer with Newcastle University.”

Beanies are available from Lowes Australia stores, selected IGA stores and online from the MHF website

Brain Cancer statistics

  • Survival rates have increased by 1% over the last 30 years
  • Kills more children than any other disease
  • Only 2/10 people diagnosed will live more than 5 years
  • Kills more people under 40 than any other cancer
  • Receives less than 5% of federal funding for cancer research
  • One person every 5 hours is diagnosed in Australia
Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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