As the Newcastle Knights head into the Mark Hughes Foundation’s Beanie for Brain Cancer Round, Daniel Saifiti and Connor Watson reflect on the importance of supporting this special cause.
The Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) was formed by retired Newcastle Knights great Mark Hughes who was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2013.
The charity aims to raise funds for research, to create awareness and support brain cancer patients and their families.
“Hughesy’s one of us and it was devastating what happened to him and his family but I think that’s the good thing about rugby league, that we always get behind our own and that’s something that we’ve done,” Saifiti said.
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“They’ve raised something like $11 million over the last five years and they are looking to raise big numbers this week, around $3 million which I think is very doable.
“That’s the good thing about rugby league, we come together for a great cause.”
The Beanie for Brain Cancer Round started in 2017, with each year bringing new designs which are sold to raise money for the MHF.
“I’d like to say how nice is it to wear these beanies, they are looking immaculate this year,” Watson said.
“The NRL does a pretty good job of getting behind initiatives like this.
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“It (Brain Cancer) is a pretty horrific thing.
“There doesn’t seem to be any treatment at the moment for it, so the more money they can raise, the more research they can do into it and hopefully come up with a cure for it.”
On average, approximately 1970 brain cancers are diagnosed each year in Australia, with one person diagnosed with brain cancer every five hours.
It's a cause close to the Club's heart, especially following Hughes' diagnosis in 2013.
Players were sporting the new and improved 2021 beanies at training yesterday, and will enter McDonald Jones Stadium wearing the beanies on Saturday afternoon.
The beanies are available for purchase on the Mark Hughes Foundation website and selected IGA and Lowes stores.