While there won’t be many fans in the stands to show their support, we do know that there will be thousands across the country supporting the Mark Hughes Foundation’s Beanie for Brain Cancer NRL Round. 

For those unfamiliar with the initiative, the foundation was formed in Newcastle by Mark Hughes following his diagnosis with brain cancer in 2013. The mission is to raise much needed funds for research, as well as to create awareness and support for brain cancer patients and their families.

Mark Hughes joined Jonesy & Amanda ahead of the Beanie for Brain Cancer NRL round to chat about his battle with the disease, and the importance of raising money to find a cure.

“I was 36 years of age with three children under 10,” he told us, detailing the heartbreaking moment he was diagnosed, despite having no symptoms.

“Before I knew it, I was having a tumour removed and chemotherapy,” he added.


“There’s no cure to brain cancer and nothing has changed. We need to raise funds because this is not good enough!”

Last year, $3.1 million was raised through the sale of beanies at NRL games, Lowes, IGA stores, and online. While COVID-19 means there won’t be sales at games this year, the foundation refuses to let a pandemic get in the way, and will continue to do everything they can to sell the 150,000-odd beanies ordered in December.

Funds from this week’s Beanie for Brain Cancer Round will be used for more innovation grants to top researchers around Australia.

You can purchase a beanie for brain cancer at any Lowes venue across the country, as well as selected IGAs. They are also available to buy online at beanie.markhughesfoundation.com.au.

Click ‘PLAY’ below to hear our chat with Mark Hughes:


Brain cancer facts:

  • Brain cancer kills more Australians under 40 than any other cancer.
  • Brain cancer survival rates have increased just 1% over the past 30 years.
  • Only 2 in 10 people diagnosed with brain cancer will survive at least 5 years.
  • Brain cancer research receives less than 5% of all federal government research funding.
  • Approximately 1200 Australians die of brain cancer each year.