• Sameul Johnson unveils 'Connie's Heart' by artist Marie Ramos. (Supplied)
“There’s a lot of people who dream about finding a way to raise a huge amount of money like $100,000 but there’s very few people who do it.”
By
Michaela Morgan

31 Oct 2017 - 10:38 AM  UPDATED 31 Oct 2017 - 10:38 AM

Samuel Johnson unveiled ‘Connie’s Heart’ on Monday evening — a ceramic artwork dedicated to the life of his late sister, Connie Johnson, that’s raised $110,000 for cancer research.

Sydney artist Marie Ramos took a year off work to create the 2000 ceramic tiles—each imprinted with a heart from people around Australia, including Claire Bowditch and Megan Gale.

“Connie’s love of life, her determination to find a cure for cancer with her brother Sam and their beautiful bond touched the hearts of all Australians, including mine, which is why I embarked on this journey to create an artwork that reflects this,” said Ramos.

Johnson noted at the unveiling that Ramos’ ambitious goal of raising $100,000 was no easy feat.

“We’re incredibly grateful that Marie has raised such a significant contribution to Garvan’s cancer research, it will go a long way for our researchers.” 

“It’s funny because there’s a lot of people who think they might try and do something good one day…raise some money for charity is on their bucket list...there’s a lot of people who dream about finding a way to raise a huge amount of money like $100,000 but there’s very few people who do it,” Johnson said.

“I get a lot of people through the Love Your Sister doors with great ideas, with superb dreams...very few of them become realised,” Johnson said and he admitted when he first met Ramos he knew she was determined and would achieve her goal. 

Johnson added that in the seven years that the Love Your Sister charity has been running, “two people have managed to raise $100,000 for us... Marie Ramos is the first and another is following”. 

Associate Professor Elgene Lim from the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Group at the Garvan Institute noted how important community funded projects like ‘Connie’s Heart’ are in the fight against cancer.

“The government research funding is lagging behind the pace of science and increasingly it is through the generosity of people like you who have kept Australia on the international stage of scientific breakthroughs,” A/Prof Lim said.

The CEO of the Garvan Research Foundation—Andrew Giles—said the contribution from ‘Connie’s Heart’ will

“We’re incredibly grateful that Marie has raised such a significant contribution to Garvan’s cancer research, it will go a long way for our researchers.” 

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