Cor Frederiks and family leave major legacy for leukaemia cancer research

A profound loss by a Cleveland family has turned into a generous legacy which may help those suffering from cancer.

BIG CLAN: The extended Frederiks family shortly before Cor died in 2017.

BIG CLAN: The extended Frederiks family shortly before Cor died in 2017.

Cor Frederiks was a businessman, scholar, author, investor, art collector and company director with an accounting practice in Cleveland.

Father to six, Cor was a strong, giving man.

He believed in giving to the community and the power of education, values he instilled in his children.

Cor lost wife of 15 years, Pauline, to blood cancer at just 33, leaving him to raise five children three to 14. In 2006 he set up the Frederiks Foundation, and when he died two years ago his children honoured his lifelong ethos to give to those less fortunate.

TIGHT COUPLE: Cor and Helene Frederiks sometime in the 1960s.

TIGHT COUPLE: Cor and Helene Frederiks sometime in the 1960s.

The family has dedicated $530,000 to the Leukaemia Foundation's Research Endowment to support PhD scholarships for some of Australia's brightest blood cancer minds.

Leukaemia Foundation chief executive Bill Petch said this was an extraordinary investment in blood cancer research.

"It will give early career researchers the encouragement, resources and networks to generate new ideas and approaches for tackling blood cancers," he said.

These scholarships will be delivered in partnership with the Haematology Society of Australia and New

FAMILY: Pauline and Cor Frederiks and the Frederiks children in 1966.

FAMILY: Pauline and Cor Frederiks and the Frederiks children in 1966.

Zealand, the peak body for haematology researchers and medical professionals.

The HSANZ PhD scholarship program is part of the foundation's $50 million National Research Program.

Cor's son Paul Frederiks said his father would be proud to see the money invested so wisely for a cause so close to the heart of his family.

"Dad was incredibly hard working and never stopped learning," he said.

"He worked and studied right up until his death. He truly believed in the power of education, and we wanted to honour that with this gift.

"Losing our mother to blood cancer at such a young age had a profound impact on all of us kids. It changed so much in our lives then and definitely influenced how we grew up and who we became.

"Donating to the Leukaemia Foundation is ensuring our mum's legacy, and supporting the training and education of blood cancer researchers is ensuring our dad's (legacy).

"If the advances in research we have seen in the last 30 years were around when mum was diagnosed, maybe she would be with us, or maybe she would have lived longer.

"I think dad would have been very proud of our decision to support this worthy cause."