In August 2012, our beloved mother and grandmother Christina Peponis, was diagnosed with a brain tumour and referred to neurosurgeon Dr Raymond Cook at Sydney’s North Shore Private Hospital. There we soon met the other members of her medical dream team – medical oncologist Dr Helen Wheeler, radiation oncologist Associate Professor Michael Back and Neuro Cancer Care Co-ordinator – now Nurse Practitioner – Marina Kastelan.

Following world-class surgery by Dr Cook and his surgical team, we received confirmation that the tumour, a glioblastoma multiforme, is the most common form of adult brain cancer and the most fatal, with an almost 100% fatality rate.

Together with the highly competent nursing staff on Level 3 North of North Shore Private Hospital, her medical team provided exceptional and seamless care during her 15-month journey, which ended peacefully on the morning of November 19th, 2013. She could not have been in better hands.

Whilst on the ward, we discovered that in 2000, Dr Raymond Cook and fellow neurosurgeon Dr Michael Biggs, co-founded the charity Sydney Neuro-Oncology Group, affectionately referred to as SNOG.

They established care and education programs to support their patients, whilst also funding research into brain cancer, with the goal of contributing to a cure.

They were soon after joined by Associate Professor Helen Wheeler and a few years later, Associate Professor Michael Back. Both remain on the Board and with their fellow Board members carefully oversee the allocation of donated funds to the programs established by the Group.

The Brain Cancer Group Board dedicates time and expertise to this cause pro-bono.

Community support and donations continue to sustain this charity, which recently rebranded to THE BRAIN CANCER GROUP, Care2Cure, reflecting and upholding the commitment to the original 3 Pillars of Research, Education and patient and carer Support.

White Pearl Fundraiser was established to support the dedicated researchers of The Brain Cancer Group in their quest to find solutions for brain cancer patients.

In August 2018, the White Pearl Fundraiser successfully transitioned to an Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) approved charity and is now the WHITE PEARL FOUNDATION.

Founder and organiser of all White Pearl Foundation awareness and fundraising events, Suzane Peponis-Brisimis, joined the Board of The Brain Cancer Group in February 2016. All Suzane’s work for the White Pearl Foundation and The Brain Cancer Group is undertaken voluntarily.

ALL PROFITS donated from White Pearl Foundation events to The Brain Cancer Group, go directly to brain cancer research.

We thank you for your support.



Since the establishment of this fundraising initiative, profits donated to The Brain Cancer Group have funded research salaries, PhD programs and purchased much need equipment for the TBCG laboratory housed in the Kolling Institute of Medical Research on the Royal North Shore Hospital campus.

Since 2019, profits have been applied to The Brain Cancer Group’s Australasia-first initiative, the Brain Cancer Imaging Laboratory.



The White Pearl Foundation honours all who have succumbed to brain cancer, those who are currently struggling and all their loved ones. The Foundation also honours the enormous contribution made by those in the medical profession who treat these patients and support their families and the researchers who devote their lives to finding solutions.


White pearls symbolise purity, beauty, new beginnings, innocence, generosity, wisdom acquired through experience, simplicity, protection, peace, the store of truth, faith and love, loyalty of it’s wearer to the cause……..

…….and because Christina loved them.