Vale Connie Johnson OAM

Vale Constance (Connie) Johnson OAM 1977 – 2017.

Connie and Samuel Johnson

11 September 2017

It is hard to put into words the sadness we are feeling at Garvan.

Willoughby and Hamilton have lost their mum.  Mike has lost his wife. Sam and Hilde have lost their sister. We have all lost a hero.

Garvan’s Executive Director, Professor John Mattick, spoke earlier about Connie, and the real impact that Love Your Sister has had on breast cancer research at Garvan. “Connie is special. She has inspired an unprecedented groundswell of awareness and support for breast cancer research through Love Your Sister and the Love Your Sister village.

“Since our initial meeting with Connie and Sam, when they told us about their plan for Sam to ride a unicycle around Australia, we have been inspired to watch all they have achieved together. And it’s testament to the important difference Connie has made that she has just been acknowledged with one of Australia’s highest honours, an Order of Australia medal.”

Associate Professor Elgene Lim, who heads the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Lab at Garvan recently said, “Connie Johnson meant a lot to me, as a patient, and as a friend. She and I spent time together in Canberra often, particularly as her disease progressed.

“Connie was, is and will continue to be a real inspiration for me. It means a lot that Connie and Sam put their trust in me. More than any other time I’ve received funding for my research, I feel connected to the people who have made it a reality.” 

Love Your Sister generously donated funds to establish a new laboratory at Garvan – the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Laboratory.  Associate Professor Lim was recruited to head this laboratory in 2014. The lab’s researchers are working to find new treatments for breast cancer, and to improve outcomes for patients.

Thanks to Love Your Sister, Garvan’s researchers can ask bold questions, and accelerate the translation of their research findings into treatments that will benefit patients.

Connie’s legacy is important and lasting, and goes way beyond the invaluable support for medical research.  We at Garvan send our deepest condolences to Mike, Willoughby, Hamilton, Samuel and Hilde, Emma, the Love Your Sister village and to all who loved and admired this extraordinary woman. Her name and spirit will live on here.

Read more about the Connie Johnson Laboratory at Garvan.