Donation makes Clinical Trials a reality for MND sufferers in WA

David Whiteman (Care Cure Support), Prof Merrilee Needham and Prof Sue Fletcher (Murdoch University) and Mark Whiteman (Care Cure Support)

Murdoch University’s collaborative efforts to discover a cure for Motor Neurone Disease have received a significant funding boost. The directors of Care Cure Support have donated $100,000 to aid research into the neurological disorder.

Care Cure Support (CCS) is a health charity whose focus is to raise funds to support people living with MND and to contribute to research programs as they work towards finding a cure.

CCS chose to donate the funds to the Western Australian MND Research Consortium. This consortium is comprised of several organisations involved in MND research -

  • Murdoch University
  • The Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science
  • The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

The $100,000 will be distributed among the three arms of the Consortium. In addition to supporting laboratory and research costs, the money will help fund a Clinical Trials Coordinator position at the Perron Institute. It will also be used to fund a Genetic Counsellor position at Harry Perkins Institute.

The CCS were made aware of the funding shortfall which prevented MND patients from being involved in clinical trials. The donation will allow MND suffers in WA to participate in these trials with the very real aim of discovering the cause of the disease.

Led by Professor Merrilee Needham (MBBS, PhD, FRACP), Director of Research at Fiona Stanley Hospital and Foundation Chair in Neurology at Murdoch University, the Consortium is seeking to attract clinical trials to WA. These trials will be based at Fiona Stanley Hospital and the Perron Institute.

The donation also supports the purchase and establishment of a virtual biobank called OpenSpecimen. OpenSpeciman is a web-based open source biobanking informatics platform which will enable the Research Consortium to collect blood tissues and biological samples. It will also allow them to view, search and access samples for specific MND research projects.

CCS Directors David and Mark Whiteman have been committed to support those facing this devastating disease since the loss of their mother, Ann Whiteman, to MND in 2002. Until her diagnosis, MND was completely unknown to the Whiteman family.

However, before her passing, Ann made it clear that she wanted the family to support people living with the disease. Her wishes inspired the Whiteman family to back various MND fundraising efforts.

“In terms of our specific interest in the WA MND Consortium, we are hyper focused on the areas that can make the most difference to those living with the disease,” said David.

“Of the $233,000 in funds raised by our hard working volunteers last year, we used $133,000 to fund equipment such as mechanical beds, chairs, suction/cough assist machines, hoists and some very cool technology that helps those living with the disease.”

“We then met With Professor Needham and Professor Fletcher from Murdoch University and we’re really excited to work with this very talented group of professionals. Our funding hope is to find a cause and eventually a cure for MND.”

This latest donation means supporters and partners of Murdoch University have donated a total of $692,717 towards MND Research. Murdoch University and the WA MND Research Consortium are working tirelessly to find a cure and more support is needed to continue this research.   

Find out more about Murdoch’s partnerships in health research here

Posted on:

9 Oct 2019



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