Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


2016 Excellence Ball Award Winners Announced

Supporters of Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) dolled up on Friday evening for the 2016 Jeans for Genes Excellence Ball. The event brought in a total of $400,000, including a cheque presented by Staples Australia.

Working with the team at CMRI and Jeans for Genes is just really easy. It’s a wonderful thing and it’s wonderful to work with a team that’s just so passionate about what they do. Launching into another three-year partnership, the excitement that CMRI had and the excitement we had, it made it a really logical decision to keep doing,” Corporate Responsibility Manager at Staples Australia, Vanessa Thorp, said.

The generous donations will contribute towards researching childhood disease. CMRI Director, Professor Roger Reddel, says the fight to cure these diseases is far from won. "We are very proud of the role CMRI has played in preventing and treating serious childhood illnesses, but there is still so much to do. For example, the proportion of children with cancer or leukaemia who are now cured has substantially increased, which is a great result, but too many of them have lifelong side-effects from their treatment. We need to keep moving forward as fast as possible."

Linda Penn, marketing director of Lowes menswear, and her husband, Dr David Penn, shared the incredibly moving experience of the birth of their daughter, Alex, with the packed room. Alex was born was a life-threatening condition that required microsurgery, pioneered by CMRI.

The impact was so profound; we never thought it would happen to us. All of a sudden we were hit with this catastrophe we just couldn’t comprehend. We were very lucky because the outcome was so positive,” David Penn said. “We saw so many people who left the hospital without their baby, whereas we came home with our baby.

We thought we would give back to CMRI because they saved our child’s life,” Linda Penn said.

Another highlight of the night was CMRI’s standout donors being recognised. CMRI’s Individual Support of the Year award was taken out by Rod Glover; CMRI’s Corporate Fundraiser of year went to Stanford Brown; and the 2016 Philanthropist of the year was awarded to David and Linda Penn.

Corporate contribution is so important, because a corporate can get a message across to a large number of people….We have the ability to connect with a large number of people and to get the message out there en masse, and that’s a major corporate responsibility,” Dr Penn said.