Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


Our 25th Anniversary Jeans for Genes campaign puts kids at the forefront


The image of a sick child that’s vulnerable and fragile has been rejected by Jeans for Genes, which, for its 25th Anniversary year, will showcase the determined, fighting spirit of real-life kids living with genetic diseases.

Fight for Me, Fight with Me is the theme of this year’s campaign, which encourages everyone to sign up now to help raise money or give a donation that will make finding treatments and cures for children’s genetic diseases possible. Jeans for Genes directly supports the not-for-profit organisation, Children’s Medical Research Institute.

The focus this year is on six young children who all live with a different genetic disease. They talk about how their illness impacts their everyday life and how they fight through it with resilience and strength, like a “unicorn’’ or a “lion’’.

Sasha is the mother of Quinn, the silent star of the ad. The six-year-old has a metabolic disorder and cannot speak, but he still gets his message across.

“Our children don’t always have the voice to speak up for themselves,’’ Sasha said. “I’m glad we’ve got a campaign behind them saying, ‘You know what? We’re a community that can get behind children that can’t speak up for themselves, and we’ll help them in any way we can.’’’

Jeans for Genes remains one of Australia’s most recognised fundraising campaigns but Children’s Medical Research Institute’s Brand Marketing Manager, Dana Elliott, said many were unsure what the money raised would support. 

“This year’s campaign aims to tackle this challenge head on and remind people that Jeans for Genes funds Children’s Medical Research Institute’s work to find cures for children’s genetic diseases – and that it’s important because it affects more children than most people think,’’ she said. 

For the past 60 years Children’s Medical Research Institute’s purpose has been to “bring about the prevention, relief or cure of disease or illness in children’’.

There are more than 6000 different genetic diseases and most are poorly understood. Often called disorders, syndromes and other terms, genetic diseases can be confusing, but put simply—they are conditions caused, at least in part, by changes in our DNA.

Children’s Medical Research Institute’s Head of Fundraising, Andrew Kelly, said they wanted to remind people that 1 in 20 children are born with a genetic disease or birth defect.

“That’s one child in every classroom!” Andrew pointed out. “In the 25th year of Jeans for Genes, our objective is to ensure all Australians see the health of our children as an issue of national significance and gravity. Our children are our future, and our future is tied to their wellbeing.”

By educating the community on the critically important role of genes in children’s health, we hope to not only highlight the importance of our cause but also to encourage people to learn more about genes.

The purpose of Jeans for Genes is to fund research that will change children's lives. But, by raising awareness of the complex and diverse nature of genetic diseases, we can also change perceptions. Sign up now to take part from now through Jeans for Genes Day on Friday, 3rd August.