The story of a young man who lost his life soon after being diagnosed with a rare blood cancer and a talk given by a professor who hunts for disease causing genetic mutations resulted in the Furness family of Nedlands deciding to propose that funds raised from a charity golf tournament be donated to medical research.
“Hearing about the futile loss of a young man’s life and the remarkable work being carried out at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Nedlands affected me very deeply,” said Flora Furness who with her husband and daughters is committed to supporting charities.
“I wanted to offer to help the Harry Perkins Institute in its quest to find new treatments that improve health outcomes and save the lives of people suffering terrible diseases”, she said.
Each year the Nedlands Golf Club holds a charity golf day. This year the 2019 Millennium Cup was held on Sunday March 31stwith 60 golfers playing 18 holes. Through playing fees, generous donations from members and friends, prizes including a signed Eagles jersey, WA Museum tickets to the Kylie Minogue exhibition, Pierro Wines and golf bags, more $3500 was raised for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
“It was a chance meeting that connected us with the Harry Perkins Institute and we were invited to tour the labs and hear about their research. The facilities are amazing and the professor who talked about hunting for disease genes to reduce the chance of kids being born with fatal or really debilitating diseases was fascinating”, she said.
The Professor was Nigel Laing AO a world leading geneticist with a disease gene in his name, the Laing distal myopathy. His laboratory has found more than 30 disease genes and is currently running a pilot program offering pre pregnancy carrier screening for couples in the Busselton area planning to have a baby. The program screens for more than 450 disease genes that cause death or severe disability before aged four.
The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research also has laboratories researching cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It has more than 250 researchers on three hospital campuses in Perth, focused on fast tracking the development of new discoveries and treatments.
As a registered charity, the Harry Perkins Institute relies on grants and donations to fund its medical research.