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Inner Wheel Australia‚Äôs National Project has been running for quite a few years now.¬ ¬ However in the last few years cord blood research has advanced greatly, and I am pleased to have this opportunity to tell you something about it.
The project was started with a twofold purpose:¬ ¬
1.¬ ¬ Promote Inner Wheel to our communities¬
2.¬ ¬ Raise funds for a charity.
A National Day is held each year at the end of April when our Clubs sell various articles of merchandise to the public.¬ ¬ All items for sale are identified with our IW emblem and our Cord Blood logo.¬ ¬ This is our main fundraising day throughout our communities. ¬ Treloar Roses have introduced a red ‚ÄėGift of Friendship‚Äô rose for sale and they donate to our project from every sale received.
We, Inner Wheel Australia, as an organization has raised nearly $2.3million and given 38 grants to researchers.¬ ¬ Those researchers are working in all different medical fields using cord blood stem cells.¬ ¬ They have also found out that the stem cells collected from the placenta are equally as useful as the ones from the umbilical cord, and that all these cells can replace the damaged cells throughout the body.¬ ¬ Many young patients have suffered with various types of leukaemia and on receiving a cord blood stem cell transplant or a doble transplant have made a complete recovery.¬ ¬
Our Researcher Ngaire Elwood, who is the Executive Director of the Cord Blood Bank at the Children‚Äôs Hospital in Melbourne has been working in this field for many years.¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬
Dr Faten Zaibak from the Murdoch Children‚Äôs Research Institute in Melbourne is another recipient of our grants who is working in the field of Cystic Fibrosis.¬ ¬ Professor Bob Williamson, a world renowned researcher in the field of cystic fibrosis is in charge of this team.¬ ¬
He told us that their hope was, now that they had identified the gen concerned, a cord blood transplant would hopefully, sometime in the near future enable them to repair or rebuild the lining of the damaged lungs of patients with Cystic Fibrosis.
Another group of researchers are opening up the door into finding a cure for cerebral palsy.
Prof. Graham Jenkin and Dr Suzie Miller work at the Ritchie Centre at Monash Medical Research Institute.
This year in Australia about 300,000 babies will be born and another 670 children will be diagnosed with
cerebral palsy. ¬ ¬ This team have gained permission to commence clinical trials this year on 400 babies.
Dr Michael Doran, a young researcher in Brisbane has been trying to improve the quality of cord blood transplants and during his research work discovered a direct link to Prostate Cancer.¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬
Michael attended the Prostate Cancer World Congress (in Melbourne a couple of years ago).¬ He presented work describing the adaptation of their cord blood studies to investigate prostate cancer.¬ ¬ This presentation won first prize in the research translation category.¬ He thanked Inner Wheel Australia on this presentation as our funding had enabled their understanding and ultimate translation to this other important research area.¬
Our project has been successful because of a great deal of hard work by all our members, and also because cord blood is now being recognised as something that can benefit the health of sick children.
Our project won State Winner in 3 States in the Australian Events Awards for 2015.
This event was held in Sydney and we were very proud and priviledged to receive these awards for ‚ÄėBest Charity or Cause-related Event‚Äô.