Dick Smith Foods8771530
Dick Smith Foods8771530

$1 Million to Charity

Winner’s Update


The Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation, a research group for a fatal genetic childhood disease, recently won $50,000 from the Dick Smith Foods Foundation, which will go towards bringing a potentially life-changing gene therapy trial to Australian shores.
Megan Donnell, founder of the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation, and mother to Isla (5) and Jude (3), two Sydney siblings, who tragically both have the catastrophic condition, welcomed the win, saying:
“ As the condition affects only 1:70,000, there is little commercial interest from big pharmaceuticals and no government funding. But there is a glimmer of hope in the form of a clinical gene therapy trial due to start in the near future.
The Dick Smith funds were a particular boost to the Foundation’s quest to raise $2.5 million by the end of 2015. The group has almost raised its first million towards achieving its objective of bringing a gene therapy trial down under.
A clinical trial on Australian soil will help give Australian children the same opportunities of access as their American and European counterparts. When it comes to rare diseases, Australian children are rarely selected in international trials by large pharmaceutical companies due to our relatively small patient populations here in Australia.
Ms Donnell likened Dick Smith’s “pro-Australia, home-grown message”, to the values of the Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation, which aims, amongst other things, to grow local gene therapy research capability by developing trial facilities in Australia.
“We are working extremely hard and hand-in-hand with families, biotech companies and researchers around the world to help make our hope a reality… but we need help,” Ms Donnell said.
To read and learn more or to make a donation, please visit: www.sanfilippo.org.au