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Beneficiaries of medical research

In the lead-up to the 2011 federal budget, many Australians who had benefited, or hope to benefit from medical research were keen to share their stories to show the importance of medical research to their lives.

AvaMarnie and Adam

Parents of Ava, a bilateral cochlear implant recipient

“Our daughter Ava is almost six years old and in her first year of mainstream school. Our lives and that of our precious little girl would be significantly different without medical research from Australia’s Bionic Ear Institute and the miracle of cochlear implant technology. We hope in the future, with further research, cochlear implants can improve in technical ability and robustness, and reduce in size. This device is changing lives and we will be forever grateful for the gift of hearing it has given Ava.”


Professor Anthony Dart

Professor Anthony Dart

Associate Director - Clinical, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute

"I can speak first hand as a researcher, clinician and patient about the importance of gains made through research to the outcomes for people with cardiovascular disease. Recent years have seen both falls in the incidence of coronary events and improved outcomes for those still affected indicating advances in both prevention and treatment.

"Major advances have been made in the treatment of elevated cholesterol, blood pressure and others risk factors as well as in interventional procedures. Compared with my years as a medical student and trainee specialist we now have a much more secure and rational basis for our treatment decisions resulting from clinical research."



Cancer survivor and health economist

"In 1994 I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer and enrolled in a high dose chemotherapy trial involving the use of colony stimulating factors, based on the pioneering work of Australia's Professor Don Metcalf. I owe my ongoing survival to this and subsequent breakthroughs in cancer treatment made by medical researchers both in Australia and overseas. From an economic perspective, Australia cannot rely just on digging minerals out of the ground.

"We have been successful in attracting world class medical researchers and currently have a significant comparative advantage in this area. We punch above our weight. Without sustained government financial support, crucial work of direct benefit to Australian patients, the community and the economy will be jeopardised."


Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis

Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis

Weight loss scientist, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

"As a former 'fatty' I know how awful it is to struggle with binge eating and obesity. That's why I started medical research, to find solutions that will help more people to attain and maintain a healthy body weight.

"My NHMRC-funded research is identifying novel treatment strategies that will make it easier for people to eat and move in a way that promotes successful weight management."


Colleen and family


Type 1 diabetic since 1999

“Since my diagnosis I have had to endure daily blood sugar monitoring and insulin injections. I want to live a happy, healthy and long life with my family, like any parent. I really believe that medical research can improve my diabetes management and reduce the risk of complications, and may even one day find a cure.”


Megan French

Megan French

Gastrointestinal disease sufferer and researcher

"My support of Discoveries Need Dollars is a personal one. I was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal disease (Neuronal Intestinal Dysplasia) as a young child.

"I am so keen to see continual research into gastrointestinal disease that after being diagnosed as a child, I am now a keen junior scientist as well as an adult patient still suffering from a gastrointestinal disease. In fact, the very Professor who diagnosed my condition is now one of my supervisors. To kill funding will kill a personal dream of mine and a dream of many others who suffer from the same disease."



Textile artist and multiple myeloma patient

"I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2010. I am receiving treatment as part of a clinical trial for patients newly diagnosed with this type of blood cancer. Being on this clinical trial has given me the chance to go on working and contributing to my community in other ways, because I have access to drugs with a lower level of side effects than the standard treatment.

"As a textile artist I was particularly concerned to avoid peripheral neuropathy, a side effect of standard thalidomide treatment, which would have been devastating to my art practice. My hope is that findings from the clinical trial will allow multiple myeloma survivors to live longer with less treatment side effects in the future."



Living with type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease

“I’m often asked “what’s the purple pager for?” It’s so much more than a pager. It’s my insulin pump and it’s keeping me alive. I’ve been managing Type 1 Diabetes and Coeliac Disease for over 10 years.

"Advances in medical research have enabled me to live a normal, full life. The cooperation of scientists, doctors and the community is essential for learning to live with these diseases and I live in hope of a cure.”


Dr Isobel LawrensonDr Isobel Lawrenson

Medical researcher and breast cancer patient

"Breast cancer patients are dying now because they did not have access to drugs, which are readily available today, when they were first diagnosed.

"Australia has some of the world’s leading medical researchers. Having confidence that advances are being made everyday into future treatments gives me faith that I may not have to lose many more close friends, family and indeed my own life to such a disease."



If you are a medical researcher or have benefited from medical research, share your story with us by sending it to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).