Several years ago my mum had a stroke, which scared the hell out of us I can assure you. None of us had had any experience with stroke and the prospect was daunting. Fortunately mum recovered well, thank goodness, and got on with her life.
A few weeks ago mum had another minor episode and although I was just as worried, my knowledge of the disease, its symptoms and treatments had been greatly enhanced by my employment at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), an independent not-for-profit research institute, based in Sydney.
I look after the Digital Strategy and Online Marketing for NeuRA. They are leading the field in brain and nervous system research, and their goal is to prevent, treat and cure brain and nervous system diseases, disorders and injuries through medical research. They cover a myriad of health areas including dementia, motor neurone disease (ALS), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and stroke, to name but a few.
Sitting with my mum in hospital I was able to better comprehend the information the neurosurgeon and physicians were telling her. I understood the path to recovery and the processes mum had to follow. I have received advice from some of the doctors and professors here at NeuRA and mum has once again recovered well and is now enrolled in one of NeuRA’s many study programs.
It has been enlightening to work with so many brilliant researchers and PhD students, and it has been an absolute pleasure supporting these amazing people by promoting their work through online channels such as FaceBook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Wikipedia.
And that’s what this post is about, supporting effective health research.
Australia is a big country, with big health issues. It is estimated that nearly 1,000,000 Australian’s will suffer a form of dementia by 2050, and even today 1 in 5 Australians – that’s 20% – suffer with a disease or injury of the brain or nervous system.
This is why I have volunteered to be part of the crew supporting the participants taking part in The NeuRA Big Run.
In May a team of eight intrepid fitness fanatics, comprised of doctors, professors, researchers and employees of NeuRA, will pound the pavement from Canberra to Sydney to raise over $50K for neuroscience research. Departing the nation’s capital early on May 3, this 28 hour relay will cover almost 300km and have the team finishing absolutely stuffed at NeuRA Randwick in the afternoon of May 4.
As well as raising vital funds, the team aims to increase awareness of disorders like those listed above, and draw attention to the dedicated researchers who give their life to finding new and innovative cures and treatments.
You can follow their progress via the hashtag #NeuRAChallenge or, more importantly, you can support these brave, and slightly crazy, individuals by donating here. And if you mention Matt’s Notes in the Donor Message section I’ll give you a special shout out on my blog 🙂