This week I have been incredibly impressed by two events, that show me, that not only do we have passionate, caring people working collectively to improve the lives of others but we are also making real ground in the fight against MS.
John Studdy Award
The John Studdy Award is a flagship award of MS Australia, given each year to an individual or individuals to recognise outstanding and selfless provision of meritorious service to people with MS.
It is an award held in extremely high regard, so high in fact, that some years the award committee has not found a worthy candidate to award it to.
This year however we have found two truly deserving recipients of the John Studdy Award.
Yesterday MSA Board Chair Rob Hubbard had the pleasure of presenting Carol Langsford OAM and Roy Langsford OAM with the John Studdy Award for 2013. For those who do not know Carol and Roy, they epitomise what this award is all about. Having tragically lost their daughter Trish to MS in 2002, Roy and Carol, motivated by a desire to not see others experience what they went through, established the Trish MS Research Foundation – a grassroots charity with a single goal – to raise funds for research into better treatments and a cure for MS.
Since then Roy and Carol have dedicated their lives to this cause. They have hosted numerous gala balls that are simply amazing and through the money they have raised Carol and Roy have helped to foster innovative and practical research that is not only improving the lives of people within the MS community but is furthering our understanding of the disease and bringing us a step closer to a cure.
It is indeed truly remarkable that over the 13 years of the Trish Foundation, Roy and Carol have raised almost $3million for MS research. They have turned a personal tragedy into something that has made a difference to thousands and that doesn’t happen very often.
We are lucky to have passionate and caring people like Carol and Roy in the Australian MS community and I am so pleased they have received some recognition for their tireless effort.
Last week I had the privilege of attending MS Research Australia’s fabulous Progress in MS Research Conference – the largest gathering of MS Researchers in Australia. It was an opportunity to hear about cutting-edge work that is currently underway in Australia and around the world in fighting MS and boy was I impressed!
There’s no question that in recent years we have come ahead in leaps and bounds with MS research and that every day we are learning more about how the disease behaves, how we treat it and ultimately how we prevent it. However there has always been some noticeable gaps, one being Progressive MS – the most aggressive form of the disease of which there are currently no treatments available that help to combat the disease. Well having sat through last week’s conference I am pleased to say that there is movement in this space and indeed in many other fields of MS research.
We heard from leading international researchers exploring the relationship between Ultra Violet Radiation and MS, Australian researchers who are using Scorpion and Sea Anemone venom to try and find better targeted treatments as well as researchers who or on the cusp of exciting developments with stem-cell research. How varied and amazing is that!
The high standard of these research projects was just incredible.
Congratulations to my colleague MS Research Australia CEO Dr Matthew Miles and his entire team for staging a world-class conference that was a fitting showcase of MS research both here and abroad.