What a gift in your Will can do

A gift in your Will can help our researchers to reach tomorrow’s medical breakthroughs faster.

What a gift in your Will can do

With the help of people like you we’ve been improving the health and wellbeing of children around the world for over three decades. Much of the progress we’ve made is thanks to the vital funding we get from gifts in Wills. But while our breakthroughs have seen more children survive and thrive – too many families still know what it’s like to have a sick child. 

We see a future where every child has the chance to live a happy and fulfilled life.

After you’ve thought of your loved ones, please consider a gift to MCRI in your Will. It doesn’t matter how much you can give – the children of the future need people like you behind them.

Ruth and Graeme

“I am very grateful for the tenacity and enthusiasm of others.” Professor Ruth Bishop AO

In 1973 Professor Ruth Bishop led a team of researchers, including her colleague of 40 years Professor Graeme Barnes, who discovered rotavirus – the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis. Rotavirus vaccines were developed following Professor Bishop’s discovery but tragically the disease still kills about half a million children under the age of five a year, mostly in developing countries.

A new vaccine developed by the Institute is in the final stages of clinical trials and promises to save even more lives world wide.

Hospital admissions for acute gastroenteritis in Australia have dropped to under 2,000 a year since the discovery. Our work has been at the heart of this progress, but we still have more to do. Gifts in Wills help us to understand how diseases form and find better ways to prevent them – saving young lives around the world.

Alice, Melbourne

When Alice was born she was extremely small and constantly sick. Despite many tests doctors still couldn’t find out what was wrong with Alice until she was referred to MCRI for genetic testing. Alice’s Mum, Ruth explains:

 “We waited 13 years for a diagnosis. Living with the unknown has been a rollercoaster with more downs than ups. I repeatedly asked myself how long will she live or if she will die before me. Not knowing is like living in constant darkness.”

“With the diagnosis and thanks to MCRI’s support, we have been in contact with another family in the UK who has a child with the same mutation as Alice’s. We have been able to share and compare many milestones and medical issues our children face. Now I have hope for the future as their boy is a 20 year old and attending university. I am extremely grateful because I know now that Alice can be with me for decades and she can have a happy future – what else can a mother ask for?”

There are more than 6,000 inherited rare diseases that collectively affect at least one in 20 births, many of which are poorly understood. Gifts in Wills help our researchers to lead the world in the way we test for genetic conditions so families can get the answers they so desperately need.


Les, Melbourne

It is every day, hardworking people like Mr Les Nash who kindly think of how they can improve life for the next generation when they make their Will.

Born with achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism, Mr Nash remembers frequent visits to hospital as a child. But it wasn’t until much later in life that he began to have the debilitating back pain that forced him to have a series of major surgeries. 

“I’ve been through the hard part so I can make it a little bit easier for the young ones coming up. It’s not going to be easy for them but you can give them the chance to make it easier.”

“I would like to see research that helps people in the future,” says Mr Nash. “It’s just my way of helping. I’m fortunate at this stage of my life to be able to help out and I’ll do what I can.”

Our researchers are trialling new treatments that may avoid the need to operate on patients with achondroplasia in the future. If this research continues to prove effective, hundreds of thousands of children around the world could benefit. Gifts in Wills help our researchers to develop new and better targeted therapies.