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Generous nine year old raises funds for heart research in lieu of birthday presents

When Curtis was asked what he wanted for his ninth birthday, his parents were astounded when the youngster requested that, instead of bringing gifts, guests at his party help him raise money for the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.

Specifically, Curtis wanted to help scientists at the Institute who are finding ways that stem cells can be used to make new treatments and cures for a range of heart conditions affecting children.

Curtis’ proud parents helped him set up an online fundraising page, with a goal of raising $200 for his outdoor cinema birthday celebrations. Astoundingly, Curtis’ generous family and friends have helped him raise over $900 which will support the work of the Cardiac Development Research team, led by Dr David Elliot.

In a thank you letter penned by Dr Elliot, the researcher thanked Curtis for his wonderful donation:

“When I heard that you were donating money to research, instead of getting presents, I wanted to personally thank you for the amazing thing that you are doing. You are a very special kid to have the foresight to put the needs of others, ahead of your own.”

Curtis is very excited that his contribution has helped kids around Australia. “Since I started fundraising a few people at school have told me about kids they have known who had heart problems. It feels great to be able to do something to help the scientists work out ways to help kids with heart problems," he said.

Dr Elliot's Cardiac Development team uses pluripotent stem cells, generated from adult cells, to model human heart development and disease. The lab’s long-term goal is to create “cardiac disease in a dish” models in order to understand congenital heart disease and develop new treatments.

Find out more about their work here.

Like Curtis, you can support the life-saving research conducted at Murdoch Children's by donating today.