Unite in a sea of denim and raise funds

| August 5, 2015

This Friday is Jeans for Genes Day, when Australian workplaces and schools raise funds to fight childhood genetic diseases. Barry Kenyon, National Campaign Manager of Jeans for Genes, tells the story of the charity day and the great strides the organisation has made in just over two decades.

Many Aussies know and love Jeans for Genes Day but don’t know exactly why they’re donning their denim. Now, in our 22nd year, we’re really focussed on joining the dots between Jeans for Genes and the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI), the sole recipient of all the funds we raise.

CMRI is an independent organisation located at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Westmead, committed to unlocking the mysteries of disease and finding cures for childhood genetic diseases, which currently affect one in every 20 Aussie kids.

We have raised $62 million in our 22-year history, with 100 per cent of donations directly funding research into birth defects and diseases such as cancer, epilepsy and a range of other genetic disorders.

A number of really significant medical breakthroughs have come out of the CMRI. For example, scientists at CMRI have learned why a particular variation in the DNA predisposes some people to a broad range of cancers. Using this information, doctors can predict if certain people may be affected by cancer and therefore need early screening.

Recently CMRI has been developing drugs to help the one in three epileptics who currently have no treatment for their condition. This research has also led to potential new drugs to treat a range of cancers, especially brain cancer. CMRI researchers have already discovered that some of these same drugs could also treat schizophrenia and other mood disorders and infectious diseases, including Ebola.

We’re making massive strides, and the work is absolutely cutting edge and world class. But it’s a long and expensive process to get these drugs ready for use in the clinic, which is why we need the continued support of our Australian community.

We encourage all Aussies to show their support by making a donation online at www.jeansforgenes.org.au. Our official Jeans for Genes merchandise is also available at offices and schools across the country and through our official retail partners.

Of course, wearing jeans to work these days isn’t too much of a stretch. What was once a serious workplace fashion faux pas, wearing denim to work on any day of the week is now totally acceptable. So this year we are challenging everyone to go a bit wild with their denim. Classic, acid washed, ripped, faded, stressed, double – even triple denim. Get creative and have fun with it!