Asthma walkers breathing life into HMRI research

May 1 2014

5KM a Day Creators

HMRI respiratory researchers will benefit from a new Asthma Foundation NSW event called 5k a Day in May that began in the Hunter today.

Two business identities, Natalie Doolan of Carnelian Projects and business associate Wade Hooper of Inspire Property & Finance, conceived the fundraising challenge that will see teams run, walk, cycle, swim, row or skateboard 5km each day during May.

It was inspired by Wade and his son Cameron, both of whom live with asthma.

“I was diagnosed with asthma at 12 months and back in the early 1970s asthma treatments were still very rudimentary. Until I was seven years old I spent a lot of time in an oxygen tent,” Wade said.

“The portable puffer changed my life and I was eventually able to control my asthma. I’ve benefitted directly from asthma research, as has my son, who also has asthma, and we would like to see a cure one day so future generations can live free.”

Recognising the research excellence at HMRI, Asthma Foundation NSW has provided over $1million in grants.

These include the work of Professor Peter Gibson, an asthma clinician and researcher of world-renown, Professor Phil Hansbro’s research into effective treatments and hopefully a cure for asthma, Associate Professor Vicki Clifton’s ground-breaking asthma and pregnancy health programs and Dr Jay Horvat’s work on new therapies for people who have steroid-resistant asthma.

In addition, Foundation grants are supporting the work of two current HMRI PhD students.

The Hunter New England Region has a higher than average asthma prevalence –10.4% in the Hunter against a state average of 9.2% (over 700,000 people). Asthma accounts for 9.1% of all hospitalisations in the Hunter.

Some 28% of children aged 2- 15 reported having asthma at some stage in their lives.