Dialog Box



20 Jul 2018



‘MATCH IT’ FOR MADDIE on July 20th



Chair of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, Nick Riewoldt, St Kilda Football Club forward, Josh Bruce and bone marrow failure patient, Elliot Vanderland announced a $300,000 fundraising target for Maddie’s Match to match government support of an International Travelling Fellowship.

St Kilda and Richmond Football Clubs will come together on Friday 20 July, 2018, at Etihad Stadium for the third time in support of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision to raise vital funds and awareness for bone marrow failure. The target nominated will equal the Victorian Cancer Agency pledge to co-fund an International Travelling Fellowship research position to find a cure for Bone Marrow Failure. This is the first time such an opportunity has been offered to connect researchers in Australia more strongly to the global network.


Health Minister, Jill Hennessey has witnessed the effects of bone marrow failure syndrome and says, “Maddie’s Vision gives hope to families across Victoria and Australia that one day we will find a cure for this awful disease. We’re proud to be supporting them and families like the Vanderlands in this international collaboration.”

Five year-old patient, Elliot Vanderland returns as the hero of the 2018 Maddie’s Match as he continues his fight with two types of bone marrow failure, Dyskeratosis and Aplastic Anaemia. Since running onto the field with Nick Riewoldt in front of 47,000 attendees at the 2017 Maddie’s Match, Elliot has had two bone marrow transplants, celebrated his fifth birthday in hospital and hasn’t slept at home for over a year (365+ days).

Elliot returned home in April this year and was shortly after rushed back to the Royal Children’s Hospital. He has once again returned to his home and has since been there now for 14 days. His family remain positive but nervous about his health after such a long period of uncertainty and isolation. The Vanderland family faces another challenge also with Elliot’s brother having the same genetic condition and the possibility of needing a bone marrow transplant in the future also.

Nick Riewoldt, says “Elliot is now five years old and still going through so much every day, he is a hero in every sense of the word. The ongoing uncertainty for Elliot, his parents Ian and Elissa and brother Ashton is devastating. We urge everyone to get behind his family and attend this game as a sign of support in a very fragile road for families facing this disease."

St Kilda’s Josh Bruce and the entire St Kilda Football club are proudly representing Maddie’s Match and encourage supporters to fill Etihad Stadium, make a $5 donation at the gate and join the sea of purple, in an initiative to raise awareness and funds for Maddie Riewoldt's Vision. The Saints team once again swapping out the red for a purple stripe.

“I’m really proud to be representing MRV for the Saints this year. I’ve seen the incredible work they’ve done in the area of Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes research over the past few years and am really keen to do my part in raising awareness and funds. On behalf of the whole playing group I really encourage people to buy their Maddie’s Membership and special edition purple Saints merchandise to join with us in turning Etihad Stadium into a sea of purple on 20 July. Help us to empower others to #FightLikeMaddie”

To purchase a Maddie’s Membership, which includes a level one reserve seat to the game against Richmond on Friday 20 July and an exclusive Maddie’s Vision pin, visit or to buy your limited edition 2018 Maddie’s Match merchandise visit To donate or learn more about Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision visit


Etihad Stadium, with its partners, are holding an online auction to raise funds for Maddie Riewoldt's Vision.  By clicking on the image below, you will find some amazing auction items including 2017 Richmond team signed home guernsey, a fully catered Corporate Suite for 12 at Maddie’s Match plus more!


Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision is dedicated to finding a cure for Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome (BMFS) and was founded by the Riewoldt family following Maddie’s tragic death in February, 2015. Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision has been a galvanizing force in elevating awareness and raising substantial funds towards purposefully identifying and supporting the best researchers in Victoria.

BMFS mainly affects young people, like Maddie, aged 17 to 40. About 160 young Australians are diagnosed with the syndrome every year. Sadly, more than half will die from the disease.


Bone Marrow Failure is complicated so it’s often misunderstood by the public and research into Bone Marrow Failure is grossly underfunded.  Bone Marrow Failure is more common among adolescents and young adults aged 17 - 40 and cruelly impacts the lives of those living with the condition every single day.

Professor David Ritchie, a Haematologist and Bone Marrow transplant specialist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute and Royal Children’s Hospital is also a Board Member of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision and Maddie’s doctor for her seven months in hospital explains: "Put simply, the bone marrow is a complex organ and one that is as vital and as critical as the heart. Bone Marrow Failure syndromes are a collection of medical conditions where the bone marrow stops working – resulting in abnormalities of the blood including severe anaemia, increased risk of severe infections and bleeding. All Bone Marrow Failure syndromes are due to a failure of the bone marrow stem cells and may be acquired (affecting a previously normal marrow) or inherited. Bone Marrow Failure syndromes occur when the bone marrow cells have been damaged or have been attacked by the immune system."


The International Travelling Fellowship Scheme is being co-funded by Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision and the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA), Department of Health and Human Services. The position is supporting a talented researcher for four years; spending half the time in Victoria and the other half at a leading institute overseas. A national search will see the position start in early 2019 and will be part of the Centre of research Excellence in Bone Marrow Biology.

The VCA was established in 2006 to sustain and enhance Victoria’s excellent track record in cancer research. Funded by the Victorian Government, the VCA invests in projects and initiatives that rapidly translate research into treatments and approaches that will improve clinical practice and care of cancer patients. The VCA Departmental Reference Group provides strategic advice and leadership to the VCA.

The Victorian cancer plan has the long-term goal of achieving equitable cancer outcomes for all Victorians. The Plan also recognises that high-quality cancer research drives clinical practice improvements and underpins all of our efforts in prevention, detection, treatment and support. Victoria’s cancer research system is supported by world-renowned medical researchers, institutes, hospitals and universities which have made great strides in improving cancer outcomes. The Plan has a priority to ensure that Victoria has a strong and integrated research system, with a focus on:

Improving access to clinical trials
Supporting cancer researchers to collaborate
Accelerating translation of cancer research into improved prevention efforts and clinical outcomes