News & Events

Maddie’s Month 2021: How tomatoes and capsicums are making a big difference

For the 6th year in a row, Australians can make a big difference to people with Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes just by popping a bunch of Flavorite tomatoes or capsicums in their weekly shop at Coles.

For the month of November, 10c from every specially marked pack will go to Maddie’s Vision. Just look out for the purple packs!

When you purchase a pack, you’ll also be able to enter a competition to win a kick of the footy with Nick Riewoldt (perhaps you can ask him for cooking tips too!), as well as many other great prizes, including a Sherrin football signed by Nick and Jack Riewoldt.

Flavorite’s Chris Millis and Maddie’s Vision Chairman Nick Riewoldt

The Maddie’s Month partnership has already raised over half a million dollars for vital research into Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes. This year, we’re aiming to raise $100,000 more. 

The funds will support a research initiative that we’re incredibly passionate about: the inaugural Fiona Riewoldt Nursing and Allied Health Fellowship.

Named in honour of Maddie’s mum Fiona, this research Fellowship recognises the vital role nurses and allied health staff play in supporting and caring for patients during often prolonged hospital stays, including periods in ICU and undergoing multiple treatments.

In Fiona Riewoldt’s words: “I am thrilled that this vital area of care is being supported! To know that we can fund vital research into patients’ needs is very comforting. No-one really understands the impact of these diseases and the horrendous side effects of treatment, unless they are living it.”

“I firmly believe this Fellowship presents the opportunity to vastly change lives and outcomes for all those suffering, just as Maddie wished.”

The Maddie’s Month campaign honours two very special people.

Maddie Riewoldt was just 26 years old when she passed away after a brave five-year battle with a Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome called Aplastic Anaemia. Before she died, Maddie made her wish clear: that no-one would go through what she had.

Maddie’s Month was the brainchild of Flavorite co-founder Mark Millis who personally battled blood cancer and so understood the urgent need for medical research to find more effective treatments.

Sadly, Maddie and Mark are no longer with us, but their families fiercely and proudly continue their legacy.

Nick Riewoldt, Maddie’s big brother and Chair of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, said the support from Flavorite and Coles will raise much-needed funds to help patients in the future.

“Sadly our two families know what it is like to lose someone you love, so together we are fighting towards finding a cure for Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes. We’re hoping to raise $100,000 this November. Please jump on board, buy some delicious tomatoes and capsicums and make a big difference!”

Flavorite’s Chris Millis says, “We would like to thank every Coles customer who has picked up a pack of our tomatoes and capsicums. These small actions are supporting Australian farmers like us and making a huge difference in patient’s lives.” 

Australians getting on board with Maddie’s Month have made a big difference already. Funds from previous campaigns have:

  • supported the launch of the very first Australian Marrow Failure Biobank to collect and store tissue samples that are critical for research into new treatments for Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes
  • funded a 3-year research Fellowship at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute that focussed on the epigenetic regulators of normal blood development and made new discoveries in the search for novel treatment avenues.

About Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes

Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes are rare, complex and debilitating. In simple terms, the bone marrow which is our blood cell ‘factory’, stops working, and the body is unable to produce healthy blood cells on which we depend.

Around 160 Australians are diagnosed with Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes each year. Distressingly, most of them are children and young adults. Thousands more are living with ongoing complex health issues. 15% of patients will develop blood cancer.

Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision is funding the vitally important research needed for breakthroughs in the treatment of Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes. Our ultimate vision is finding cures.

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