On Sunday 30th June , St. Kilda and Richmond Football clubs and their fans came together to kick off the 4th Maddie's Match raising $140,000 for Maddie Riewoldt's Vision.
Maddie’s Match honours the life of Maddie Riewoldt. The community coming together is the voice for her battle against Bone Marrow Failure and for every person who continues to fight. With community support, the first Maddie’s Match in 2015 funded our very first medical research project, The National Aplastic Anaemia Registry.
The contribution from the footballing community enabled funding of this important access to information for researchers. We are now proudly funding 15 important medical research projects and with the work already achieved with the Aplastic Anaemia Registry, our research community was able to leverage two other major government grants, including one that now offers genetic testing to all people diagnosed with BMFS across Australia.
All of the projects we are supporting or leveraging, are providing more definitive diagnoses and leading to better treatment outcomes for patients. We have done this with community donations and they are already changing lives. It is this community who has provided a catalyst that is connecting researchers, leveraging efficiencies and creating collaboration for results for young Australians.
In 2018, Maddie’s Match raised $1.2million ($1million came from a Federal Government funding announcement). Funds were raised from donations, merchandise, functions and sponsorships of a “cash grab” novelty activation at the ground with celebrities.
This year, all of the same elements will leveraged to fundraise, with a new element; “Maddie’s Challenge” - celebrities will compete in two teams, physically across a number of challenges to raise as many funds towards our mission of a cure and to support orts a national collaboration via diagnosis registry, establishment of a biobank to collect and store tissue samples and importantly the governance and support of the Centre of Research Excellence in Bone Marrow Biology.
Nick Riewoldt and Jonathan Brown were today unveiled as the team captains for Maddie’s Challenge, a fundraising competition which will see celebrities face-off in a myriad of challenges to raise much needed funds for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision as it continues the search for a cure for Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes (BMFS).
RSEA Safety kicked off the Maddie’s Challenge donation pledging $10,000 for the first challenge.
To have the continued support of the entire footballing family, especially Saints fans, means so much to my family and I.
“To have Browny, some of my old teammates and other famous faces on board this year to take part in Maddie’s Challenge will be great and anyone who knows me is well aware I can’t turn down a bit of friendly competition, especially when it’s raising money for Maddie’s Vision.
“Over the past few years we’ve really been able to engrain Maddie’s Match into the AFL calendar and seeing so many people get behind us and turn up in Maddie’s favourite colour purple has been fantastic.
“Now we’re in the really privileged and exciting position of having some tangible evidence of what our fundraising has been able to achieve.
“There are people living happy healthy lives today because of early intervention and testing that funding from Maddie’s Vision, and indeed Maddie’s Match, has been able to provide.
“We’re also seeing people receive more specific diagnosis thanks to our work, allowing them access to the best, tailored treatment.”
Since its inception in 2015, Maddie’s Vision has raised more than $7 million, allowing it to fund 15 important medical research projects, including the establishment of the National Aplastic Anaemia Registry and hosting the first ever National Research Symposium in Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes.
There’s no doubt in my mind that without the continued support of the football community we wouldn’t be where we are today.
“To be funding over a dozen research projects in four years of existence is incredible, and we’re so positive and excited about everything we can achieve moving forward.”
Gearing up to proudly wear his purple guernsey this year is long-time Maddie’s Vision ambassador and St Kilda forward Josh Bruce.
“It’s always a special game and I’m really looking forward to this year,” Bruce said.
“I missed last year with injury, so barring any issues I should be out there, but whether you’re playing or not, to be part of a game that’s bigger than just football is incredible.
“To see how Nick and the team are really changing the lives of people living with Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes is inspiring and the players and I are always happy to give back in any way we can.”
Maddie’s Match was held at Marvel Stadium on Sunday 30 June at 1.10pm.
For more information on Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes or how to donate visit www.mrv.org.au