How you help
Your fundraising support during Red Nose Day helps us fund research into the treatment and cures of serious health conditions that affect Kiwi kids.
You’re helping researchers find cures for conditions that include childhood cancers, heart conditions, cystic fibrosis, sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) asthma, mental health and many more, serious illnesses. So far we’ve invested more than $38 million in research. We have achieved breakthroughs that have saved, improved and extended the lives of kids here and around the world. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved, but the work has only just begun. Join us this Red Nose Day on November 18th and help us paint New Zealand red.
Red Nose Day enables Cure Kids to raise vital funds for research into serious illnesses that affect many of our kids.
The outcomes of Cure Kids-funded medical research are everywhere, and thousands of us are alive and healthier today because of them. But we need your help to do so much more. There is vital medical research that needs to be done, yet is stalled, simply due to lack of funding. With your help this Red Nose Day, we’re determined to change this and continue to make a difference to the health of children.
Learn more about some of the research projects we’re funding below:
Why we need
Children are diagnosed with rheumatic fever.
Rheumatic fever (RF) is a condition that can occur when the body’s immune system responds to an untreated bout of strep throat (RF can lead to scarring of the heart valves; known as rheumatic heart disease (RHD)). It occurs at markedly higher rates in New Zealand than other developed countries, and disproportionately affects Maori and Pacific children.
Tragically 160 New Zealanders die each year from complications associated with RF and RHD.
Cure Kids, in collaboration with the government and NGOs, are funding research investigating causes, treatments, diagnosis, and prevention of the conditions.
Cure Kids, with support from MFAT, are undertaking a large-scale, four year, project in the Fijian Islands focused on control and prevention of RHD. Fiji has some of the highest rates in the world with around one in 50 children affected.
New Zealanders live with cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetically inherited condition affecting approximately 400 New Zealanders at any given time; half of which are children.CF is a respiratory condition that, if diagnosed in the 1960’s, one would be unlikely to live past 5 years of age. Today, the average life expectancy is over 35.
Cure Kids supported pioneering research that discovered a way to diagnose cystic fibrosis in a new-born babies by using the heel prick test. This test has been adopted internationally.
Cure Kids continues to fund research into improving health outcomes for children living with CF. We are currently funding a project investigating the identification of harmful bacteria in the lungs using a breath test.
If successful, this has the potential to greatly improve care and treatment.
Children are diagnosed with Batten disease.
Batten disease is a rare inherited disorder of the nervous system that usually presents in early childhood, affecting approximately four New Zealand children per year. Symptoms include seizures, blindness and a shortened life expectancy. At present, there are no effective therapies for treating Batten disease.
Cure Kids has funded research into new treatments for Batten disease. A gene replacement therapy study demonstrated very promising results, with human trials currently being considered.
Cure Kids is also currently funding research investigating the use of two different cannabis derivatives, and how they might provide benefits to children with Batten disease or epilepsy.
Cure Kids are excited to be supporting these innovative research programmes which have the potential to improve, and save, lives worldwide.
Children experience a mental health issue.
Disorders include anxiety, ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders and schizophrenia.
Research shows that over half of all lifetime cases of mental illness present before the age of 14, yet 70% don’t receive necessary treatment, representing an urgent need for better care and treatment.
This year, Cure Kids were pleased to announce the establishment of a new Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (University of Auckland). The endowment establishing the Chair and its continuing existence, was generously funded by the Duke Family Trust. However, additional funding is needed to support this programme of research.
Psychiatrist, Professor Sally Merry, was appointed to the role. Prof Merry is an experienced researcher in childhood mental health. We’re delighted to be able to continue, and further, her successes.
Children will develop epilepsy.
Approximately 450 children develop epilepsy each year. Constant seizures can lead to profound physical, psychological and social consequences for kids; also increasing anxiety and socially avoidant behaviour.
Overcoming knowledge gaps in epilepsy research is fundamental to reducing adverse effects and improving the quality of life of young people living with the condition.
Cure Kids have been supporting research, led by Associate Professor Lynette Sadleir, investigating the genes that cause epilepsy in children. This will enable specific treatments to be initiated, facilitate the future development of new targeted therapies and reduce the need for children to be subjected to further invasive and expensive investigations.
A/Prof Sadleir is a paediatric neurologist specialising in epilepsy. In collaboration with a Professor in Melbourne, A/Prof Sadleir has already delineated many new epilepsy syndromes and discovered half of the known epilepsy genes.
School days are lost to asthma.
Asthma is one of the most chronic conditions in childhood, with around one in seven New Zealand children taking asthma medication, placing New Zealand in the unenviable position of having the second highest prevalence in the world. Despite these high rates, compliance with preventative medications can be extremely low.
Cure Kids co-funded a trial testing the efficacy of a new smart-inhaler, SmartTrack, which acts as a reminder to children on asthma medication, while also providing detailed feedback to medical practitioners about patterns of use. This data is invaluable in designing patient-specific treatment.
The study resulted in an 84% compliance rate for those using the new inhaler, three-times that of the control group (those with standard inhalers). Corresponding improvements in coughing, wheezing, and quality of life were reported.