Fundraising efforts for today’s 5th Annual Maddie’s Match have been bolstered by an announcement from the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, of a $1 million grant to fund research that will help save the lives of patients living with bone marrow failure.

The funding will enable a new clinical trial to begin immediately that provides high risk Bone Marrow Failure patients access to new medicines and combination therapies.

The ReSELECT clinical trial will develop a platform to deliver innovative treatments, including cutting edge cellular and gene therapies, to future patients.

Maddie’s Vision Chairman Nick Riewoldt said the support of the Federal Government and the St Kilda Football Club was overwhelming.

“We started Maddie’s Vision five years ago because there was not enough known about Bone Marrow Failure and there were very limited, toxic treatment options,” he said

“Our mission is to find a cure and through our endeavours to do this, we aim to gain access to more treatment options for patients to improve the poor 50% rate of survival. This new trial will offer patients the sort of hope that we didn’t have when Maddie’s options ran out.”

BMFS patients have a high risk of developing cancer, including leukaemia and certain solid tumours, and prior to the formation of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision in 2015, little was being done to assist young Australians facing this disease.

Since the launch at the first Maddie’s Match in July 2015, the Vision has turbo charged the area of research with the support of the AFL and sporting community.

Both State and Federal funding has provided the ability to form a Centre of Research Excellence in Bone Marrow Biology that now underpins a National collaboration of expertise.

Maddie‘s Vision CEO Nicky Long outlined the impact that was possible because of initiatives such as Maddie’s Match and the support of funding partners.

“From today, we are now committed to financially supporting 24 National Medical research projects across five important research pillars,” Long said.

“Our vision and our responsibility is to ensure that our research projects improve young lives.

“With the donations and support we receive at Maddie’s Match each year from the Saints and the greater AFL community, we are providing more certain futures.”

St Kilda CEO Matt Finnis congratulated Maddie’s Vision on today’s announcement and progress over the past five years.

“Maddie‘s Match holds a special place in the hearts of all St Kilda people, and to see what has been achieved by Maddie’s Vision over the past five years is remarkable,” he said.

“Today’s funding announcement from the Minister for Health and the continued support of Saints fans and the broader football community will allow them to continue this crucial work.”

“I want to thank our supporters who have worn their purple colours from home and donated to the fundraising efforts.”