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Trish MS Moulin Rouge Ball


The Trish Multiple Sclerosis Research Foundation’s annual Ball theme brought the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret to Sydney, a fitting backdrop to celebrate the work of leading Australian researchers, with funds raised on the night taking the total amount raised for MS research by the Trish Foundation to over $4 million.     

Recipients of the inaugural Trish MS Research Award, Dr Edwin Lim and Professor Gilles Guillemen

The Foundation’s Joint Patrons - Former Premier of NSW Barry O’Farrell and Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson – joined celebrity MC Leigh Sales (host of the ABC’s 7.30 Report), special guests Ken and Wilma Rosewall, Federal Member for Bennelong John Alexander, eminent MS researchers, valued Corporate VIP Sponsors and supporters  to raise vital funds for MS research projects, whilst shining a light on the researchers who work tirelessly to unlock the secrets and ultimately eradicate the existence of multiple sclerosis.

One of the highlights of the evening was the awarding of the inaugural Trish MS Research Award to Professor Gilles Guilleman and Dr Edwin Lim from Macquarie University. An MS Research Australia incubator grant of just $15,000 was the catalyst for a major international study, led by these two Australian researchers, who have discovered the first-ever blood biomarker. The Trish Foundation is honoured to have made a contribution to Dr Lim’s research.

Guests also had the privilege of listening to Leigh Sales interviewing Associate Professor Michael Barnett and Conjoint Professor Jeannette Lechner-Scott, who showcased the major steps forward in finding a cure for MS that researchers have made in the past decade.

A/Professor Barnett believes researchers are at the stage where they can almost arrest the disease: “We’re getting to the verge of being able to partly repair the brain with new therapies, not quite the cure but very, very, very soon. So I think now we can say to our patients honestly, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to have severe disability if we can get you on to therapy early and if we monitor your disease closely and if we aggressively step that therapy up.” 

Conjoint Professor Lechner-Scott commented that treatment goals have changed over the last two decades: “When the first treatment arrived, people were happy to reduce relapses. Then we were happy to keep patients stable. Now we don’t even want more dots on the MRI. So we really have ramped it up what we’re trying to achieve and that is closer and closer to a cure. We have reached a lot already in the last decade but we can still do more to really cure this disease.”

Guests at the Trish MS Moulin Rouge Ball were also treated to an inspiring performance by acclaimed soprano Toni Powell, who sang a French song, talented dancers from The Elizabeth McGirr School of Ballet and Slide McBride, billed as the best function band in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Foundation’s Joint Patron Dr Brendan Nelson gave two unforgettable speeches which included speaking passionately about the Australian War Memorial and the Live Auction item he very generously donated. 

Other highlights of the evening were DMC Digital’s pro bono Video Presentation, with great appreciation to DMC Digital and Sarah Ross-Smith, and the entertaining Live Auction conducted by Andrew Mason, Sew and Sew Wines, assisted by Ball Committee member Phil Newman

The extremely generous support of guests at the Trish MS Moulin Rouge Ball raised funds for an Incubator Grant, with additional funds towards a second Incubator Grant.  Recipients of the Incubator Grants will be announced shortly.  On average, recipients of Incubator Grants are able to leverage 27 times the initial funding with prestigious grants from other funding bodies, including the National Health and Medical Research Council.

‘Mandy’s Balloons for Trish’ made a great contribution to the funds raised, being very popular with our guests and selling out early in the evening.  Mandy nursed Trish in the nursing home and her continuing generosity and tremendous support is greatly appreciated. 

Trish’s mum Carol Langsford, Chairman of the Foundation, expressed her profound gratitude to everyone who supported the Ball.

“Year after year our Ball continues to raise much needed funds for MS research. We are passionate about saving the suffering caused by multiple sclerosis and I am blown away by the great generosity of our Sponsors, Corporate VIP tables, donors and our awesome supporters.  We are truly thankful for their outstanding support and as well, the great contribution of our hard-working volunteers.”

“Our modest goals at inception have exploded into something we could never have imagined.  The Trish Foundation continues to make a significant contribution to MS research in Australia, as well as the worldwide effort.  We are proud to have contributed to research projects which have achieved world-first ground-breaking findings that are moving closer and closer to unlocking the mysteries of MS and finding a cure. We consider it an honour to raise funds for MS research and we are really blessed to receive such amazing, generous support.  So many people, companies and organisations made very generous and significant contributions to the success of our Ball and the funds we raised for MS research and we really are incredibly grateful to each of them.”  

Our heartfelt gratitude to the Trish Foundation’s very valued Sponsors, Corporate VIP tables, Donors and Supporters for your enormous generosity and significant contribution to the Trish Foundation and the pursuit of a cure for multiple sclerosis.  Please click here for our Roll of Honour.

Our great appreciation also to our hard-working volunteers for giving your precious time and skills to contribute so brilliantly to the funds raised at our Ball for MS research.

Trish Foundation & MS Research Australia Working together to find a cure for MS
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