The auction of a restored 1946 Ford Jail Bar has seen Motor Neurone Disease (MND) researchers in Brisbane presented with a $200,000 cheque to continue exploring ways to treat the disease.
It’s the latest donation from Australia’s largest transport and logistics specialist, NTI, and brings the total the organisation has raised for MND research to almost $534,000 in four years.
The cheque was handed over at MND and Me’s Christmas event where medical experts pitched their research ideas in a ‘Shark Tank’ style presentation.
NTI’s donation will fund two research grants for Dr Shu Ngo and Dr Adam Walker at The University of Queensland. Dr Ngo was also named the recipient of the 2021 Charcot Award which is presented to the highest ranked innovator grant applicant.
“Everyone is driven to see a world free of MND and funding from the NTI research grant gives young researchers an opportunity to push harder and go further with their ideas. That will be so valuable to finding a cure for MND and I feel humbled and privileged to be able to carry out this research,” Dr Ngo said.
“With these funds, we will be embarking on a research project that is the first of its kind for MND. Using mini 3D spinal cords that we have generated from MND patient skin cells, we will study how neurons and their support cells interact over time to give us insights into how we can save neurons.”
MND and Me CEO Jane Milne said Motor Neurone Disease claims the lives of two Australians every day.
“There are currently more than 2,100 Australians living with MND and the disease can affect adults of any age,” Ms Milne said.
“The commitment NTI has shown to funding MND research is unique in Australia and means researchers can continue their work to find a cure or effective treatment for MND. These two grants have been awarded to researchers who are in the process of moving to clinical trials and are finding promise in treatments in mouse models, or who are working towards a better understanding of the cause of MND.”
NTI CEO Tony Clark said “Black Beauty” was the third truck NTI had restored since 2016 to fundraise for MND research.
“NTI is committed to supporting MND research in honour of our late CEO Wayne Patterson who was diagnosed with the condition in 2015 and tragically lost his battle soon after,” Mr Clark said.
“This research grant is about supporting research but also promoting awareness of MND, of which two Australians are diagnosed every day.
“NTI will continue its support of this incredibly worthy cause and has plans to restore another truck in 2021.”