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Community & Business

14 August, 2023

GHS helps Jeans 4 Genes ‘Return and Earn’!

It’s the 22nd year Gilgandra will be rallying to support Jeans 4 Genes Day next week, so why not reflect on where the $100,000 we’ve raised so far as a community goes.

By Emily Middleton

We are reminded every year - one in every 20 children face a birth defect or genetic disease.

There are over 6000 different known genetic diseases, yet most of them are poorly understood and so far, most have no specific treatments or cures. The money we raise as a community goes towards research at the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) into these diseases.

As the fundraising organisation Jeans 4 Genes states, “with one simple injection, these kids can be cured - no surgery, no long-term treatment plan - and that’s a vision worth realising”. Just recently, in the first study of its kind, a team of scientists at CMRI are a step closer to developing a more universal gene therapy that can be used in all patients impacted by the devastating condition, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Just one example of the ground- breaking work all the efforts of fundraising is going towards.

CMRI are leaders in the world of cancer research, a dis- ease we can all relate to, albeit heartbreaking. In 2021, 57 per cent of the $36.1 million raised went to cancer research. This is an outstanding amount, substantially outweighing neurobiology, genomics, and embryology.

Bringing it back home, just next week our very own Jenny Johnston is leading another year of local Jeans 4 Genes Day fundraising, but she wants to acknowledge the hard-working team and supporters behind her.

This year for the first time, Gilgandra High School has implemented can and bottle recycling bins, specifically for collecting recycling to be taken to Return and Earn. It was an initiative set up by the Student Representative Council, that last year asked if the school could obtain the bins, and this year it has been set up. This initiative to collect recycling among the community has been going on for a few years, and Ms Johnston says it’s the efforts of her sister Kay Harris doing the ‘dirty work’ that makes it all possible.

“I collect the cans and bottles and my sister Kay does most of her sorting and counting in her backyard. I could- n’t do the recycling without her support,” said Ms Johnson.

“I am so thankful to the businesses and locals who gen- erously donate to us instead of cashing them in. Over a year, the amount raised is amazing and has now become part of our overall fundraising that continues all year round.”

This year you’ll be able to find Lynnette Ridges’ iconic Jeans 4 Genes cupcakes, and any other cooking the com- munity is willing to donate to the fundraiser. 

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