Join the Miles for Miracles trek—Japan 2019

Eight per cent* of Australian babies are born prematurely and many others will experience complications while they are still in the womb. Parents of these tiny, vulnerable babies face days, weeks and sometimes months of worry and uncertainty.

But luckily for these parents, Mater is leading the way in maternity care and life-saving neonatal research for women and families across Queensland and beyond.

And you can help too.

Join the Miles for Miracles: Japan Trek 2019 and help give the best possible start to life for all babies born and cared for at Mater.

By fundraising through Mater Foundation Brisbane in the lead up to the trek in May 2019, you’ll be supporting Associate Professor Paul Dawson and Dr Elizabeth Hurrion and their world-first research into magnesium sulphate therapy, and how it’s been shown to reduce the risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in pre-term infants.

So what is this adventure?

It’s your chance to explore Japan’s fascinating history and unique culture on a 12-day journey through one of the historic highways of Japan—the Nakasendo, known as ‘the road through the mountains’.

Best of all, every mile you trek helps raise vital funds for research to improve the odds for babies born prematurely.

Mater researchers Associate Professor Paul Dawson and Dr Elizabeth Hurrion are working to correlate nutrient sulphate levels with developmental outcomes in pre-term infants to help the one in 16 pre-term babies who face impairment.

To prove a link between a baby’s sulphate levels and a cerebral palsy diagnosis, Associate Professor Dawson and Dr Hurrion need to recruit 1500 babies. They’ve already recruited close to 1000 babies to date, but are desperately running out of funds.

Associate Professor Dawson and Dr Hurrion urgently need to fund the next stage of the study, which will recruit another 500 infants to ensure this is a statistically viable clinical study.

If the hypothesis of sulfate neuroprotection is proven, then neonatal sulfate supplementation could become a simple and effective, low-cost, low-risk intervention available to all preterm infants to improve their chances of a normal neurodevelopmental outcome.

By supporting this research—you will be part of a giant leap forward in minimising the impact of cerebral palsy.

You’ll be joined on the trek by Associate Professor Paul Dawson—one of the leaders of this study. 

Find out more and join the trek here, or show your support by making a donation.

*Source: Better Health Victoria 2018

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