We are not alone in our mission.
Indeed, Parkinson’s disease affects people of all colours, on all continents, and of almost all ages (including, even, children in some cases of early-onset PD). The single most significant risk factor is age, to which no-one on the planet is immune. Given the global scope of the problem, it should be no surprise that there are organisations like ours all over the world.
We believe it is our responsibility to spend the charitable dollars we raise responsibly, in the pursuit of our goal of a cure. To that end, we are working closely with like-minded organisations in the UK, US and Australia to identify opportunities where we can make the biggest possible impact on the lives of those with this awful disease.
The Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland has been a key partner of Cure Parkinson’s NZ/NRCT from our inception. Indeed, it was Professor Maurice Curtis’s charismatic enthusiasm for his research on brain diseases that led our founder Bernie Crosby to set up a trust to raise funds so that this work could continue at pace.
Since 2013, we have had a special relationship with Professor Curtis and Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull, KNZM, ONZM, BMedSc MBChB Otago, PhD DSc, FRSNZ, both of whom are recognised internationally as leading experts on the inner workings of the human brain and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. We are privileged to have worked so closely for so long with these world-class scientists in the pursuit of a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
To the end of 2022, we have funded or committed to fund a total of $2.3M for research conducted at the Centre for Brain Research. We are proud that, with the help of our generous supporters, the Neuro Research Charitable Trust has been included as members of the Sir George Fowlds Society of the Chancellor’s Circle which recognises gifts between $1M and $5M to the University of Auckland.
Although our aspirations continue to grow and our perspective has broadened to a global one, with key global partnerships, the Centre for Brain Research will remain a key partner for Cure Parkinson’s NZ as we work together to better understand and treat Parkinson’s disease.
What’s in a name? Quite a lot as it turns out. With a change in leadership in late 2022, and a dream to “go big” in our assault on Parkinson’s disease, it was time for a new name that clearly captured our mission. And what could be better than the name already in use by a UK charitable trust: Cure Parkinson’s?
We were therefore thrilled to establish a meaningful, collaborative, strategic partnership with Cure Parkinson’s, the operating name of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, a charity registered in the UK, in late 2022. Cure Parkinson’s share our vision of a world without Parkinson’s and are key drivers of international collaborations and funding of clinical trials that have the potential to slow, stop or reverse the progression of Parkinson’s. They established and continue to lead the International Linked Clinical Trials (iLCT) programme, a drug-repurposing initiative that prioritizes promising drugs for testing in clinical trials. The problem of Parkinson’s disease is truly a global one and the solution will come from strategic and collaborative coordination of global efforts to find a cure.
This partnership brings us into a global collective of organisations singularly and tirelessly focused on finding a cure for this insidious disease. Through it, we have the opportunity to multiply our own funds and leverage matched funding from partner organisations to accelerate clinical research and the process of getting new drugs approved for patients with Parkinson’s. The partnership with Cure Parkinson’s was a key first step in our rebranding, and we are hugely grateful to the fabulous team there, especially CEO Will Cook, Deputy CEO Helen Matthews, and Director of Research Dr Simon Stott (a fellow kiwi) for their welcoming enthusiasm in graciously allowing us to adopt our new name, Cure Parkinson’s NZ.
We look forward to working closely with Cure Parkinson’s and their iLCT partners to help shape and drive research toward a cure.
Although it was founded only two years before Neuro Research Charitable Trust, Shake It Up Australia Foundation, across the Tasman, have had some phenomenal success raising A$22M for Parkinson’s Research in 12 years. We are therefore thrilled to have had the opportunity to tap into their collective knowledge and experience in order to hopefully emulate some of that success here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Shake It Up Australia Foundation are long-term members of the iLCT initiative led by Cure Parkinson’s, and we look forward to working closely with them toward our common goal and as part of a global consortium of similar organisations.
We are immensely grateful to founder Clyde Campbell and Executive General Manager Vicky Miller for the support they have already shown us and the insights and knowledge shared.
We also wish to acknowledge the vital work done by other New Zealand organisations with whom we have formed meaningful collaborative relationships for mutual benefit.
Parkinson’s NZ performs an essential role in the community supporting people with Parkinson’s and their carers through the delivery of information, education and support. Their Parkinson’s Educators can provide home visits for personalised sessions, and they also offer support groups for members to share coping strategies and experiences, and to establish social networks.
We see this work as vital and complementary to our work in shaping and driving research for a cure, and we are pleased to be engaging with Parkinson’s NZ for the good of all with this awful disease.
The Neurological Foundation is one of the largest funders of neurological research in New Zealand, and is the naming and foundational sponsor of the Human Brain Bank housed at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research. We believe our success is their success as well, and we are pleased to be engaging with the Neurological Foundation to ensure that we are utilizing our charitable donations to best effect.