Australia has some of the best MS researchers in the world. There are more than 900 researchers and clinicians working around Australia to help us better understand MS, dedicating their careers to solving this disease.
In the past decade the number of treatments available for MS have increased significantly, and while there is still a lot of work to do, we certainly have a better understanding of MS than we ever had before. This is simply because of the research that is being undertaken in Australia and around the world.
Each year Kiss Goodbye to MS raises in excess of $1 million to accelerate Australian research into MS, and each year the campaign is launched with Red Lab Coat Day. Red Lab Coat Day is a chance for the MS community to say thanks to the unsung heroes of the sector. To thank the incredible minds that work day in and day out to bring us closer to the cures for MS.
Red Lab Coat Day asks our researchers to switch their traditional white lab coats for our bright red Kiss Goodbye to MS coats and upload a picture with the hashtag #RedLabCoatDay to social media. Universities and institutions around Australia got on board with more than 200 researchers proudly donning a red coat on May 1. This is a fun way for researchers to be involved with Kiss Goodbye to MS and raise awareness for the importance of the work they are doing.
As Kiss Goodbye to MS has become a global campaign, interest has grown in Red Lab Coat Day. We are excited that this year our friends in New Zealand and Ireland joined us for the first ever Global Red Lab Coat Day. More than 300 researchers from New Zealand and Ireland participated, above and beyond the originally anticipated 60 participants!
Red Lab Coat Day is a chance for our often serious researchers to shine, showing us a glimpse of their true personalities. This year the pictures were better than ever! Two very brave male Monash University researchers even puckered up for the occasion, putting on red lipstick as well as their coats! We received great team photos, pictures of ‘superhero’ researchers and even photos reinventing the famous Beatles Abbey Road album cover.
Red Lab Coat Day isn’t just an opportunity for our researchers to connect with the Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign. It is a chance for the MS community to say thanks. Each year on Red Lab Coat Day Kiss Goodbye to MS fundraisers and supporters send messages of support and thanks to the researchers who are working hard to find a cure. While Red Lab Coat Day is a fun way to launch the Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign, it is also a reminder of the incredible brain power that goes into the work every day, with the sole intention of making the lives of people with MS better.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit an MS research institution or meet one of our brilliant Aussie researchers, be sure to say thanks. It is these people who are changing the future of what a diagnosis with MS means.
And don’t be surprised if they are still wearing their Kiss Goodbye to MS red lab coat – they have become a permanent fixture in many of the labs!