During September, MS Research Australia will be working with the Include a Charity campaign to highlight the vital role that bequests play in our community. In particular how incredibly valuable a bequest to MS Research Australia is to ensure vital MS research can be funded and the value of creating a lasting contribution towards a world free from MS.
No matter how large or small, a bequest to MS Research Australia will make a difference. It will allow Australia’s leading MS researchers to focus their attention on finding the cause and cure for MS. Medical research is moving rapidly and each new discovery takes us closer to a world free of MS.
Maureen T. Corrigan, author and MS Research Australia supporter, recently spoke to us about her mother, Noeleen’s motivation to include MS Research Australia in her Will. Maureen was a medical practitioner, working in a broad range of healthcare roles, from general practitioner to CEO, and retired early because of her MS. She was diagnosed with secondary progressive MS in 2006 and that was when her new life started. Maureen began to pursue her other passions, especially travel and writing. She wrote articles for the Victorian Government Office for Disability and a book about travelling with a mobility scooter which has just been published, Unexpected Rewards: Travelling to the Arctic with a Mobility Scooter.
Maureen said ‘I was very touched by my mother’s bequest to MS Research Australia. I knew she cared about me and she tried to do everything she could to help me with all aspects of my life. Her donations took things to another level for me. Mum was doing the best she possibly could for me even after her death’.
Maureen’s brothers, Dennis and Phillip Corrigan, also spoke of the caring and positive person that their Mum was. They said ‘Mum was very positive and encouraging, full of hope and support. She wanted her bequest to contribute to research to help others with MS. She said ‘Inch by inch anything is a cinch’ and hoped her contribution would allow even a small inroad into breaking down MS.’
‘Mum would have wanted her bequest to help people living with MS to be more informed and encourage them to be positive that someday through everyone’s contributions however large or small, bit by bit, inch by inch, the eventual cause and cure gets closer by the day.’
When re-arranging her finances, Maureen also made the decision to donate to MS Research Australia via regular monthly contributions. Maureen thought more seriously about which groups she would regularly support and came up with five different organisations in various sectors. MS Research Australia was one of them.
Expert commentators in philanthropy have noted that there are very strong links between bequests and medical research, particularly from those affected by the disease. Many bequestors noted that their motivation was to ‘ensure that others affected didn’t have to go through the same thing.’ While this desire for bequests to support medical research is strong, a recent analysis of the nationwide bequest income received by Australian MS charities revealed that 96.3% was bequeathed to critical MS services whilst 3.7% was bequeathed directly to MS research.
Maureen felt that she was aligned with MS Research Australia in a number of ways. She commented ‘I had MS, I was a doctor with a science background, and evidence-based research and treatments were important to me. I also enjoyed reading about the research that was happening. It gave me hope that maybe one day the progression of my MS could be stopped completely or that something could be found to reverse the effects. Even if it wasn’t me that MS Research Australia helped, it would be able to help others in the future.’
‘MS Research Australia provides hope and information. Hope for the future that our MS might improve or stop progressing permanently. Information, so that we better understand what we are dealing with. Knowledge is power’.
If you would like more details about leaving a bequest to MS Research Australia, please call Neil Robertson on 1300 356 467, request a brochure or visit www.msra.org.au/bequest