Help Us Fund Lifesaving Medical Research
Your gift will assist in funding Dr. Cassandra Malecki’s Post Doctoral research for another year. This will help even more people like Paul and Simon.
Can we count on your support?
Listen to Professor Paul Bannon’s Appeal on 2GB Radio
Picture having a heart condition that you don’t even know about, feeling perfectly fine, yet having a “ticking time bomb” that can stop you dead in your tracks in an instant. It can happen at any time, at any place, to anyone.
But then, they almost died from a condition neither knew they had. Paul and Simon Molino are 39-year-old twin brothers, probably a lot like someone you know—a friend, a work colleague, or maybe someone closer. Or perhaps even you.
I am hoping that after you read their story, you can help. Here is their “twin” story, shared firsthand with us:
Paul & Simon's Story
“We’ve always been inseparable, from getting into trouble, to playing sports and holidaying together. Our wives joke that they didn’t just marry one of us, but both. Why would major heart surgery be any different?”
It started with my brother Paul, who suddenly felt a tear in his chest and severe chest pain while helping our parents at their new house. My family called an ambulance which took Paul to hospital, but because his ECG and bloods were fine, they discharged him. The following day he went to our GP because he was still in a lot of pain. The GP sent him straight to a cardiologist who found immediately that Paul had a Type A dissection and referred him to cardiothoracic surgeon, Prof Bannon, who saved his life with an emergency operation.
However, I didn’t take it seriously when medical professionals suggested I should also get checked…
Brothers Simon (l) & Paul (r) after recovering from lifesaving heart surgery
This situation could happen to any one of us and like Paul and Simon, we may not even know we have a heart condition – until it is too late. As a loyal and consistent donor, I am calling on you to support us once again, once you have read this letter, as we are currently conducting some ground-breaking aortic research.
Paul and Simon both had a Type A dissection, which occurs when the aorta stretches and develops an aneurysm, which often leads to a “dissection”- a sudden tearing of the layers in the aortic wall. Aortic dissections are often deadly.
The Baird Institute’s aim is to predict catastrophic events – like what happened to the Molino brothers – and provide personalised medicine and care based on a patient’s genetics and their environment. The only way to do this is to gather extensive information about patients and their families. This can be done via our linked clinical database and aortic and heart muscle biobank, which is a fantastic resource for predicting these tragic events AND is the only one of its type in the world – that we know of anyway! When we have this data, we are able to define an individual’s risk.
One of our Post-Doctoral Fellows, Dr Cassandra Malecki, is conducting vital research into Aortic aneurysm disease and the interaction between the aorta and the heart, BUT we need urgent funding to secure her position for a further 12 months, at least. By supporting Dr Malecki, you will directly contribute to research projects using vital patient data and human tissue samples, collected from our linked clinical database and biobank. The total amount required to fund her salary for one year is $127,000.
The more we understand what is happening at a molecular level with these diseases, the more that helps us develop different treatment and prevention options to extend the lifespan of patients (like Paul & Simon) with aortic or heart disease. Dr Malecki is doing some groundbreaking research and we do not want this to stop. Please help us to guarantee her salary for another year.
A Special Invitation from Dr. Malecki
I am extending a special invitation to you to join The Baird Institute for a Zoom session with me, Dr. Cassandra Malecki.
I am leading ground-breaking research into aortic disease, so I believe that everyone who contributes to The Baird Institute’s End of Financial Year Appeal, no matter the size of the donation, should have the opportunity to hear directly from me and learn about the impact of their contribution.
By supporting my post-doctoral research fellowship, you are contributing to research which is making a real difference in the lives of patients like Simon and Paul. Using patient data and human tissue samples collected from our linked clinical database and biobank, we can predict catastrophic events and define personalised treatments for these patients.
Your donation will directly contribute to my important work. I am very grateful for any support you can provide.
I know that many worthy causes compete for your attention and support, but I hope you believe, like I do, that our work is among the most important. If you can make a one-off donation or even consider becoming a monthly Partner in Research donor, before the 30th of June, I promise you that your gift will make a real impact on the lives of people like Paul and Simon and their families. They always did things together prior to the dissection and because of your support they can continue to do so.
Paul & Simon felt perfectly fit and healthy, but they were not. This is one of the many reasons The Baird Institute’s medical research is so important. It allowed Paul to be a “warning beacon” to his brother Simon, thus saving his life. We can’t continue to provide the best possible care and predict outcomes if we don’t continue to pursue and advance our research. While often time-consuming with slow incremental progress, this research is critical to provide the best medical outcomes. We mustn’t stop now.
Please support Dr Malecki’s research by giving a generous gift before the 30th of June so that her work can continue unhindered. As you know. all donations are tax-deductible.
With much thanks for all that you make possible and for your generous and loyal support to date.
Professor Paul Bannon PhD MB BS FRACS
Chair, The Baird Institute