MJD Foundation

Newmans Own 2012

Newmans Own Foundation



The MJD Foundation (MJDF) is very excited to have received a $50,000 grant from the US-based Newman's Own Foundation, the private foundation established by the late actor Paul Newman. This is the second grant received from Newman's Own Foundation (the first being in 2010 for $40,000 for rollout of services across the top end). 

MJDF Executive Officer, Nadia Lindop, said " It is difficult to accurately predict the number of people who will develop MJD in the future but there are currently more than 550 people alive today at risk of developing the disease across the Top End".

"MJD was previously thought to have been introduced by Portuguese sailors and traders, but earlier this year a research paper was published that shows the Arnhem Land communities have the more aggressive Joseph strain that is of Asian origin. This explains why we are seeing more children with the disease, and we have sad cases of children as young as 12 now exhibiting symptoms." said Ms Lindop.

"From the onset of symptoms, progression to dependence is rapid and most people are wheelchair bound and fully dependent within 10 -15 years."

According to Ms Lindop, the grant will be used to provide medical and education support for Indigenous Australian children affected by the disease in communities across the top end of the Northern Territory (especially in Groote Eylandt, Elcho Island, Ngukurr and Yirrkala).

"Thanks to the Newman's Own Foundation grant we will be able to provide better support to another 25 Indigenous Australian children affected by MJD, including the supply of medical equipment such as wheelchairs and electric beds and the use of iPads for better communication and social and emotional wellbeing."

Altogether Newman's Own Foundation will donate more than $1 million to Australian charities in 2012.