18 April 2019

A red vintage truck named ‘Roxy’ is helping drive research to find a cure for motor neurone disease.

The 1946 Ford Jailbar is being raffled by National Transport Insurance (NTI) to raise funding for its partnership with the MND and Me Foundation, which supports motor neurone disease (MND) research at UQ.

UQ School of Biomedical Sciences Associate Professor Trent Woodruff was awarded a grant to continue his research into the immune response of MND.

“Neuroinflammation is implicated in a range of conditions including MND and Parkinson’s disease”, Dr Woodruff said.

“It’s the right process happening at the wrong time.

“We’re studying how we think the immune system goes awry in diseases like MND, and the ways we can interrupt this process and reduce the progression of this disease.

“This funding provides us with the ability to conduct research that is essential to progress new therapies to clinical trials.

“MND research is where cancer research was 20 years ago - with continued funding and research, we may make great strides in tackling this disease and eventually eradicating it.”

Raffle ticket sales from NTI’s Truck Restoration Series have so far raised $55,000 for motor neurone disease research, with Roxy’s draw occurring on the final day of the Brisbane Truck Show in May.

The vintage trucks are provided and restored by NTI, specialist commercial vehicle insurers, in memory of the former CEO Wayne Patterson who died from MND in October 2018.

Following his diagnosis in 2015, Mr Patterson raised awareness of the disease and funding for a cure.

There is currently no cure for MND, a rapidly progressing neurological disorder that attacks the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which has an average life expectancy after diagnosis of three years.

Sean Dorney was diagnosed with MND two years ago and said research was vital.

“At the moment, every three weeks I go into hospital for three to four hours for an infusion that supports the immune system,” he said.

“Hopefully research can work out what goes on and how to slow it down or maybe even stop it.”

The current prize truck is a vintage 1946 Ford Jailbar.

Tickets are available at rafflelink.com.au/mndandme2019

Media: Associate Professor Trent Woodruff, t.woodruff@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 2924; Faculty of Medicine Communications; med.media@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 5118.