Jeans for Genes
Jeans for Genes Day is a national fund-raiser held in Australia and the United Kingdom. The two fund-raisers are not associated with one another and raise money for different institutes.
Jeans for Genes (Australia)
Jeans for Genes (Australia) was born out of a brainstorming session in 1994 to support research into genetic diseases, birth defects and cancers at Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI).
Today it is a much loved and recognised national day in the Australian calendar. Jeans for Genes Day is held on the first Friday in August each year and continues to be a major fund-raiser of CMRI. On this day, people are asked to wear their jeans and donate to support research at CMRI.
All money raised by Jeans for Genes goes directly to CMRI to make sure valuable research into conditions like epilepsy, cancer and birth defects can continue.
1 in 20 Australians are born with a birth defect or genetic disease.
Since the campaign started it has raised more than $60 million in support of CMRI.
Jeans for Genes (United Kingdom)
Jeans for Genes (United Kingdom) is a national children’s charity, which raises money for the care of children and families who are affected by genetic disorders. Jeans for Genes Day is run by the UK charity Genetic Disorders UK.
Since it became a national appeal in 1996, Jeans for Genes Day has raised more than £35 million.
Genetic disorders affect 1 in 25 people born in the UK and include conditions such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia and muscular dystrophy. Their associated health problems mean that genetic disorders are the biggest cause of death of children aged 14 years and under in the UK.
The charity’s main fund-raising event is Jeans for Genes Day which takes place on Friday 19 September in 2014. Millions of people across the UK make a small donation to wear their jeans to work and to school. Supporters are able to register for a free fund-raising pack.
The money raised is distributed through the Jeans for Genes Grant Programme for care services for children and information and support for families. Funding from the appeal was key in the development of gene therapy at the UCL Institute of Child Health at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, which has since[when?] cured ten children of the life-threatening condition X-linked severe combined immune deficiency X-SCID or ‘baby in the bubble’ syndrome.
The charity also aims to raise awareness and understanding of genetics and what it means to live with a genetic disorder. It provides educational materials for schools through a dedicated website called Genes Are Us.