Wipeout Dementia raises $2.5m for Alzheimer's research

1 month ago
2 minutes

Despite adverse weather conditions, sporting celebrities and property industry executives came together on the 5th of April to raise funds for Alzheimer's research. Wipeout Dementia, an initiative led by the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW Sydney, managed to raise $265,000, bringing the total funds raised from this annual event to over $2.5 million for The Dementia Momentum.

Representatives from over 30 organisations in the property industry, including Buildcorp, Avenor, AWM, and Colliers, braved the wet weather to participate in this crucial fundraising endeavour.

“Reducing the social impact of this disease has reached a critical point,” said Professor Henry Brodaty, Co-Director of CHeBA.

Emphasising the urgent need to fund research into dementias, including Alzheimer's disease, he highlighted that dementia diagnoses have surged from 44 million to 57 million since the inception of the initiative - a number that is only set to rise without medical breakthroughs.

Among the attendees were 1999 World Surfing Champion Mark Occhilupo and Olympic Bronze Medalist Owen Wright. They joined Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew, a long-time ambassador for the event, in expressing their support for individuals diagnosed with dementia and advocating for increased support for research efforts.

Owen Wright in Wipeout Dementia

“Despite the prevalence, research funding for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias remains disproportionately underfunded,” said Professor Perminder Sachdev, Co-Director of CHeBA. 

He added that the funds raised by Wipeout Dementia play a crucial role in supporting research, specifically the development of biomarkers for predicting the progression of dementia.

The fundraising event also honoured top contributors, with a Mark Richards surfboard, the ‘Gnarly Award’, going to Michael Gordon, General Manager of Buildcorp Interiors. Gordon, in his third win, raised over $36,000 personally and led his team to raise over $71,000 cumulatively.

Other top fundraisers, Mick Café of Buildcorp, Mark Gross of Morgans, Avenor Director Peter Clemesha, and David Kemp of Buildcorp Interiors, who each raised over $10,000, were awarded a DHD surfboard signed by Bartholomew, Wright, and Occhilupo.

The Surf Off championship team, captained by Avenor Director Peter Clemesha, emerged victorious in this year's competition, building upon the success of previous events and further solidifying industry support for cutting-edge dementia research.

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