Tragically, in February this year, 26 year old Maddie Riewoldt lost her 5 year battle with aplastic anaemia, a rare disorder in which the body’s bone marrow fails to make enough new blood cells. To honour their daughter and sister’s fight, the Riewoldt family has partnered with Snowdome to establish ‘Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision’ (MRV) to raise funds with the aim to find a cure.
Aplastic anaemia is not a blood cancer, it is a Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome. However, within the world of haematology, aplastic anaemia and Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes are considered part of the blood cancer spectrum and patients receive similar treatments to those with blood cancers.
It is because of this that the Riewoldt family and the Snowdome Foundation have partnered together to ‘power’ Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision to raise urgent funds to ‘make hope real’ for patients with blood cancers and diseases. Similar to Snowdome, MRV has been set up in Maddie’s memory to continue her steadfast commitment to become an advocate for Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes.
Maddie wanted to bring awareness of this disease to the forefront. She fought against the disease for five years with a strength that left everyone who came in contact with Maddie in complete and utter awe. It was a disease that completely ravaged her body and ultimately claimed her life. Maddie was determined she would make a difference.
Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision has been established to help adolescents and young adults suffering from Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes through research and providing support into treatments, prevention and with an aim to find a cure.
Raising funds for this purpose will help keep her fight alive. Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome is a misunderstood area amongst the general public and desperately needs more research. In lieu of Maddie not being able to continue her fight, the Riewoldt family, through MRV, and Snowdome, are going to do it for her.
Maddie loved life’s simple things – sport, the beach, her dog and her family. Maddie was also stubborn, determined, extremely loyal and strong. She battled Aplastic Anemia for 5 years enduring countless blood transfusions, intrusive medical procedures, two bone marrow transplants and seven months in hospital. Maddie hated the illness with a vengeance as it took away everything she loved.
Speaking about his brave sister, Nick Riewoldt, captain of the St Kilda AFL Football Club, says “we don’t want to see another person go through what Maddie did. It was Maddie’s wish to speak to those suffering with the disease, as well as the general public, to raise awareness of Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes. We must make her wish come true and continue her fight”.
MRV is the only organisation focusing on adolescents and young adults with Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes in Australia. The Vision aims to raise $1 million in their first year and $8 million over 5 years.
About Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes:
Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes is a misunderstood area amongst the general public and is in desperate need of more research.
Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes is more common in adolescents and young adults (aged 17-40) and is a grossly underserviced area in relation to research. Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes impacts the lives of those with the condition on a daily basis.
Professor David Ritchie, a Haematologist and Bone Marrow transplant specialist at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Board Member of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision and Maddie’s doctor for her seven months in hospital explains the impact of Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes.
“Put simply, the bone marrow is a complex organ and one that is as vital and as critical as the heart. Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes are a collection of medical conditions where the bone marrow stops working – resulting in abnormalities of the blood including severe anemia, increased risk of severe infections and bleeding.
All Bone Marrow Failures Syndromes are due to a failure of the bone marrow stem cells and may be acquired (affecting a previously normal marrow) or inherited. Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes occur when the bone marrow cells have been damaged or have been attacked by the immune system.”
To donate to Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, please click here or SMS ‘Maddie’ to 0437 371 371.
Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision is an initiative of the Snowdome Foundation. #FightLikeMaddie
Nick and Jack Riewoldt (cousin of Maddie), on behalf of MRV, have combined forces to announce that Maddie’s two favourite AFL teams, St Kilda and Richmond, who both feature a Riewoldt up forward, have united in support and will play in ‘Maddie’s Match’ when the two teams clash on Sunday 19th July, 4.40pm at Etihad Stadium.
‘Maddie’s Match’, is the first major fundraiser of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision and $5 of every ticket purchased for the match will go towards Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision.
St Kilda, Richmond and the AFL are calling on all footy fans to support Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, attend the match and wear purple – Maddie’s favourite colour.
To purchase tickets click here – ‘Maddie’s Match’