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This year, a committee of NAB’s graduate intake in Sydney voted on HRI as their charity of choice and put together an impressive program of fundraising activities.

So far, NAB has fielded a team in the City 2 Surf on 11 August and fundraised at a table tennis competition. There’s plenty more to come in the months ahead, including office activities such as bake sales and a health check drive for World Heart Day.

A team of 14 of the NAB graduate fundraisers recently came to spend a day with HRI to understand first-hand the impact of their support. To start with, they donated blood for stroke research. Many of the experiments looking at blood clotting carried out by our Thrombosis Group require blood to be less than a few hours old. The experiments are conducted in a warm room, continuously heated to 37°C, to ensure the blood stays at the same temperature as it would have been in the body. Whilst some of the team gave blood, others peppered the surrounding Sydney University and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital areas with flyers and notices to attract more much-needed blood donors.

The blood donation was followed by a tour of our labs and a talk on the work that the Thrombosis Group is doing to develop a new anti-clotting drug to improve stroke recovery and survival. All funds raised by the NAB team will contribute to this research project. As well as learning about the science up close, the NAB team built their relationship with the Thrombosis Group, many of whom also ran in the City 2 Surf to raise funds.

In the afternoon, the team turned their creativity and powers of persuasion to fundraising and unleashed themselves on our Newtown surroundings with collection tins and items from HRI to trade for donations.

We selected HRI because many of us had an interest in science from university days, and then chose the Thrombosis Group to support in particular because of the dire need for new stroke treatments, and the potential for their research to fill that gap. Spending a day at HRI really helped bring the science to life” says Connie Kuo, who leads the graduate committee of fundraisers.

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