You may remember 41-year-old father-of-two Gerry Roussianos and his loving wife Theonie who last year shared their heartbreaking story of Gerry being diagnosed with atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (aHUS). You can read his story here.

aHUS is an extremely rare, life-threatening blood disease which affects one-in-two million Australians. Caused by chronic activation of the complement system, (part of the immune system) the disease severely damages the body’s vital organs including the kidneys, heart and brain.

“I can’t quite believe what has happened in just eight months. One moment I was working, playing my regular game of soccer and celebrating my 40th birthday with family and friends; next I was desperately ill in hospital,” Gerry said.

Determined not to let aHUS control their lives, Theonie decided to dedicate her time to raising awareness for this horrible disease while directing funds to support research through our affiliate Kidney, Transpant and Diabetes Research Australia.

On October 21 2017, Theonie organised the inaugural aHUS Awareness Ball, raising almost $50,000 – an incredible fundraising achievement for KTDRA. These vital funds will go towards research to improve lives of everyday Australians living with chronic diseases like Gerry.

“I have met some wonderful people in different circles since Gerry’s diagnosis including patients and hearing their stories motivated me to do more and made me realise that this is bigger than us. My mother-in-law had diabetes and it seemed everywhere I went, I was constantly meeting people who were affected by diabetes or kidney disease,” Theonie explained.

“It made me realise the importance of research not only for our family, but the community.”

Theonie is already planning the next aHUS Awareness Ball to continue raising vital funds in the hope to save not only Gerry’s life, but all Australians living with chronic kidney disease, and diabetes illnesses.

“Medicine has come a long way in the last 50 years and with the generous support of everyone who donated and attended the event, I hope that collectively, we can make a real impact into the future for all patients.”

Thank you to Theonie for her incredible fundraising efforts – all funds raised from the aHUS Awareness Ball will go towards eliminating kidney disease and diabetes!

If you would like to know how you can host your own fundraiser and raise funds so our researchers continue their fight of improving the lives of everyday Australians please click here.


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