Taking into account diabetes, that number increases to every 30 minutes.
Diagnosed with juvenile onset type 1 diabetes at the age of five, Brad has faced a lifetime of health complications.
“In about 1996 I showed signs of vision deterioration and some kidney disease, and I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy disease,” Brad says.
A few years later, Brad was told he could no longer drive due to serious vision problems. Devastated, Brad was forced to give up his career as a butcher.
Determined to make the best of things, Brad tried to stay as active as possible. But in 2002 he developed circulation issues that were diagnosed as peripheral artery disease (PAD).
PAD is a type of cardiovascular disease where blood flow to the limbs is reduced due to narrowed arteries. When circulation is cut off, the limb develops gangrene and starts to decay and die. The only treatment option is amputation to prevent the gangrene from spreading further in the body.
Brad’s doctors had no choice but to amputate his left leg below the knee. And just a few short years later, Brad also lost his right leg to this terrible disease.
PAD currently affects almost one in every five Australians, and that number is growing. New treatments to fight PAD and protect people from its devastating consequences are urgently needed.
Help protect people from limb amputation
We have made a groundbreaking discovery that could reverse the need for limb amputation in people living with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. With your support, we can take this research to the next phase and come closer to helping people like Brad.
HRI’s Dr Mary Kavurma has discovered that a molecule called TRAIL (Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand), which occurs naturally in the body, is suppressed in people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Importantly, increased levels of TRAIL can stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and dramatically improve blood flow to the limbs.
In cutting-edge research, we are working to identify a drug that improves TRAIL levels in people with PAD, so that new blood vessels can grow – meaning we could bypass the narrowed arteries and restore blood flow to the limbs.
Essentially, we could develop a better treatment for PAD that would help protect people like Brad from developing gangrene and prevent them from needing their limbs amputated. Your support is vital to achieving this life-changing goal.
But we can’t do it without you. Please help fund research to fight cardiovascular diseases like PAD, which touch our family, our friends and our community. Your generosity will help keep families healthy and together this Christmas.