Widow raises funds for research

A FORMER Maryborough man’s family is raising funds for research into the disease he suffered from for much of his life before he died at the age of 57 last year.

Bev Harvey said her husband Alan grew up in Brooweena and attended Maryborough Boys High School. His father Len was Woocoo shire chairman for many years while his sister Cecily Fielding still lived in Maryborough.

She said in his 30s, Alan was diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency which is characterised by low levels of antibodies and an increased susceptibility to infections.

It was successfully treated for 10 years until he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

Immune system suppression wasn’t a suitable treatment for him, resulting in a steady physical decline and culminating in his death in August last year.

In memory of him, Bev is aiming to raise $100,000 in the next few years and already has almost $50,000 in the kitty.

“Al worked long hours all his life and in the end didn’t get to enjoy a retirement and his superannuation,” she said.

“So I wanted to do something for him as a memorial to his example of courage, strength, perseverance and achievement, and hopefully to help prevent the following generations from suffering as he did.”

Alan studied forestry at the Australian National University and it is ANU researchers who will benefit from the Alan Harvey CVID Research Endowment.

In the first instance, it will fund genome sequencing, providing a foundation for further research on CVID causing genes.

“Results from the research will also be of benefit to other auto-immune diseases such as type one diabetes, lupus, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis,” Bev said.

For more information or to make a donation, go to www.anu.edu.au/endowment/alan.harvey.



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