Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Winter 2014 Issue
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A lifetime of service to charity

Jean Dunlop

Jean Dunlop

The tragedy of losing five children to cystic fibrosis fuelled Jean Dunlop's lifetime commitment to support research into childhood disease prevention.

Jean and husband Hugh discovered they were carriers of the fatal disease with the diagnosis of their first child Helen. She died at just two years of age along with newborn twins Hugh and Jean, 11-year-old David, and Joanne, aged 23.
When Joanne was in the later stages of the disease, she suggested they open a second-hand shop to raise money for research. For more than 20 years Jean continued to run the shop and in 1992 was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the Cystic Fibrosis Association.

"She was a strong, determined person," says Gloria Kirk, Jean's niece. "You would never have known that she had suffered those tragedies - she was always laughing and happy."

And she kept giving. The year before she died Jean saw a TV news item about the work of the first Florey Fellow, Dr Annette Osei-Kumah, who was undertaking research into improving the health of pregnant asthmatic women. It struck a chord with Jean as an important area of research that would benefit pregnant mothers and their babies. She decided that her legacy should be directed towards the Florey Medical Research Foundation.

In 2012, her bequest directly benefited postdoctoral researcher Dr Kathleen Pishas who is researching therapeutic treatments for Ewing sarcoma--a very rare, solid bone cancer that disproportionally affects the young. "It's so aggressive, patients have to go through 42 weeks of chemotherapy, with up to seven different drugs, followed by surgery and sometimes radiation," says Kathleen. "I don't see what I do as a job, I see it as a cause--my aim is to leave my footprint and know that I had a purpose. We can only make little footsteps but with the generosity of the community we can really make leaps and strides."

Professor David Callen, Director of the Centre for Personalised Cancer Medicine, says they are grateful for bequests and donations that allow them to keep researchers like Kathleen on board. "We are the only group in Australia researching Ewing sarcoma and we live or die on grants, but the rarer cancers don't have a high profile when it comes to funding," he says.

As a result of the Fellowship, Kathleen will continue her postdoctoral research into Ewing sarcoma at an overseas posting later this year.

story by Genevieve Sanchez

Please help us to continue our work

A gift or bequest, no matter how large or small, is an effective way of advancing medical research--a gift that creates something of everlasting significance and importance. The Florey Medical Research Foundation welcomes gifts and bequests of all sizes and these may be directed to a specific area of research.

For bequests
Contact the University of Adelaide's Planned Giving Officer Sue Fox on +61 8 8313 3234, email or visit

For gifts
Contact the Florey Medical Research Foundation on +61 8 8313 3995 or visit


Media Contact:
Mrs Genevieve Sanchez
Communications Co-ordinator
Stakeholder Relations
Business: 08 8313 8063