Cure the Future has lost a great friend and founding Vice-Patron with the recent passing of Mr Bryce Courtenay AM. He was not only Australia’s most popular and successful author, but many were unaware that he was also a passionate supporter of medical research. He firmly believed that discoveries based on careful medical research could change the world and that individual commitment was the means to achieve this.
He was the embodiment of ‘The Power of One’. One of Bryce’s earliest books published in 1993 was written during his grief at the loss of his beloved son, Damon, who suffered from severe haemophilia through which he acquired the AIDS virus. Damon died on the 1st April 1991 and the tragedy of his torment was captured in the title of the book ‘April Fool’s Day’. It was during his son’s final illness that I came to know Bryce Courtenay and we became close friends forever.
Once Bryce came to understand the possibilities of using gene therapy to cure this major bleeding disorder he instantly offered to support the Foundation financially and to supporting its fundraising efforts. He generously gave his time and famously brought a room full of supporters to tears when he told the story of his life and why he supported Cure the Future. He was passionate about changing the world and seeking a future where there was less suffering – in particular from diseases like haemophilia.
He provided encouragement and resolute support for the Foundation including through donations from the proceeds of his books. This great Australian will be sorely missed by his wife, Christine, his family and all those who knew and loved him.
John EJ Rasko AO