Major Donors

A major gift has a real chance of achieving something very special for our children.

There is a constant need for research-led solutions to conditions that rob young New Zealanders of a healthy childhood. Did you know that

  • 100 children die as a result of inherited heart conditions every year, often suddenly and unexpectedly
  • Each year, 40,000 children are hospitalised for conditions with a social gradient, i.e. children from lower-income families experience a disproportionately large burden of these conditions
  • Approximately 800 babies are born very pre-term every year (before 32 weeks), predisposing them to known long-term adverse health outcomes
  • 1 in 4 children will experience a mental health condition, while 80% will not receive the treatment they need
  • 320 babies are stillborn, with little known about how to prevent this loss of life
  • One in 30 children are born with a congenital malformation of which a number significantly impact the child’s quality of life

New Zealand is fortunate to have a wealth of world-class and world-leading child health researchers; almost all of whom struggle to secure the funding needed to convert their expertise and innovative ideas into new evidence-based preventative interventions, treatments, and cures.

We see this on an annual basis, where compelling and potentially high-impact research cannot be supported due to the limited funds available. We also see promising young New Zealand researchers forced to go (or stay) overseas due to a lack of funding to support their career development and research aspirations.

Cure Kids’ ability to extend gains across a wider range of conditions affecting children in New Zealand is limited by one thing; the availability of funds.


Our donors are remarkable philanthropists who make a huge difference

They let us tackle the hardest issues facing a healthy childhood for everyone and fund the most innovative projects and research studies.

Rod and Patricia Duke:

“Cure Kids is a wonderful organisation carrying out world-class work. We were thrilled to enable their 4th University Chair (The Duke Family Cure Kids Chair of Child and Adolescent Mental Health), which meets a significant need to understand and find interventions for our vulnerable youth. We are kept fully informed of progress and innovations in this area and are very respectful of the integrity shown in the Cure Kids governance.”

Kent and Gaye Gardner:

“We were very moved by the reality of the effect of Batten’s disease on both the children and their families. It is exciting that Cure Kids has funded research that has led to ground-breaking results which could eventually led to a cure.”

Charmiane Nausbaum:

“The work that Cure Kids has funded over time has meant that my granddaughter, who was born with a hole in her heart, survived birth and the subsequent operations necessary to give her the chance of a normal life.”

Geoff Sewell and Simone Lanham:

“Cure Kids rock! They do amazing work and make a significant difference to the world at large”

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

– Winston Churchill

The lives that have already been improved or saved through the breakthroughs that Cure Kids has helped deliver, demonstrate the importance of major gifts.

A recent independent impact evaluation of Cure Kids funded research found the following:

Impact on Unborn Babies

  • First ever case-controlled study on maternal sleep position, contributing to a 40% reduction in stillbirth rates
  • Examining the impact of methadone treatment on unborn babies changed policy on methadone treatment levels in NZ and internationally
  • Understanding hormonal and metabolic factors involved in intrauterine growth restriction in unborn babies
  • Research showed for the first time that maternal smoking in pregnancy is a health risk for the baby resulting in significant policy changes

Impact on Infants

  • 200 sudden unexpected deaths in infancy (SUDI) prevented annually through the greater understanding of the risks associated with infant sleep position
  • Developed a method of screening new-born babies for cystic fibrosis, allowing for earlier diagnosis and more efficient and effective treatment
  • Illustrated the adverse impact car seats can have on infant breathing, leading to patenting a seat insert to improve outcomes
  • Studies examining infection and chronic lung disease led to a change in clinical best practice

Impact on children

  • Developed NZ’s first lung function assessment tests that are now standard clinical practice
  • Development of pioneering technology into understanding the genetic basis for inherited heart conditions, and subsequently, reducing sudden and unexpected cardiac death
  • Discovery of genes that cause epilepsy in children, that allowed for more accurate diagnosis and better treatments for children, parents and families
  • Highlighted the importance of prenatal events and their relation to leukaemia, that enable greater understanding by the medical profession and families

Impact on Hospital Care

  • An assessment of child admissions within adult wards which was instrumental to informing how Starship Children’s Hospital was structured
  • Early adoption of ground-breaking technology for viral detection and diagnosis at Auckland Hospital
  • A study which resulted in the updating of the Starship clinical guidelines for hospitalisation and treatment of pneumonia and respiratory disease
  • Specialised paediatric neurology service established in NZ for the first time as a result of a Cure Kids repatriation scholarship

Impact on New Technologies

  • Discovered prevention of secondary brain injury by cooling of the head. This led to the development of an innovative brain-cooling cap, the first ever practical treatment for brain injury
  • Exploratory study showed a novel use of gene therapy for Batten disease may be effective in children with the condition
    Study discovered cystic fibrosis patients produce bleach in their lungs.
  • Subsequent focus is now on developing new drugs to stop the bleach formation