Help the more than 10,000 Australians very year diagnosed with heart failure to look forward to a more positive future

“You know things are bad when you get a cuddle from your cardiologist.”

Joye remembers the moment when she felt like she was negotiating with her cardiologist for her life. It was just one week before her 50th birthday, when her cardiologist gave her the news that Joye – a fit and healthy woman with no family history of heart failure – had the rare Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC), which is a disease of the heart muscle, and the prognosis wasn’t good.

Joye asked her cardiologist, “So does that affect my life expectancy?”

Her cardiologist’s look said it all.

“So, am I looking at 10 years?

…..5 years?”

Her cardiologist reply was “Maybe… if you are lucky” and then she got up and gave Joye a cuddle.

Can you imagine getting this news? How would you cope?

It’s scary to think about, but unfortunately this is the reality faced by over 10,000 Australians every year. People like Joye, who are told they have heart failure and may end up needing a heart transplant to survive.

People who are left waiting for one of around only 100 hearts available for transplant every year.

And, this is why Dr Carmine Gentile, an internationally recognised expert in 3D bioprinting and stem cell technologies says, “I am passionate about finding a solution that alleviates suffering and provides future hope for all of those patients with heart failure. Not just for the 100 or so lucky ones every year who receive a heart transplant”.

And the exciting news is that Dr Gentile and his team are halfway there. They have created a heart patch with a 3D bioprinter, using a patient’s own unique stem cells taken from their blood. A patch which could be placed on their heart to repair the damage and replace the need for heart transplants in the future.

And now they are working towards the crucial next step – to successfully implant these cells onto a patient’s heart during surgery.

The implications could be immense, especially for people like Joye.

For as Joye says, “It’s so reassuring to know that there is research such as Dr Carmine Gentile’s, which means that in the future someone may look forward to a better outcome than me, and I am so grateful to all of you who support it.

Meanwhile, life has dealt me this hand and I am going to make the best of it. For me this means leaving a legacy of trying to make things better for someone else. To lengthen their life. Whatever it takes. Whether this is by telling my story, by being turned into a pin cushion for research or by donating my body to research when I’m gone.”

Joye’s acceptance, bravery, love and generosity, is so inspiring. And there are so many others like her.  This Christmas can you please join us in donating to heart research to help them. Your donation could provide future hope for those with heart failure. That’s over 10,000 Australians and their families diagnosed every year, whose future could be touched and changed by your generosity.  A truly worthwhile Christmas gift!