SAGE founder Andrew Downs in effort to raise funds for Multiple Myeloma – PerthNow

SA businessman and SAGE Automation founder Andrew Downs is raising funds for a personal cause in this year’s City to Bay Fun Run.He is raising crucial funds to support research into a new treatment option for Multiple Myeloma patients, including his friend of 38 years, Brian Skinner.Mr Downs, who founded SAGE in 1994 and now employs more than 400 staff across the country and overseas, is participating in this Sunday’s City-Bay Fun Run to raise funds for a new treatment for Multiple Myeloma for his “closest and longest standing friend”.Both first met in January 1980, commencing apprenticeships on the same day at the Bridgestone plant.Camera IconSAGE founder Andrew Downs with his best friend Brian Skinner (aka BBQ Bob) pictured 38 years ago at the Bridgestone plant.Picture: SuppliedMr Skinner was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, an incurable cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, in March 2017. He also has Amyloidosis, the build-up of certain protein in the heart, kidneys, liver or other organs “which precludes Brian from clinical trials of ground breaking new drugs”, Mr Downs said.Camera IconSAGE founder Andrew Downs and Brian Skinner (aka BBQ Bob) gear up for City to Bay.Picture: SuppliedMost of the local staff and their families will join Mr Downs, who will undertake the 12km run, and Mr Skinner, who will walk 6km.“I’m really overwhelmed at how many people are getting behind this cause. Multiple Myeloma is a little known disease that doesn’t have a cure, and this research is about finding a way to keep it in remission,” Mr Skinner said. “The more education we can get out there about this disease the better and I thank everyone who is supporting us.”At the time of publishing, the SAGE/UniSA team — Unite The Fight, Beat Myeloma — was the highest Run fundraiser with about $40,000 donated towards the cause. The target is $200,000 with the Run the first of the fundraising activities., which will support UniSA’s Molecular Signalling Laboratory in the Centre for Cancer Biology.The lab, led by Professor Stuart Pitson, is leading research on a new treatment option, which could help inhibit enzymes involved in lipid metabolism in cancer. “This research is showing great promise for complementing existing treatments, and, most critically, could make Brian responsive to Velcade (a chemotherapy drug that he is now resistant to).”Tens of thousands of South Australians have trained for months and will finally get the chance to lace them up to participate in the state’s biggest fun run, supported by the Sunday Mail and The Advertiser this Sunday.
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