The Maclean family has donated more than $1.1 million to the Ross Maclean Fellowship, which funds motor neurone disease research at QBI.
The Ross Maclean Fellowship was established in 2004 when the late Ross Maclean and his family joined forces with the Queensland Brain Institute to help raise funds for the appointment of a research scientist dedicated to the study of motor neurone disease (MND).
In 2000, Mr Maclean was diagnosed with MND after experiencing numbness in some of his limbs followed by a gradual deterioration in fine motor skills such as using keys, writing and turning on switches.
At the time, Mr Maclean was Owner and Managing Director of the Index Group of Companies, one of Queensland’s top 400 privately owned companies, and was a long-time major sponsor of the Souths Rugby Union Club in Brisbane.
“Dad had a tough fight on his hands but delayed telling the family so as not to worry us, but it was quite a shock for everyone when we found out about his diagnosis,” Jeff Maclean, Ross’s son and CEO of the Index Group, said.
MND affects about 1500 Australians, and at least one person in Australia dies from MND every day, with a similar number of new cases diagnosed each year. MND is a group of related neurological disorders that results from the loss of nerve cells (motor neurons) that control muscle movement and function. Motor neuron failure can lead to muscle weakness and wasting.The most high-profile person to have developed MND is the famous physicist Stephen Hawking.
“Dad battled MND for more than five years and sadly passed away in early 2005, when our family lost an inspirational leader and father,” Jeff said.
“Even when Dad was completely immobile and connected to a ventilator, he remained very mentally alert and hopeful for a future cure or treatment for MND. He could still talk with his ventilator in use and made business telephone calls and answered emails with assistance."
True to Ross’s fighting spirit, his legacy continues through the QBI fellowship, proudly supported by The Index Group.
The Maclean family has donated more than $1.1 million to the fellowship and Jeff chairs the Fundraising Board at QBI.
“As a person who deserves and has a special place in the hearts of an enormous number of people, the QBI Ross Maclean Research Fellowship will hopefully encourage others to bring out the best of what Ross always saw in humanity and support this worthwhile cause."