Bequest leaves a lasting impact for cystic fibrosis patients

For as long as Christine Wigg can remember, her parents, Jean and Fred Upton were passionate about giving back to the community.

“My parents were both very generous people. After they relocated from Adelaide back to Melbourne in the early 70’s, Mum started volunteering at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and stayed on until the mid 90’s,” said Christine.

So, it was no surprise to Christine that Jean wanted to leave several bequests to organisations that were important to her and her late husband. One of these was the Royal Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust (RCCFRT), a group that raise funds for vital research into cystic fibrosis (CF) – a disorder that Jean and Fred’s great grandson Lachlan was diagnosed with at birth.

“Lachie was born almost nine years ago; he and Jean actually share a birthday. He was diagnosed with CF shortly after birth which came as a shock to our family as we didn’t know we were carriers of the gene,” said Christine.

Christine and Jean celebrating Jean’s 96th birthday

CF is a life-threatening genetic disorder that severely affects lung function and digestion. While current research is allowing CF patients to live longer than ever, there is currently no cure and much more research is needed to look deeper into issues like the long-term effects of living with CF.

“After Lachie’s diagnosis, we all did what we could to raise more awareness of CF. Where possible, we donated to organisations who were funding valuable research around the condition which currently has no cure,” Christine added.

While Fred passed away before Lachlan was born, Jean spent a number of cherished years with her great grandson and made the decision to give a small bequest to the RCCFRT in her Will.

Christine was so touched by her mum’s gift that she and her husband, Graham decided to match the donation to RCCFRT.

“While our impact isn’t large, we hope it can make a difference to the CF research. For us, philanthropy isn’t about getting our name on a wall. It’s about giving what we can to an organisation we care about, to allow them to continue meaningful work that will hopefully help other families in the future.”

Medical Chairman of RCCFRT, Associate Professor Philip Robinson, said that Jean and Christine’s donations will make a meaningful impact in their work in improving the lives of children with CF.

“The generous donations from both Jean and Christine will benefit all CF patients and their families, both at the hospital and further afield as a result of our ongoing research,” said Associate Professor Robinson.

Learn more about leaving a gift in your Will