Trish MS Research Award 2023

At the Trish MS Golden Butterfly Ball, the 2023 Trish MS Research Award was awarded to Craig Marshall, Marshall. Chan. Yahl who has professionally supported the Trish Foundation since 2001.

As the Foundation’s honorary Auctioneer, Craig has been responsible for raising millions of dollars for MS Research, has purchased tables at our past Balls, has personally bid on Auction Items and has provided great personal support to the Foundation.  Again at our Ball, Craig did an expert job with the Live Auction, personally very generously, adding to the funds raised for research.

Congratulations Craig!

Significant support – THANK YOU

Thank you very much the Trustees of The Lady Fairfax Charitable Trust, Jon Pratten and his family, Pratten Foundation, the Trustees of The Woodend Foundation, Bill and Fay Gilmour, Bill Gilmour Tennis Foundation for your extraordinarily generous, substantial contributions to our funds for important MS Research Projects.

Mark’s Indian Pacific Wheel Race

Our volunteer team is honoured and extremely grateful to Mark Croker for dedicating his Indian Pacific Wheel Race to the Foundation, raising tremendous funds for our Research.

Beginning Saturday 18th March at 6:22am Mark raced in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, a 5,500 kilometre self-supported ultra distance bike race from South Mole Lighthouse in Fremantle to the steps of the Sydney Opera House via the Nullarbor Plain, Adelaide, the Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Canberra and Wollongong.

Mark’s goal was to raise $5,500 ($1 for every kilometre) for a cause which he says is very important to his extended family – The Trish Multiple Sclerosis Research Foundation.

“Trish was my wife Melissa’s first cousin who was struck down by a particularly aggressive form of MS at age 23. Within 3 years of the diagnosis Trish went from being an elite athlete, captain of the Australian Women’s Youth Cricket Team, to living in a nursing home, where she stayed for 4 years before passing away aged 30,” Mark says. “It is my honour to be involved with the Trish Foundation.”

Mark pedalled for 28 days to complete this mammoth, gruelling Bike Ride, and received a rapturous reception from family, friends and fellow-riders at the Sydney Opera House on 14th April.  Mark not only successfully completed the very demanding Indian Pacific Wheel Race, he smashed his goal, raising $7,271 for the Foundation’s important Research Projects.

What a Herculean achievement Mark!  We are all so proud of you – and extremely grateful.  What an epic ride. What you have accomplished is nothing short of spectacular – truly amazing!  A HUGE thank you for your outstanding, extremely valued support Mark and our sincere appreciation to the very generous supporters of your Indian Pacific Wheel Race who made very generous donations and have given our funds for MS Research a significant boost.

Rest in Peace Roy Langsford OAM

We are heartbroken to have lost our gentle, kind, caring Roy who was a founding Director of the Trish MS Research Foundation. Roy will be sadly missed by his family, extended family and wide circle of friends, as well as all the generous Sponsors, donors and supporters of the Trish Foundation, very many of whom have become life-long friends.

Roy has made an immeasurable contribution to the Trish Foundation since before inception.

Roy has devoted his life, all his time, his money, his energy, his everything to the Trish Foundation for the past 23 years. The Foundation would not have existed nor functioned without him.

Family and friends are warmly invited to a Celebration of Roy’s life to be held in the Magnolia Chapel, Cnr Delhi Road & Plassey Road, Macquarie Park on Monday, 9th January at 3:00pm. To be followed by refreshments at the on-site function centre.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Trish MS Research Foundation.

Roy’s service will be live streamed.

Rest in Peace Roy.

Congratulations and thank you Jenny

Since 2005, Jenny Comanos has served as a Director of the Trish MS Research Foundation making a significant, extremely valued contribution in a great many ways.

Jenny has found it necessary to step down from the Board of the Foundation.  At our recent Board meeting, fellow Board member Niall King nominated Jenny as the Foundation’s first Life Member, which was passed unanimously.  Jenny more than meets the criteria for Life Membership, which is detailed below.

Our sincere congratulations Jenny and our heartfelt gratitude for your mammoth contribution for such a long time.

Criteria for Life Membership of the Trish MS Research Foundation on cessation of contribution:

  • A minimum of 10 years of extraordinary and outstanding volunteer service.
  • Unquestioned credibility and behaviour.
  • Genuine contribution for the right reasons, in line with the high values of the Foundation.

Launch of the Foundation’s Canberra Chapter

The Trish MS Research Foundation Canberra Chapter was launched by the Federal Member for Canberra, Ms Alicia Payne in her central Canberra electorate office on Wednesday, 16th November.

The Canberra Chapter of the Trish Foundation is a special initiative of Adrian Dolahenty, Kurrajong Strategic Counsel, a long-time supporter of the Foundation.  Kurrajong Strategic Counsel was officially launched in 2020 by the then Federal Member for Bennelong Hon John Alexander OAM, Adrian Dolahenty adopting the Trish Foundation as Charity Partner and also providing very generous support.

The launch of the Trish MS Research Foundation Canberra Chapter was attended by Alicia Payne MP, Adrian Dolahenty, Trish Foundation Directors Roy and Carol Langsford, Canberra residents living with MS and generous supporters who reside in Canberra.

“We are honoured and incredibly grateful to Alicia Payne for launching the Foundation’s Canberra Chapter and for her warm hospitality and delicious morning tea provided for everyone who supported this tremendous initiative,” said Carol Langsford.  “We are also deeply indebted to Adrian Dolahenty without whom the Trish MS Research Foundation Canberra Chapter would not have occurred.”

“Our volunteer team is grateful to the wonderful supporters and donors who attended and we are thrilled to launch the first Trish MS Research Foundation Chapter out of Sydney.  We are excited to see where the Foundation’s Canberra Chapter will lead in the future,” she added.

Federal Member for Canberra Alicia Payne said it was an honour to launch the Foundation’s Canberra Chapter.  “Multiple sclerosis is a terrible disease and it is so important to support research to find a cure and to support those living with the disease,” she said.

Very valued support

Long-time Trish Foundation supporter Rob Dunn nominated the Trish MS Research Foundation for a 2022 CommBank Staff Foundation Community Grant.  Our application was successful, giving the Foundation’s funds for MS Research a significant boost of $10,000.  Rob and his wife Stephanie have very generously supported the Foundation since our early days and for many years, donated magnificent ice sculptures for our Balls.  Their continuing generosity and extremely valued support is immensely appreciated.

THANK YOU Rob and the staff at CommBank who participate in Workplace Giving – this grant would not be possible without you!

Jen’s monumental expedition

The Trish Foundation is very honoured and extremely grateful to Jen Willis who is travelling on a 51-day expedition to the Himalayas where she will summit Mera Peak (6476 metres) and then the spectacular and technical mountain, Ama Dablam (6812 metres), raising funds for the Trish MS Research Foundation, MS Australia and the Forum for the Welfare of Himalayan Children.

In Jen’s words: “I’m 50 years old, a single mum to three wonderful humans, I have Multiple Sclerosis and I’m dedicated to helping the over 2 million people living with MS worldwide by fundraising for MS research, while also raising funds to support underprivileged children in the Himalayas.”

Since Jen was a little girl, she has dreamed of becoming a mountaineer, and in 2008 when a neurologist first mentioned she may have MS, she decided that one day she would climb her mountain to raise awareness around MS and fundraise to help those living with it.  In 2018 she was officially diagnosed and started on a medication to hopefully prevent disease progression, however in early 2021 her MS started progressing despite this.

Jen’s neurologist advised that if she were to do nothing new, she would likely be in a wheelchair within three or four years.  Jen realised then that she simply had to do all she could to pursue her dream and so at the end of 2021 she left her job as Principal of a small alternative primary school to embark on the journey of a lifetime.  Jen is an inspiration to everyone around her and has meticulously trained her mind and body to prepare to climb Ama Dablam.

“I have started a new medication, and my MS is currently stable – hooray!!  At the moment, I am living well with MS.  I do experience fatigue, dizziness and sensory symptoms such as burning sensations on my tongue and toes, and can face some cognitive challenges, however, overall I am fit and healthy and enjoying life!” Jen says.

“My MS is not curable and over time is likely to continue to progress, leading to increasing physical and cognitive challenges, and research into how to try and stop, cure and even prevent this illness is crucial for myself and others to be able to enjoy a rich quality of life,” Jen continues.

Jen and her Mum Kerry travelled from Melbourne to attend the Trish MS Glitz & Glamour BallA truly uplifting part of the evening was the very well-deserved ovation given to Jen in the Ballroom, demonstrating the monumental task she is undertaking.

The Trish Foundation is incredibly honoured that Jen has chosen to dedicate the funds raised for part of her mammoth and challenging climb to the Foundation.  Her phenomenal, exceptional support is giving our funds for our MS Research Projects a significant boost, for which we could never thank Jen enough.


Jen has now launched another fundraising initiative, “Geelong Cats – flying high in the Himalayas!” with all the funds raised going to the Trish MS Research Foundation.  You don’t have to be a Geelong supporter to donate!  Donations from Swans fans and other AFL fans are very welcome.

You truly are an inspiration Jen!  THANK YOU.


Congratulations Judy and Frank

At the Trish MS Glitz & Glamour Ball, the Trish MS Research Award was awarded to extremely worthy winners, Judy and Frank Fabrizio, Red Hill Estate.

Judy and Frank have very significantly supported the Trish MS Research Foundation for over 10 years. Their exceptional generosity has made an outstanding contribution to the funds the Foundation has raised for MS Research Projects. Every year they have very generously donated all the wine our guests enjoy at our Annual Ball. Red Hill Estate’s Corporate VIP Table is always tremendously valued and this year as well, Red Hill Estate donated two fantastic Auction Items.

The Foundation’s volunteers, our honorary Board and our honorary Scientific Research Committee is greatly indebted to Judy, Frank and Red Hill Estate.

Congratulations on winning this richly deserved Award Judy and Frank!

Outstanding support from St Patrick’s Rugby Club

THANK YOU to St Patrick’s Rugby Club for dedicating your charity day to the Trish MS Research Foundation. Despite the appalling weather conditions, a wonderful afternoon was enjoyed at Hudson Park when St Patrick’s Rugby Club hosted Waverley Rugby Club. Significant, valuable funds amounting to over $17,000 were raised for the Foundation’s high-quality, peer-reviewed MS Research Projects.

Graeme Aldridge, who led this very special fundraiser, said, “Multiple Sclerosis is a cause close to the heart of many families at SPRC and we are very eager to get behind this fantastic cause.”

Graeme was ably supported by Board member Niall King’s son Trent who said, “St Patrick’s Rugby Club has a proud history of supporting our community. Despite the weather, we had a fantastic day with all members keen to be involved. I am very proud that the club has been able to support the Foundation with the knowledge that every dollar will go towards finding a cure for this insidious disease that impacts on so many.”

The 1sts, 2nds and 3rds St Patrick’s and Waverley teams battled the rain and mud, displaying great skills and determination in the terrible conditions. Players in the 1sts team wore limited-edition jerseys displaying the Trish Foundation’s logo, highlighting the Club’s very valued support. Following the games and the post-match function, the jerseys, having been hosed off, were then auctioned in a fun, lively auction in the packed-out Clubhouse, Club members, supporters and the wider St Patrick’s community being exceptionally generous.

The first-rate St Patrick’s Rugby Club has a rich history, being established by its Founders in 1964. The Club’s Founders are still heavily involved and have no doubt led the way in engendering the warm, friendly atmosphere and special camaraderie which was particularly evident. The Clubhouse has recently been refurbished and showcases the Club’s history and impressive achievements. Quoting from the Club’s website, “While the Club continues to operate on the playing field, the Club continues to strive to maintain the balance between success on the field and the mateship and camaraderie that is engendered within the Rugby Community”.

The Foundation’s volunteers are extremely grateful to all the members of St Patrick’s Rugby Club, to the Committee, to their alumni to the wider St Patrick’s Rugby Club community and especially to Graeme Aldridge, who led the magnificent fundraiser dedicated to the Foundation. THANK YOU to everyone involved.