It has been just over two decades since Katrina Ridley lost her nephews to illness.
Patrick was 10 years old when he died from a chronic blood disorder, while William suffered from an adult type of leukaemia and passed away at 20 months.
After all of this, Ms Ridley decided she wanted to make a difference in the lives of people in pain or feeling generally unwell, as well as honour her nephews.
Now, the Boat Harbour resident will finally get the chance to do just that.
A fundraiser is set to take place on Saturday 3 August at Shoal Bay Country Club to support the work of the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).
“Ever since the boys passed away, I’ve wanted to do something in their memory,” Ms Ridley says.
“Patrick had a rare genetic blood disorder and he needed medication and injections his whole life.
“Two weeks after we buried him, William was diagnosed with leukaemia.
“The research just wasn’t there at the time and is really important.
“HMRI is doing really wonderful work and I thought I can honour my nephews by raising money for them.”
The event will include a keynote speaker from the HMRI, with proceeds going towards its Viruses, Infections/Immunity, Vaccines and Asthma (VIVA) Research Program.
The program brings together basic laboratory scientists, clinical researchers, respiratory physicians and epidemiologists to investigate diseases of the airways.
This includes extensive research into the role of infections and inflammation in the development of asthma and other respiratory problems, including during pregnancy, in cystic fibrosis patients and even in the gut.
The VIVA group also studies the biology of viruses, how they can affect respiration, and methods of developing new vaccines for the treatment of diseases such as cancer.
“We’ve got a world-class facility here in our own backyard, but it relies on the community’s support through fundraisers like this to continue to exist,” Ms Ridley adds.
“So, I think that’s really worthy.”
Tickets for the Patch – Will Boys Legacy Fundraiser are available on HMRI’s website.
The event will go from 1pm to 5pm, with dinner to follow.