The Common Good is fortunate to have some incredibly active and dedicated supporters who’ve made a huge difference for our medical research community.
This week, we are acknowledging one of them – Shannon Surch, who was nominated for a Philanthropic Innovation Award at the Queensland Community Foundation Philanthropy Awards.
Shannon has delivered bespoke events in the thriving Surfers Paradise nightclub scene over the past few years, namely the Street Art Battle, which raises money to support vital hours of medical research via The Common Good and showcases the talents of local grunge artists, tattooists and emerging artists at the iconic Gold Coast Club ‘The Avenue’.
His events, which encompass upcycled fashion parades and daring Drag Queen performances, also encourage the community to step forward and be their true authentic self (whether that be through drag, fashion or the arts) by creating a safe, creative space to perform.
To date, Shannon’s philanthropic innovation has supported over 483 hours of research ($23,200). Along with this significant contribution, his fundraising has raised the profile of medical research to a much younger audience of people in the 18 to 45-year age group (Traditionally, the supporter base for medical research is 65 years +).
Shannon’s support and advocacy of The Common Good has spanned seven years which demonstrates to his supporters his long-term commitment to advancing patient care and research outcomes with The Common Good.
In addition to rallying community support, engagement and fundraising, Shannon has also undertaken personal fundraising challenges by completing a trek through China. Shannon completed this trek alongside The Common Good’s CEO and Chairman at the time. This opportunity allowed Shannon to raise further funds for medical research, as well as to speak directly with senior leaders from The Common Good to advocate for patient outcomes and to highlight the impacts felt by caregivers whose loved ones are experiencing chronic health conditions.
Shannon has successfully been able to inspire the community and encourage their involvement by bravely sharing his personal story. Shannon’s partner at the time was diagnosed with a heart condition resulting in him being placed at the top of the transplant list in Australia and New Zealand. Eventually a successful heart transplant took place, saving his partner’s life. Shannon continues to inspire and lead others to connect with his story, in turn furthering support of medical research.
Shannon’s philanthropic innovation for the Queensland community has resulted in over 483 additional hours of medical research being supported. The impact of these research hours is profound, and they have contributed to some of the most significant breakthroughs in organ transplant in our generation, namely, the Living Heart Project.
These research hours helped support the pre-clinical research which has revolutionised the way hearts are transported across the country, in turn increasing the viability of successful organ transplants.
Through this innovation, in the past 18 months, 37 lives have been saved by receiving a heart via this new transportation method. Had it not been for this innovation, these 37 people may sadly not be with us today.
The Common Good would like to thank Shannon for his incredible contribution to the medical research we support and for continuing to advocate for such an important cause.
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