Justin and Eterei Stonelake

Everyone benefits from medical research, and that’s one of the reasons why the Stonelakes choose to support the OMRF.

Justin and Eterei Stonelake own the three McDonalds restaurant franchises in Dunedin, and as such are regularly called on to support worthy community projects.

But helping to fund medical research is something they are particularly proud of, simply because they know how much it makes a difference, both in their own community, and to world knowledge on human health.

“As members of our community, and as employers, we have a responsibility and willingness to help in a proactive and positive way.”

Sponsoring a summer studentship, and providing prizes and financial support for the Foundation’s events is the Stonelake’s way of recognising that local research investment can potentially help a lot of people.

The couple gives credit to the Foundation’s leadership role in creating awareness of their research, why it is important to the community, and how to become involved.

As they point out, the life we all lead benefits from the work previous medical researchers have started.

Helping mothers and children is particularly close to Eterei’s heart. As a mother herself, she is particularly conscious that years of research into childbirth paved the way for safe caesarean births, and that research continues to find new innovations.

“Someone was brave enough to pioneer a new way of doing something, and someone else was equally brave in believing and investing in them.  We’re grateful for that, and we want to be the ones that also put their hand up and say we trust in your good idea and want to help,” she said.

“We appreciate that the Foundation funds worthy research, and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to be part of it – it’s our legacy of giving back.”

As the Foundation founders say, medical research is a life changer and our supporters are life changers.

Since the Foundation was established in 1967, it has identified and funded over $8 million worth of grants and scholarships. The answers unearthed through medical research irrefutably lead to greater quality of life for society – through earlier diagnosis and treatment. The lives of millions of people have ultimately been improved by the research funded by the Otago Medical Research Foundation.

The Foundation’s generous supporters make this possible.