Sharon Hyndman

As a former nurse, Sharon Hyndman knows only too well the impact serious disease can have, on the patient and wider family.

And as a family member who has experienced the effects of medical events and disease, including heart attacks and cancer, she is well aware of the heartache that actually means.

So when she went to consider what charity she should support as a real estate agent for BayleysMetro, Sharon's thoughts turned to research.

"There are many opportunities to help different organisations that are all deserving.  But to me, sponsoring the Otago Medical Research Foundation is a good choice – it fits with my thinking of stopping disease before it takes hold," she said.

"I'm fascinated by how much research has already contributed to health improvements since I left the profession, and in awe of the health studies being done here that are continuing to contribute to change.  We're lucky with having the University of Otago and the teaching hospital in Dunedin."

"Being a member of the Foundation is not that big a financial commitment but to me the payback is considerable."

"We all want to see a cure for serious diseases - being a small part of that process by supporting the Foundation's endeavours is a rewarding way of contributing to making a difference, here and potentially globally.  To me, it's future proofing for the next generation."

Dunedin-born Sharon has been a Foundation member since 2014 and is a sponsor of its Night to Remember event.

She also looks for ways to help where she can, as the functions are enjoyable, an excellent way to network, and interesting.  "It's great to listen to some of the young researchers speak at the various Foundation events – not only from a health perspective, but also because there is a sense of pride at what we can do in Dunedin. It's another slice of humanity."