US seven-year-old donates savings to Otago cancer research

  • 30/10/2017
US seven-year-old donates savings to Otago cancer research
Photo credit: Otago University

A seven-year-old girl in the United States has donated to a cancer research group at Otago University, using money from her summer cat sitting business.

Charlotte Dobson sent a $30 NZD donation from her savings to the Crowley research group.

In the accompanying letter she wrote: "This money is for the project that you are working on. I want this money to help people with cancer, I hope you will be able to make what you are trying to make."

Ms Dobson lives in Hoboken, New Jersey and her aunt Dr Carla Meledandri is an Otago Chemistry researcher.

The girl began saving money for cancer research after hearing about a distant relative who recently underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer.

When Dr Meledandri was visiting the US, her niece asked if she knew anyone doing research on cancer.

"I told her about the research that James Crowley does, and she decided that she wanted her money to support his cancer research. It was decided that I would bring the money back to New Zealand with me to give to James," Dr Meledandri said.

She said the girl was thrilled to learn that her $21 USD would translate to more money in New Zealand.

Associate Professor Crowley's research team is attempting to construct a synthetic molecular machine capable of complex motor processes. It is hoped that the machine could radically advance drug delivery systems including drugs that could specifically target cancer cells.

Professor Crowley said the group was "amazed" by Charlotte's kindness and generosity and is "inspired to try even harder to make a difference".