Gwenyth MacNamara’s great passions in life were her family, St Kilda football club and horse racing.
She also lived much of her life with debilitating back pain after a car accident followed up with a laminectomy, which probably wasn’t very successful, in the 1970s.
Gwenyth was often literally bedridden, so when she passed away, on 27 July 2019, Gwenyth wanted some of her estate to be donated to spinal research.
Gwenyth’s legacy, which her daughters Karen, Beverley, Dawn and Lauren donated to SpinalCure on her behalf, will make a real impact by helping find and roll out life-changing treatments for Australians with spinal cord injuries.
Despite living in modest circumstances and being on a pension for a large part of her life, it’s clear Gwenyth had a lust for life.
She felt fortunate to own her own home, and loved her garden, spending hours outside with her vegetables and flowers.
Her daughters also remember her excitement when the horse races were on: “My sisters and I all recall many moments of great excitement with mum loudly cheering on her horse whilst listening to the radio or watching on TV. It almost goes without saying that her favourite trainer was Bart Cummings,” said Beverley Redfern, her second eldest daughter.
“When Mum passed away, she left a modest amount in her will which she wanted to have donated to spinal research.
“My sisters and I were made aware of the work of SpinalCure Australia by an extended family member who had suffered a significant spinal injury in his early 20’s which left him with paraplegia and reliant on a wheelchair.
“Despite this setback he has also maintained a passion for horse racing, which he shared with mum, and also went on to become a successful horse racing owner.
“Given mum’s lifelong passion for horseracing and Edward Cummings ambassadorship for your organisation, it was a no brainer to make the donation to SpinalCure.
“Mum would be very pleased to feel she had been able to make some contribution towards finding a cure for spinal injury,” added Beverley.
This vital legacy means we are a step closer to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. Gwenyth’s bequest will go towards research aiming to bring life-changing treatments to people with spinal cord injuries. Much of our funding comes from individual donors and bequestors, and Gwenyth’s contribution is vital.
Our thanks go to Gwenyth and her family, for their generous support.
On behalf of the 20,000 Australians with a spinal cord injury, we cannot thank them enough.
Find out more about how you can leave a legacy for spinal cord injury research.