6 things you need to know about
genetic diseases


While often inherited, many genetic diseases happen ‘out of the blue’ due to chance occurrences, which means your child or someone you know could be affected.


Did you know cancer is a genetic disease? Linke survived leukaemia thanks to research.

Genetic diseases are often misunderstood.

The term 'genetic disease' might sound familiar, but here are six key things that you may or may not know about these kinds of disorders

  1. 1 in 20 kids face a birth defect or genetic disease, and 30% of children’s hospital admissions are due to genetic disorders

  2. A very small change in your DNA can result in a life-threatening genetic disease

  3. Genetic diseases are not contagious: they cannot be passed from person to person like the flu

  4. There are more than 6000 different genetic diseases

  5. Most are poorly understood and have no specific treatments or cures

  6. Gene therapy can cure genetic diseases, but more research is needed to make this available for more conditions

The goal of Jeans for Genes is to raise funds for research and educate the community about genetic diseases and how these can affect children and families.

A genetic disease is a serious condition caused, at least in part, by changes in our DNA. So what is DNA? Think of it as the recipe for making your body, including your brain. Our DNA information is massive. If written out, it would fill 1 million pages or 200 city phone books. And changing just one single letter in all those books can cause a genetic disease. While not all genetic diseases are life-threatening, they can still have a profoundly negative impact on the lives of affected children and families.


Charlize lost her twin brother to the same genetic disease she’s fighting. Propionic Acidemia is a severe metabolic disorder that causes a build-up of acids in the body. She’s already had two liver transplants to prevent brain damage. Kids should be playing Operation, not having operations. 


You can help find cures for children’s genetic diseases.

The families of children with genetic diseases are used to hearing words like “incurable” or “lifelong effects”. It doesn’t have to be this way. Right now, we’re working on gene therapy to find cures for previously incurable genetic diseases, like Propionic Acidemia. Gene therapy is a method of curing genetic diseases by correcting the cause, by fixing the error in a child’s DNA.

With your support, we can do so much more.

No child’s life should be cut short, and we will do all within our power to change “incurable” to “curable”. We are Children’s Medical Research Institute, the scientists and doctors behind Jeans for Genes. For the past 60 years, our globally-recognised organisation has sought to understand the causes of genetic diseases, in order to find treatments and cures. We need your support, so these kids can go back to being kids.


Please help us find treatments and cures for children's genetic diseases.