Jeans for Genes Day Friday, August 7 is the major fundraiser for the Children's Medical Research Institute

Back in 2018, Bruce Hopper was joined by Brenda Jackson and and Heather Bramble at the stall in Taree Central shopping centre.
Back in 2018, Bruce Hopper was joined by Brenda Jackson and and Heather Bramble at the stall in Taree Central shopping centre.

There's a slightly different take on Jeans for Genes Day 2020, because of COVID-19.

Traditionally in the Manning, a stall displaying information and selling merchandise is established in a Taree shopping centre, manned by Manning-Great Lakes genetic counsellor Bruce Hopper and supporters of the Children's Medical Research Institute.

That won't be happening this Jeans for Genes day this Friday. Instead, staff at Taree and Forster Community Health, Manning Base, Wingham and Gloucester hospitals will have the opportunity to purchase pancakes with blueberries for a gold coin donation. The blueberries fit in with the blue (denim) theme.

The pancakes will also be available at the "grand round" at Manning Base Hospital tomorrow where Bruce will be the guest specialist.

Jeans for Genes merchandise will be available at locals hospitals and community health departments and at sponsoring businesses. Or people wearing denim to mark the day can make a donation via the website jeansforgenes.org.au

Adapting to new ways of communicating has become the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic and genetics services, like many other health specialities, have had to adapt.

In addition to online consultations with patients, genetic counsellor Bruce Hopper was able to virtually attend the European Humans Genetics Conference based out of Berlin in June.

From virtual conferences to online home consultations with patients, genetic counsellor, Bruce Hopper was quick to ensure new and existing patients were always able to maintain contact with the genetics service.

"It is amazing how well both staff and patients have adapted to the new ways of communicating," he said.

"While it is different to the way we have always done things, it is both unique and helpful to assess patients from their own home."

Bruce was also able to virtually attend the European Humans Genetics Conference based out of Berlin in June.

"It was an amazing conference, with some late nights linking in for live streaming of sessions," he said.

"With the new technology, there are now a significant number of individuals and families who have a diagnosis and more information about management of their condition.

"I've been able to utilise these tests for patients and a number of families, who after many years have finally found the answer to the question of an underlying cause of a condition within their family," he said.

Jeans for Genes Day is the main fundraiser for the Children's Medical Research Institute. Bruce is encouraging workplaces, schools and families to participate in the Jeans for Genes Day fundraiser this year and assist researchers at the Children's Medical Research Institute to continue their important research.