Foundation aims to hit rare diseases for six

ALYSHA is one of just 500 children in the world diagnosed with cleidocranial dysostosis, but she is far from alone.

She is part of a small group of children with rare diseases supported by the Steve Waugh Foundation, and another, larger, group of children and adults with any one of 6000 rare diseases.

The former Australian cricket captain launched the foundation in 2007 to help children who would otherwise “fall through the cracks”.

“To me, being Australian is about looking after your mates, taking care of the less fortunate, supporting the underdog and enhancing the spirit that makes all Australians unique,” Mr Waugh says on the foundation website.

The foundation, in conjunction with the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit and other groups, recently won a $300,000 Australian Research Council grant.

Surveillance Unit deputy director Associate Professor Yvonne Zurynski said the research would examine