In 2010 Peter Schutzinger was living a life like many other Australians. A father of 2 boys, a loving husband, a devoted son and brother and adored friend to many. He enjoyed an extremely active fulfilling life until at the age of 42 his whole life was turned upside down. Suffering from an increasingly bad back he sought medical advice and following horrendous testing was given the most brutal and devastating diagnoses… Motor Neuron Disease with only two to three years to live!
This is a story of the human strength it takes to wage a fight against the odds and to never yield. His story involves a journey that has amazed his team of doctors, rallied experts from around the world, united medical research organisations and won the hearts of everyone that has come in contact with him.
Since his diagnosis Pete has practically tried every drug and treatment that has the possibility of slowing, stopping or eliminating this terrible disease. From stem cells, to trial drugs, to experimental therapies in Uruguay, Mexico, Germany and Bali, some of which kept him away from his family for over 18 months. He has searched the world trying to find an answer leaving no stone unturned. A different person may have felt like throwing the towel in, giving up, as the mental and physical exhaustion of this disease is immense. But Pete didn’t do that. Each time he picked himself up and pushed forward. He did this despite knowing that none of the treatments worked. And despite knowing there is no cure or drug that halts progression, but because of his unwavering philosophy that there must be an answer he just had to keep searching.
Whilst actively observing the research occurring worldwide it became obvious to Pete that the current MND research was looking at the wrong thing and certainly didn’t make a lot of sense in relation to the presentation of sporadic ALS. In fact, it seemed important questions needed to be asked with respect to many issues surrounding the approach to current research thinking. So in 2017, after meeting Matt Keon a highly motivated, out-of-the-box-thinker and self-cured lymes disease patient, they decided to take matters into their own hands and look into the areas that current medical research was ignoring. Their belief was that MND is not a gene specific issue, rather a network issue that relates to an underlying viral infection and subsequent auto-immune dysfunction.
This small, self-funded team took on the task of identifying the right scientists, brilliant mathematicians and innovative thinkers all focused on nothing less than a revolutionary breakthrough in the search for underlying genetic modalities in MND.
Fueled by their urgency to find answers, they quickly established a laboratory in Sydney, recruited leading auto immune scientist Nitin Saksena (who passionately believes in the project), a team of leading mathematicians from around the world to develop algorithms to analyse the data and a partner in China with technology not accessible in Australia and they started to investigate their hypothesis.
Their disruptive model looks at every piece of information for an individual. From the genome, RNA, the microbiome, melabalomics, proteomics and clinical data. Coupled with bioinformatics and the best computer scientists in the world.
With collaboration at the core of this approach, Peter and Matt have met with many leading MND research groups in Australia and overseas and shared their hypothesis and results to date. They have convincingly won the support of many of the world’s leading MND research groups. Their renegade approach to research is revolutionary and it is producing results. Results that they believe will help not only Peter but all MND patients in Australia and around the world.
This is Pete’s remarkable story of resilience, determination and desire to find a cure for one of the world’s most incurable diseases.