Jessica Rudd and Renee Coffey have been friends since childhood.
Their friendship spans over the awkward teenage years, through the turbulent twenties, up until the present day where they’re planning to get matching sideboob tattoos to raise much needed funds for multiple sclerosis (MS) research.
“Renee was cool, I was not. She had a hyper colour t-shirt. I yearned for her hand-me-downs,” Jess told Mamamia.
“We went to school dances together, braided each other’s hair, made jewellery from Fimo, belted out Alanis tunes at sleepovers, approved each other’s husbands and are now godmothers to each other’s children.”
Jess, the daughter of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, is the author of two fiction books and the founder of Jessica’s Suitcase. Renee is an Indigenous education advocate and a TEDx speaker.
— Jessica Rudd (@Jess_Rudd) March 21, 2018
Both women are also Kiss Goodbye to MS ambassadors.
In 2011, at the age of 29, Renee was diagnosed with MS. Jess has been by her side every step of the way.
“I was terrified, honestly. It’s a very crappy disease. One minute you’re fine, the next minute you can’t feel your leg,” Jess explained.
“For Renee, it started with a tickling, tingling sensation on her bra line which she thought was a loose thread.”
At the moment around 23,000 Australians have MS. The severity of the symptoms differ in each case.
“Renee is bloody lucky to be in a position where her condition hasn’t progressed, but it’s a nasty presence in your life,” Jess explained.
When Renee asked Jess whether she’d get a matching sideboob to raise money for MS research, Jess jumped at the chance to help out her friend.
@Jess_Rudd and @rey_coffey have put their Tattoo fates in the hands of the #KissGoodbyeToMS supporters, and we love it! Check out our latest story from @MSResearchAust‘s Kiss Goodbye To MS campaign: https://t.co/GAjyn1RP4e pic.twitter.com/wPFJvvKjKI
— Kiss Goodbye to MS (@KissGoodbyeToMS) March 25, 2018
In order to raise the funds, they’re asking their friends and family and total strangers to donate and vote on whether they should go ahead with the tatts.
“We’re the least likely people in our families to be getting inked — aside from our mums, who are leading the no campaign,” Jess says.
“We’re going to raise big coin for research. We’re both time poor mums of very little kids, so between work and everything else we thought this was a winning idea.”
Jess explained Australian researchers are ahead of the game on the science around a cure for MS – but they need all the financial assistance they can get to keep doing their job.
So far the two friends have raised over $4000, their aim is $20,000.
You can help Renee and Jess out by heading to their fundraising page, donating, and voting on their fate of their sideboobs.