Taroom girl raising funds for chronic illness research
A TAROOM teenager has battled chronic illness for many years, but now she’s participating in the Children’s Hospital Foundation 42K Your Way fundraising challenge, to help raise much needed funds for other sick kids.
Brooke Hay began a health journey five years ago that no 10-year-old should go through, after she began feeling dizzy, shortness of breath, swelling, hives, unexplained loss of consciousness, and more.
Her journey saw her go from a strong, fit healthy girl who would have a go at anything, to being restricted physically, mentally, and socially, with days spent in bed.
In the last twelve months, she was diagnosed with Dysautonomia, Vasovagal Syncope (a sudden drop-in heart rate and blood pressure leading to fainting), and severe allergies.
“When I first became unwell, it was daunting and scary, and resulted in lots of hospital admissions,” Brooke said.
“It was a long, tough road to find a correct diagnosis, with a lot of testing.
“I have ridden the roller coaster of emotions countless times, and it’s definitely taken its toll – it’s a seven-hour car trip to Queensland Children’s Hospital, and spending so much time away from my family has been an ongoing struggle.”
The now 15-year-old is giving 42k Your Way her all, raising much-needed funds for medical research in the hopes of finding out more about her condition.
“My allergy symptoms have been improved with medication; however, I haven’t yet found a treatment which has been successful in treating my Vasovagal Syncope,” she said.
“I hope that with medical research, there will be new therapies discovered which will help improve the quality of life for myself, and kids like me.
“I know how difficult sickness can be, both for a child and their family, and an accurate diagnosis is the first step in management and treatment.
“My family and I have been supported by the Children’s Hospital Foundation in so many ways during my admissions, and so I am raising funds for them to ensure they can continue to support other sick kids and their families.
“I am hoping to complete the 42km by walking, but if I struggle with my conditions, I will look at motorbiking, horse riding – or my sisters can always carry me!”
With an initial fundraising goal of $1000, the Taroom community have well and truly rallied around Brooke’s valiant efforts, and she has now raised more than $5000 through selling funky socks and her 42k Your Way involvement.
A true budding philanthropist, Brooke will also be conducting an auction on her Facebook page in August to raise additional funds for the Foundation, with prizes being donated from a range of local businesses.
Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO, Rosie Simpson, has commended Brooke for her incredible support.
“Everything we do is for kids and young people just like Brooke, and it’s a true privilege that she is choosing to raise awareness for the Children’s Hospital Foundation,” Ms Simpson said.
“I encourage Queenslanders to get behind Brooke and go the distance for sick kids this August.
“I can’t wait to see the community come together.”
42K Your Way is a free, virtual event that you can do on your own, from anywhere at any time.
With every step, hop or jump, you’ll be getting fit and helping sick kids like Brooke.
For more information on 42K Your Way, or to register, click here.
To support Brooke, visit her team page Pull Your Socks Up For Brooke, found here.