Illalong News

  • 23rd November, 2018

From the Principal's Desk

Dear Parents and Guardians

As I sit here tonight, I was initially very pleased with myself for writing this week’s newsletter last weekend. It was filled with thoughts and reflections from the wonderful and moving moments that we shared last week as a community.

I have, however, decided to defer this article until next week. On Thursday morning, I wrote to all families seeking your help to support a 9-year-old girl named Charli who has been diagnosed with a Pineal Cystic Tumour. In her own words Charli writes:

In October 2017 I had the worst headache EVER. My mum knew something wasn't right. I had blood tests and a MRI done. That's when we found out I have an extra something in my brain.

I'm quite good when it comes to pain, I can handle it cause I'm tough. Sometimes I can't and I tell my mum. But I don’t like her to worry all the time. I have days off school when my head hurts too much, and when I'm having one of my moods. I have them a lot. I have head pain nearly every day, even Panadol doesn’t make it go away. I've had my eyes checked because a lot of the time everything is blurry. They said my eyes are fine, but they can't see what I see. I get cranky a lot too. Sometimes it's because no one understands me and sometimes I don’t even know until my mum has to calm me down.

Since finding out about my Cystic Tumour, I haven’t been allowed to do what I love. All the doctors said that I was "fine", BUT IM NOT... They wouldn't let me play on a jumping castle or a trampoline or even let me play Rugby (which I have been playing since I was 5). Since finding out, my mum has done a lot of research and sent all my medical stuff to DR CHARLIE TEO, she said he is the BEST neurosurgeon in Australia and has operated on over 100 people with the same thing I have.

Sadly, despite every effort from her parents and their local community, as of Thursday morning, only $27,000 had been raised, leaving a further $73,000 still needed. In the 8 hours, from the time of my letter, our community has dipped into their pockets and reached out to their respective networks raising nearly $6,500 in one day!!! The comments and words of encouragement have been overwhelming for the family, and I must admit to being brought to tears myself while reading the beautiful messages from our community.

This is wonderful news, but we still need almost $66,000. Again, this seems a lot, but we only need 660 people to give $100. When we think of how lucky we are; how fortunate our children are; how can the despair of parents, who know that surgery will cure their daughter if only they had the money, ever truly be understood? I have tried my very best to understand these emotions, but simply cannot.

Charli’s mother has stated that, “Charli is getting worse as the weeks go by, she still has the headaches, blurry vision, irregular sleep, pins and needles but now Charli is experiencing more dizzy spells where she is walking into things, mind blanks, uncontrollable mood outbursts and blood noses.”

It has been so heart-warming to scroll through the Go Fund Me page and see the names of so many A.B. families who have given with generosity and love, for a little girl they may never meet and one they may never know – this is special. Our College has often gone beyond our gates to help individuals in need and to do so only speaks of the generosity and goodwill fostered within our community.

I hope that you will look at the Go Fund Me page “Chance4Charli” at https://www.gofundme.com/chance4charli and consider making a donation to support this family. Should you decide to make a donation, I ask that you put ABPC in your comment, so all can see you come from our community. You may even consider sharing this link with others who you know.

There are many sick children in the world and we (our community) cannot help all, but maybe, just maybe we can help this child.

The question of ‘How would I cope if this was my child?’ has been on my mind. I ask you to please consider how you would cope in a similar situation and if you would need the help of a community, then I ask you to be the help this girl needs today.

I ask for nothing more than your consideration and compassion. This is where our community shines. We can give this girl a normal life and one free from pain – it is within our power. Please give what you can, pass this message to your friends, networks and businesses. Let the Gold Coast know that our community does make a difference and that there is nothing more precious than the life of a child.

Brian Grimes



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