The Euroz Big Walk for Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation on Sunday 17 March is a chance for our community to…
Sarah Allnut is fundraising for Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation by running the half marathon in this year’s HBF Run for a Reason on Sunday 27 May – and she has a very special reason for undertaking the gruelling 21km journey!
At just four months of age, Sarah was a patient at Princess Margaret Hospital, having surgery to remove a dermoid tumour from above her eye. The risks associated with the surgery were high – her brain could sustain significant damage and there were worries about her keeping her sight in that eye. The surgery was successful, but this was not to be Sarah’s only encounter with the hospital.
When Sarah was three, she was once again admitted to PMH for the treatment of Osteomyelitis – an infection of the bone which is a rare but serious condition. After receiving excellent care, Sarah recovered and enjoyed a long period of health.
As an active 16 year old, Sarah sustained a mild sports injury to her back and had a routine x-ray. Sarah could see quite clearly on the images that there was something amiss. She had another tumour, and this time it was in her abdomen.
I knew that if I, with no medical training, could see the tumour plainly on the x-ray, then it was serious. I was scared. It came out of nowhere. I was just a baby when I had my first tumour, and so I don’t remember it. But my mum and dad had already been through this all before. I asked the questions I’m sure everyone does – what’s happening? Why me?
Sarah says that it was the positivity of the staff at PMH that helped her and her family through this difficult time and ultimately inspired her to want to become a paediatrician herself.
The staff were just awesome! They really knew how to talk to me on my level. I believe that I’ve got the skills and first-hand experience to do the same thing, so I want to comfort other kids in hospital and help them understand what’s happening to them.
Sarah adds, “I can also remember visiting the Megazone in PMH, and playing with the volunteers. That really helped me feel as though I could have some sort of normality and be a kid again.”
Now 20 years old, Sarah is an undergraduate of pre-medicine and law (double major) at UWA and hopes to go on to specialise in paediatrics. Alongside her busy university schedule, Sarah is also a surf instructor and volunteers with PMH’s Radio Lollipop every Sunday.
Sarah knows there is a risk that her illness could return and she will need to continue having six-monthly check-ups but that’s not stopping her from running a half marathon next month and aiming to raise $1,500!
She says, “It’s just such an enjoyable experience being able to give back!”, and we are very grateful for her support.
You can make the health and happiness of children in WA your reason to get involved on Sunday 27 May – and you don’t even have to run to make a difference! You can make your way around different course lengths at your own pace – just have fun and give it a go!
By taking part and raising funds you can help create the most positive experience possible for kids in hospital – and maybe even inspire more people who will look after our children in the future!
Money raised through HBF Run for a Reason will be directed towards the exciting Fun on Four area at the new Perth Children’s Hospital – a continuation of the Foundation’s long history of funding innovative equipment and programs that created a positive experience for children in hospital. Fun on Four’s recreational facilities and specialist spaces (such as art, craft and music areas, sensory room, outdoor play area and fully stocked Book Bunker) will provide entertainment to young patients and their family and friends, providing a welcome distraction from the monotony of the hospital routine.
Click below to register for the 2018 HBF Run for a Reason and create your fundraising page for Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation here.
Want to support the Foundation but can’t take part?
We would still love you to support our participants by making a donation here and selecting HBF Run for a Reason 2018 as your reason for donating. Or you could think about raising funds by dressing up and having some fun as part of our Dare to be a Hero adventure! Click here for more details.
To find out more, contact Community Fundraising Manager, Jane Clare, on 9489 1188 or firstname.lastname@example.org.