ROCKED by the sudden news that one of their students had been diagnosed with leukaemia, AFL Cape York House has stepped up to support one of its own.
The student is a 16-year-old Year 11 student from Badu Island in the Torres Strait.
She is known for her bright, positive, and bubbly nature. Immediately following her diagnosis, she was transferred to Brisbane Children’s Hospital, where she commenced chemotherapy and treatment support.
The boarding student and her mum are living in long-term accommodation at the Ronald McDonald House.
The family has developed a strong connection with AFL Cape York over many years. Her brother and sister have previously represented the Crusaders in the game development program and, in 2021, her elder sister graduated from AFL Cape York House for Girls.
When the news of her illness was shared amongst the boarders, staff and students at both the AFL Cape York House boys and girls campuses have rallied together as a result and initiated a special day this Friday to raise much-needed funds to support their friend.
Together, they have initiated “AFLCYHG Buzz & Cut for Support”.
At first, three staff members jumped on board to “buzz” their hair to outwardly signal they are with their dear friend every step, but now 23 staff and young people have stepped up to show their support.
A long-term staff member, Wanda Pone, will shave off all her hair.
As for the males, staff member Brad Campbell is shaving off his moustache, which he has not cut in more than 18 years.
Even the six-year-old son of boarding manager Sean Hunter is joining in.
“My little son Noah is going to shave his head as well because he’s got a connection with the older sister and wants to show his support,” Sean said.
The day’s primary objective is to raise funds to provide crucial support to the student and her family throughout her highly unexpected treatment journey.
Additionally, they are seeking opportunities for relatives residing or working in Cape York or the Torres Strait Islands to connect with the family while they are in Brisbane.
However, there are significant logistical and financial challenges that the family had not ever expected to face, so through “AFLCYHG Buzz & Cut for Support”, they aim to ease the burden.
“The purpose of why we created this fundraising initiative was to be able to show her our support, but also to be able to provide her and her family additional support given the challenges that they face in the upcoming months,” Mr Hunter said.
The Buzz & Cut Event will be held at AFL Cape York House for Girls on Friday, June 9, from 2.30pm to 4pm with all students in attendance to show that they are with her every step of the way.