For three decades the Bandaged Bear Appeal has encouraged communities to dig deep in support of the vital work done at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Initiated in 1989, funds raised by the appeal have supported lifetimes of care for millions of patients and families who have come through the hospital's door.
One of those young patients is nine-year-old Lorelei, who lives with a rare kidney disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).
In this milestone year for the Bandaged Bear Appeal, Lorelei has teamed with her dad Peter to act as ambassadors for the cause.
Lorelei and her dad have a lot in common - a sense of humour, many of the same interests and, FSGS. While Lorelei was only diagnosed in November 2018, Peter has been living with FSGS for 35 years, since he was six.
FSGS is a condition which attacks the kidney; severely damaging the unit needed to filter blood, and often leads to life-threatening kidney failure.
“There aren’t many people that can relate with what Lorelei’s going through," Peter said. "She needs someone that she can confide in and talk to and ask questions - questions that a lot of people wouldn't be able to answer and that’s something that I can give to her."
One piece of advice Peter has given his daughter is, "don't let this disease own you, you own this disease".
And while her health journey will be life-long, with the condition requiring ongoing treatment, Lorelei will always be supported by her team at the hospital and her family.
“We are so grateful for the care our family has received from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead," Peter said. "To have children enter the doors as sick as I was, and as sick as Lorelei was, and walk out thriving, I think it’s amazing.”
This March, the Bandaged Bear Appeal hopes to raise $1 million to significantly advance medical equipment, install world-class facilities and further life-changing research which, over time, results in less invasive procedures and the ability to get children back home sooner.
To help children like Lorelei, call 1800 770 122 or visit bandagedbear.org.au to donate, hold a fundraising event at school, home or work, or buy some Bandaged Bear Appeal merchandise.
- Visit bandagedbear.org.au.
To have children enter the doors as sick as I was, and as sick as Lorelei was, and walk out thriving, I think it’s amazing.Peter