Luke & I are siblings raised in the south-west of Western Australia. Growing up by the coast was such a dream. After school and weekends were filled with swimming in the ocean and sunbathing on the sand. As an adult looking back on our childhood we can honestly say it was almost perfection, although at the time you never fully appreciate what you have.
We have come from a very nurturing, family orientated background; with love, loyalty, honesty and humour being some of our family’s core values. We have a beautiful sister in between Luke & I and the three of us have always been close. Well, adolescence was an interesting time – but I think it’s safe to say that all siblings have their moments…
Growing up creativity and imagination was encouraged. We would build cubby-houses, create fantasy lands in our backyard and we knew that playtime was over when the street lights came on. Life was simple. Life was fun. Life was easy.
In our lives we have been very blessed. Our family have never suffered any major illnesses or conditions. The few trips to the hospital that we have had have been for minor, mundane events; the odd broken bone or quick trip to the emergency room. We understand this is a rarity. Sadly this is not the norm for a lot of families.
I’ll be honest neither I nor Luke had heard of Neurofibromatosis (NF) before Richard, the CEO of The Children’s Tumour Foundation contacted us and asked if we’d be involved with the Cupid’s Undie Run in W.A. He included in his email a short video which shared ‘Emily Kirkpatrick’s NF Story’ and we sat and watched with tear-filled eyes. This short video really hit home. This beautiful, incredibly strong, young girl has endured more in her short life than most do in a lifetime. Her determination, her resilience and her courage is so inspiring. What shocked us is how many families are going through this every day and how common this disease is.
Watching we couldn’t help but remember back to our own childhood. The contrast between Emily’s childhood and ours, the decisions that these loving parents have had to make about their precious little girl, the hours that Emily’s little sister has been without her sibling for playtime and the affect that her sister’s illness must have had on her. These reasons are why we are honoured to be involved in The Children’s Tumour Foundation. There are thousands of families praying for their child to run, play and enjoy life to the absolute fullest; however NF gets in the way of these dreams. We were fortunate enough to experience an amazing childhood, these extraordinary children and their families deserve the same.