CHILDREN who have received a life-saving transplant or are on the transplant waiting list certainly know hardship.
One of those kids is Wairangi Te Rupe from Orange who received a liver transplant in 2009 and then went through post-transplant Burkitt’s Lymphoma, an immune deficiency that can occur in some patients. She is now four years old and needs to make regular trips to the hospital.
A sleepover at Taronga Western Plains Zoo organised by Transplant Australia is aimed at offering kids like Wairangi time out from the difficult journey they are experiencing.
The Te Rupe’s will make a family weekend out of the sleepover with Wairangi’s mother Samantha, father Toby and brother Temana all coming along too.
“It is really special for my daughter because she has missed out on so much, so it is something nice and happy that we can do as a whole family because we are always making trips to the hospital,” Samantha said.
The overnight trip for 12 kids and their carers was the brainchild of kidney donor Gordon Rutty who has worked with Transplant Australia to organise the weekend as part of the Tackers and Transplant Kids Program.
Gordon outlined how important it is to donate organs to people in need. His goal is to bring attention to the need for organ donation and to use the event to send out a message of how you can change someone else’s life.
“It will be a great experience for the kids. For me and the people from Transplant Australia, it will give us a better insight of how kids deal with their transplant before and after,” he explained.
Wairangi and the other kids will be given VIP treatment at the zoo, with a live giraffe feeding and a night-time adventure walk. It will also give all the families a chance to catch up socially rather than medically as they are able to see each other in a non- hospital environment. Samantha explained that it is so special for all the kids participating in the weekend because it they have never experienced anything like it before. It will also serve as a distraction from what they are going through.
“It is something that they can do like normal kids because they don’t get that opportunity a lot,” she said.
Transplant Australia is looking for sponsors to make this an experience to be remembered and to help make it an annual event.
Any donations can be made through http://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/transplantkids
What, Where, When
Ultimate Sleepover for Transplant Kids
Taronga Western Plains Zoo
Saturday, May 25