Lifestyle

Hospital is a real lifesaver — make no bones about it

By Holly Tregenza

YEAR 10 student Brodie Murray has more reasons than most to be grateful for the work of the Royal Children’s Hospital.

In September of 2017, the Tongala boy and his family were dealt a massive blow after seemingly innocuous symptoms turned out to be more serious than anyone could have imagined.

Brodie is among a handful of people in Australia with Castleman disease — a deadly inflammatory disease that affects the body’s vital organs.

After a tough almost year and a half, Brodie is in remission.

His new mission is to give back to the Royal Children’s Hospital where he has received treatment. The hospital has become somewhat of a second home since the whole ordeal started.

“It means a lot to me to be able to support the Royal Children’s Hospital. It’s been in my life a long time, for me but also my family. I’ve got a cousin down there that suffers brain cancer,” he said.

In August of 2018, Brodie suggested to his family, owners of Chantlan Livestock and Produce, that they begin fundraising by selling livestock bones to farmers at local markets.

For a gold coin donation, people can pick up a high-quality bone for their dog, and the money goes directly to the Good Friday Appeal, which raises money for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

It’s a simple enough set-up, but one that has already raised $500.

The family have high hopes of raising $1000 by the end of the year, and are encouraging the community to jump on board for the Good Friday Appeal this coming Easter.

Stepdad Daryl Chessum said supporting the hospital was a no-brainer.

“If you’ve ever had to go to the Royal Children’s, you’d have seen the amazing work they do,” he said.

Brodie is currently on school camp to central Australia – a trip that was little more than a pipe dream just a year ago.

For Brodie to be well enough to go is a huge achievement.

‘‘It’s called the deadliest disease you don’t know you have,’’ mum Lee Moroney said.

‘‘I remember the oncologist saying to me he does not have cancer, which is great, but he does have this rare disease that we do not know a lot about,’’ Lee said.

Since his diagnosis, Brodie has required check-ups at the RCH every six weeks to ensure his organs are not flaring up.

He and his family are hopeful that continued monitoring and research will help doctors find a cure.

To buy a bone in support of Brodie and the RCH, head to markets in Echuca, Benalla, Nagambie, Tallarook and Whittlesea and look for the Chantlan Livestock and Produce stall, or follow their Facebook page for more details.