AFL Cape York House – for Girls (AFLCYHG) has been rocked by the sudden news that one of their young students has been diagnosed with Leukaemia. In consideration of cultural reasons and at the family’s request, her name will not be disclosed. She is a 16-year-old Year 11 student from Badu Island, Torres Strait Islands.
The young student is known for her bright, positive, and bubbly nature. Immediately following her diagnosis, she was urgently transferred to Brisbane Children’s Hospital, where she commenced chemotherapy and treatment support. Currently, the young student and her mother reside in long-term accommodation at the Ronald McDonald House.
Staff members and young students have rallied together just as a family does when one member is in need of support and love, and together, they have initiated “AFLCYHG Buzz & Cut for Support” to raise much-needed funds.
Her family has had a very strong connection with AFL Cape York over many years. Her brother and sister have previously represented the Crusaders in the AFL Cape York House Game Development Program and in 2001, her elder sister graduated from AFL Cape York House – for Girls. AFL Cape York House – for Girls considers itself a Home Away From Home for its students and has fostered family-like connections that run deep.
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 they have 21 staff and young people ready to show their support. A long-term staff member, Wonda is the only female cutting to the chase and shaving off all her hair. As for the males, staff member Dylan is shaving off his moustache, which he has not cut in more than 18 years since he was 16.
Boarding Manager at AFL Cape York House for Girls Sean Hunter’s son, Noah, who is six, is joining in to show that he is with the family every step of the way.
“My little son 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.
Their 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,” he said.
The Buzz & Cut Event will be held at AFL Cape York House – for Girls on Friday, 9 June, from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm with all Boys House & Girls House Students in attendance to show that they are with her every step of the way.