The face of 92.7 MIX FM’s Give Me 5 appeal, nine-year-old Lucas Bennett, has thrown his full support behind helping sick kids just like him.
Lucas has Williams Syndrome which is a rare genetic disorder affecting the heart and causes development delays, low muscle tone and learning challenges.
The inspirational Bli Bli youngster is sharing his story to help raise funds for the appeal which runs over the month of June.
Lucas has had a harrowing year in and out of hospital with respiratory viruses and infections, and due to his condition Lucas needs a feeding tube to keep his weight up. He also needs extensive therapy.
Lucas’s mum Lauren said despite her son’s energetic and outgoing nature, his anxiety increases when he is in hospital.
“William’s Syndrome is complex. It’s a journey of constant appointments and an emotional rollercoaster but we are trying to find our way,” she said.
“You never imagine that you might need the help of your local hospital, but sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you find yourself on the children’s ward.
“During our stays we have been so lucky to have the Clown Doctors visit to help ease Lucas’s anxiety plus other distraction resources like the interactive screens, ipads and activities.
“I’ll never be able to express how those little things make such a big difference.”
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Williams Syndrome so patients like Lucas must continually be monitored and treated for symptoms through their lives.
This year’s Give Me 5 appeal is raising funds for a neonatal resuscitation system, an interactive play area for children undergoing day procedures, distraction therapy resources and ongoing funding for the Wishlist-funded Clown Doctor serviceto bring smiles and laughter to young patients.
The appeal will also raise funds for an innovative parental support and youth advisory group program to support young adults and provide a circle-of-care for mental health patients in the new Wishlist Centre to open opposite SCUH next year.