Children’s Hospitals Australia (CHA) is a partnership of five of Australia's major children’s hospital foundations in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia.
BOQ’s annual Banking on our Kids appeal, now in its third year, has grown from supporting one Queensland-based charity to supporting sick kids right across Australia.
Sophie, Emily, Coen, Kiara and Sam are the five Banking on our Kids ambassadors in 2006, and represent Australia’s five major children’s hospital foundations.
Five-year-old Sophie (QLD) is battling Diencephalic Syndrome, a very rare neurological disorder caused by a brain tumour.
Emily (SA) is six years old and was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis, a lung disease that has caused the lower part of her left lung to collapse.
Eight-year-old Coen (WA) has Cystic Fibrosis, which is the most common genetic disorder among Europeans, affecting the lungs and digestive system.
Baby Kiara (VIC) was diagnosed with a missing right ventricle in her heart at 18 weeks' gestation and since birth has undergone more than 10 operations.
Sam (NSW) is two years old and suffers from a food allergy, asthma, as well as terrible Eczema which causes his skin to itch and bleed.
Sam’s mum, Kylie, said that appeals like Banking on our Kids were a much-needed boost to health care organisations in Australia.
Kylie said: “We would like to thank Bank of Queensland for organising this Banking on our Kids appeal, and showing their support for hospitals like the Sydney Children’s Hospital.
“At the Sydney Children’s Hospital Allergy Clinic, we were able to get specialist attention from Dietitians, Dermatologists and Immunologists all in the one place - it was such a relief.”
At the Clinic, Sam’s mum and dad were taught how to wet dress Sam. A wet bandage is wrapped along each limb and his trunk and a dry bandage is twisted and wrapped on top so Sam has no contact with his skin and can’t scratch.
“Managing Sam is a full time job,” says Kylie “We live a life trying to distract Sam from scratching his skin.”
Another ambassador for Banking on our Kids, AFL player Luke Power, said that meeting a great bunch of kids at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane made him realise how much needs to be done.
“These amazing kids spend so much time in hospital and are so reliant on the facilities and medication available at these hospitals – meeting them made me feel so helpless and so inspired at the same time.
“And that’s why I was so keen to get involved with Banking on our Kids – because just a few dollars from each of us can make a huge difference to these kids’ lives, and to the lives of kids just like them right across the country.”
Bank of Queensland Managing Director David Liddy said he was delighted to assist such vital charities.
“This is all about us, as a bank, putting something back into our local communities.
“When you meet these children, you realise that anything and everything should be done to help them get better, as quickly as possible. Our staff have taken this appeal to heart and I hope our customers and the wider community will too,” he said.
To help Sam, Coen, Kiara, Sophie, Emily, and other kids like them, donations can be made at any Bank of Queensland branch.