Brave Beth a real fighter


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page -

BORN with Down syn­drome, cere­bral palsy and more re­cently di­ag­nosed with a life threat­en­ing spinal com­pres­sion, six-year-old Beth El­bert has had a tougher start in life than most.

But even with the world of med­i­cal ob­sta­cles in front of her, in­clud­ing count­less surg­eries, Beth, with the sup­port of her fam­ily, re­mains a strong lit­tle girl.

Her in­fec­tious smile and heart-break­ing story has seen a num­ber of com­mu­ni­ties band to­gether, hop­ing to share the bur­den of her ex­ten­sive med­i­cal bills.

The re­sults have been as­tound­ing.

Iden­ti­tyWA Dis­abil­ity sup­port worker Lau­ren Henry started work­ing to ac­com­mo­date the surgery bills from pro­ce­dures car­ried out for Beth in Syd­ney and Perth.

“I started a fundraiser with gofundme to find a way to help her par­ents pay the gaps in med­i­cal bills be­cause they’re mon­u­men­tal,” Ms Henry said.

“I’m very ex­cited with the feed­back we have had for Beth so far. It’s been amaz­ing.”

In two months since Beth’s gofundme went live, the web­site has tracked over $15,000 to­wards her surg­eries, with many do­na­tions com­ing from anony­mous mem­bers of com­mu­nity.

Most re­cently putting their hands up to do­nate were box­ers Trent ‘Fitzy’ Fitzger­ald and Pat Eneanya, who do­nated $4600 and $1200 re­spec­tively. Both box­ers were signed up to fight at the Thun­der­dome XII held on Septem­ber 18 and both had promised to do­nate their en­tire win­nings to Beth.

“The two box­ers won their fights and do­nated their full purses to Beth’s fundraiser, so gen­er­ous,” Ms Henry said. “So in one month we had 64 peo­ple do­nate and reach the $15,000, which was a hum­ble es­ti­mate of her in­sur­ance gaps but an amount her fam­ily and I never ex­pected to reach.”

Beth’s mother Jane El­bert said she had never ex­pected the fundraiser to have done so well and was blown away with the do­na­tions from the box­ers.

“What gen­er­ous peo­ple they are, it just goes to show you can’t ever judge a book by its cover,” she said.

“All the sup­port is very hum­bling, and it’s so lovely to think ev­ery­one loves Beth. It makes me very happy.”

From the suc­cess of the gofundme for Beth, Ms El­bert said she hoped it would al­low more op­por­tu­nity to travel to the Syd­ney Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal.

“Beth’s got on­go­ing spinal prob­lems which are com­pli­cated,” she said. “So it’ll mean now we can fly over to Syd­ney to see her spe­cial­ists when­ever we need to.”

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d444389

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son d444389

Beth El­bert (6) has had count­less surg­eries.

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