Lost boy put his pal first

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY rachel. ri­ley@ news. com. au

THEY are among the north’s un­sung he­roes.

Ev­ery­day peo­ple who have over­come per­sonal ad­ver­sity and who have shown in­cred­i­ble in­ner strength to bet­ter the lives of those around them.

Bur­dekin can­cer cru­sader and coun­try crooner Keely John­son has raised al­most $ 500,000 in the fight against child­hood dis­ease.

In April, she also founded char­ity the Golden Oc­to­pus Foun­da­tion, which sup­ports on­col­ogy fam­i­lies and fundrais­ers for or­gan­i­sa­tions who re­search find­ing a cure for child­hood can­cer.

Keely, who suf­fers a rare blood can­cer her­self, has been nom­i­nated for a Pride of Aus­tralia Child of Courage Medal, which recog­nises those aged 16 years or un­der who have over­come ad­ver­sity through strength of char­ac­ter or helped save, or at­tempted to save, a life.

From a coura­geous health bat­tle, to bat­tling the el­e­ments, lit­tle Ni­cholas Bax­ter gave the shirt off his own back to help save his mate Timmy Carter af­ter the pair spent a har­row­ing 22 hours lost and alone on a Wul­guru hill.

The pint- sized neigh­bours set off on an “ad­ven­ture” in late May but be­came lost. In their bid to stay alive, Ni­cholas gave his shirt to Timmy to help him stay warm and carved ar­rows in the dirt for his fa­ther to help find them. Ni­cholas has also been nom­i­nated for a Pride of Aus­tralia Child of Courage Medal.

Ni­cholas’s mother Colleen Stor­month said once the cuts and bruises dis­ap­peared, her en­er­getic son had bounced back quite quickly.

But he still re­mains quite at­tached when it comes to leav­ing his fam­ily.

“He went back to school about a week af­ter he was found and he has been cop­ing quite well,” Ms Stor­month said.

“He can still cry at the drop of a hat and he is con­stantly ask­ing if we’re OK.”

Ms Stor­month said she was shocked a mem­ber of the com­mu­nity nom­i­nated her son for his brav­ery as she was still so grate­ful for all the help­ful of­fers to find Ni­cholas and Timmy.

“We were quite sur­prised what they were ca­pa­ble of out there,” she said. “A lot of peo­ple were touched by our story. But it was the best- case sce­nario to get him back in my arms.”

An­gela Grieve, who lost her son Re­gan to sui­cide ear­lier this year, has lob­bied the Na­tional Rugby League to de­vote more time and re­sources ad­dress­ing the men­tal health of young play­ers.

Ms Grieve has been vo­cal about the is­sue, de­ter­mined to pre­vent other fam­i­lies from suf­fer­ing the same pain and call­ing for greater fund­ing for highly trained wel­fare of­fi­cers.

Ms Grieve has been nom­i­nated for a Courage Medal, for those who have over­come per­sonal ad­ver­sity through de­ter­mi­na­tion and strength of char­ac­ter. Nom­i­na­tions for Pride of Aus­tralia close to­mor­row. The fi­nal­ists will be an­nounced on Au­gust 30. To nom­i­nate, go to townsvillebulletin. com. au/ pride­o­faus­tralia

Pic­ture: EVAN MOR­GAN

YOUNG AD­VEN­TURER: Ni­cholas Bax­ter has been nom­i­nated for a Pride of Aus­tralia Child of Courage Medal.

HEARTACHE: An­gela Grieve is up for a Courage Medal for her work rais­ing aware­ness of the men­tal health of young foot­ballers fol­low­ing the death of her son Re­gan.

CAN­CER CRU­SADER: Keely John­son has been nom­i­nated for a Child of Courage Medal for her fight against can­cer and her fundrais­ing ef­forts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.