Fam­ily con­tin­ues to raise aware­ness

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

ABOUT 2.3mil­lion peo­ple watched the 60 Min­utes pro­gram on June 2, where Whit­sun­day res­i­dents Michelle Flynn and Colin Boucher told the story of their eight-yearold son Lin­coln’s hor­rific death from the rabies-like Aus­tralian Bat Lys­savirus (ABLV).

Dur­ing the pro­gram, it was re­vealed that Lin­coln, whose fam­ily lived and worked at the Long Is­land Re­sort, was be­lieved to have been scratched by a bat on the ten­nis courts late last year.

Since go­ing pub­lic with their tale, Ms Flynn and Mr Boucher have worked tire­lessly to es­tab­lish a foun­da­tion that will raise aware­ness of the dis­ease and pre­vent other fam­i­lies from suf­fer­ing the same fate.

In the past nine weeks the Lin­coln Lys­savirus Foun­da­tion has been of­fi­cially reg­is­tered and a logo and web­site cre­ated. The fam­ily have also set up a group Face­book page, which is al­ready be­lieved to be sav­ing lives.

“I just couldn’t sit by and let this hap­pen again,” Ms Flynn said.

“This whole sit­u­a­tion was quite pre­ventable with pro­vid­ing sim­ple in­for­ma­tion and aware­ness of bat scratches or bites to chil­dren and the wider com­mu­nity,” she said.

“So through Lin­coln’s dark­ness we will shine the bright torch for him in cre­at­ing the Lin­coln Lys­savirus Foun­da­tion to pro­mote aware­ness. With [pub­lic] help and sup­port, I’m sure within the next five years ask a school-age child what ABLV is and they will know.”

While set­ting up a foun­da­tion in such a short amount of time is a great achieve­ment, it has also taken a fi­nan­cial toll. Lin­coln’s par­ents no longer live or work on Long Is­land and al­though 60 Min­utes paid $10k for their story “that doesn’t even cover the first part of the foun­da­tion,” Ms Flynn said.

Whit­sun­day res­i­dents will now have a chance to sup­port Lin­coln’s fam­ily at a fundraiser to be held at Deja Vu restau­rant on Sun­day, Septem­ber 1.

The Lin­coln Long Lunch, fea­tur­ing Elvis im­per­son­ator Mark An­drew will start at 12.30pm. Tick­ets cost $60 and are avail­able from the venue.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.lin­colnlyssavirus­foun­da­tion.com.au.

RAIS­ING AWARE­NESS: Michelle Flynn and Colin Boucher have es­tab­lished the Lin­coln Lys­savirus Foun­da­tion to raise aware­ness of the rabies-like Aus­tralian Bat Lys­savirus dis­ease, which claimed the life of their eight-year-old son Lin­coln in Fe­bru­ary this year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.