South West teen face of Perth hos­pi­tal’s ap­peal

South Western Times - - News - Emily Ace

At just two weeks old, Joel Schaeche-Odine was di­ag­nosed with the life-threat­en­ing con­di­tion cys­tic fi­bro­sis, an in­her­ited ge­netic dis­or­der af­fect­ing breath­ing, di­ges­tion that re­duces life ex­pectancy to about 36 years.

The Bun­bury 16-year-old, a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to Princess Mar­garet Hos­pi­tal and now the Perth Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, hopes the com­mu­nity will dig deep dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son, after be­com­ing the face of the hos­pi­tal foun­da­tion’s Breath Easy Christ­mas Ap­peal.

Pro­ceeds re­ceived will fund crit­i­cal re­search and spe­cialised train­ing, as well as the pro­vi­sion of life-sav­ing equip­ment and im­proved ways of sup­port­ing the men­tal health of chil­dren through­out WA with res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases.

Money would as­sist the de­vel­op­ment of a smart­phone app to sup­port the so­cial de­vel­op­ment and men­tal health of young peo­ple with the con­di­tion, who can­not meet with oth­ers with cys­tic fi­bro­sis due to the high risk of cross in­fec­tion.

“I can’t min­gle with other kids with cys­tic fi­bro­sis, so this app will be able to help me so­cialise with other kids on­line, so we are not a di­rect med­i­cal threat to each other,” Joel said.

“I will be able to keep in good con­tact with my best friends Mark and Dylan who I can’t spend time with in per­son.

“Please help me sup­port Perth Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, who has sup­ported me since I was a baby.”

Perth Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive, Car­rick Robin­son says the fundrais­ing body was im­mensely grate­ful to the Foun­da­tion’s com­pas­sion­ate donors for their sup­port.

“Our work is on­go­ing and there is so much more we want to do to help young pa­tients with res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease, so we’d urge the WA com­mu­nity to help us help young­sters like Joel, by do­nat­ing to our Christ­mas ap­peal.”

Visit do­nate.pchf.org.au/.

Pic­ture: Jon Gell­weiler

Bun­bury teenager Joel Schaeche-Odine is the face of the 2018 Perth Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion’s Breathe Easy Christ­mas ap­peal.

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