Com­mu­nity spirit shines

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Ai­den Boy­ham

Rock­ing­ham’s fan­tas­tic com­mu­nity spirit was on dis­play on Novem­ber 5 and 6, with Warn­bro woman Jo-Anne Cooke rais­ing $8000 dur­ing a special fundrais­ing walk for a de­serv­ing fam­ily.

Mrs Cooke braved the heat and pounded the pave­ment across Rock­ing­ham, walk­ing 80km in a bid to raise as much money as pos­si­ble for 10-yearold Safety Bay boy Lach­lan Wright, who suf­fers from a rare con­di­tion known as 23q23.1 mi­cro dele­tion syn­drome. With Lach­lan’s con­di­tion en­com­pass­ing se­vere life­long re­frac­tory epilepsy, in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity and autism, the funds from the walk are set to be put to­wards help­ing the Wright fam­ily pur­chase an as­sis­tance dog, which will cost $40,000.

Mrs Cooke walked 60km on the Satur­day and fin­ished the re­main­ing 20km on Sun­day be­fore a big fun day at the City of Rock­ing­ham RSL took cen­tre stage.

She de­scribed the heart- warm­ing re­sponse from the com­mu­nity as over­whelm­ing; with a 30 cent do­na­tion from a home­less man one of the most touch­ing mo­ments.

“It was ab­so­lutely lovely — when he found it was for a kid in need, he chased us down to make sure that it went into the tin,” Mrs Cooke said.

“It was such a com­mu­nity event; this man had tears in his eyes and the en­joy­ment he had in giv­ing made the whole thing worth it.”

Lach­lan’s mother, Elisha Wright, said the money raised was a huge step for­ward for their fam­ily. “We couldn’t be­lieve the gen­eros­ity of the Rock­ing­ham com­mu­nity — it was un­be­liev­able how every­one came to­gether,” she said. “Be­tween what we’ve raised so far we are nearly halfway to $20,000, which is awe­some.”

With Lach­lan’s con­di­tion also af­fect­ing his cir­ca­dian rhythm and sleep cy­cle, Mrs Wright said an as­sis­tance dog would make a huge dif­fer­ence to both his and the fam­ily’s lives.

Pic­ture: Wil­liam Cooke

Team Lochie was all smiles as they ap­proached the fin­ish line dur­ing their fundrais­ing walk.

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