Reggie Bird’s quest for her son
B Big her Brother son Lucas from a terrible disease star Reggie is in the fight of her life to save ve
Reggie Sorensen is fast losing her sight, but before she can no longer see her two beautiful children, the lovable reality star wants to know her desperately ill son Lucas has the best p possible chance in life. “I’m afraid my little boy wi will die before a cure is foun found for cystic fibrosis [CF],” she says,sa fighting back tears at her modestmod Gold Coast home as s she cradlescradl Lucas in her arms. “He onlyon asked me yesterday, ‘Mum,‘Mum w would you rather be able tot see or for me to get better?’ “I said, ‘Mate, my little man, I’veI already seen everything, but you,y my lovely, you need to know anda feel what it’s like to be well anda healthy – so of course I’d w want you better!’ ” With a degenerative eye disease slowlys sending her blind, life has beenb pretty tough for Reggie, but shes shrugs off her own disability and anda disappointment at what fate has dealt her to focus on Lucas, seven, and his big sister Mia, 10.
“Lucas has more courage than the entire front row of his beloved Gold Coast Titans footy team,” she says. “He’s been rushed to hospital every two weeks this year with major complications after he was fitted with a feeding tube. He’s always nauseous but he never complains. He’s an inspiration to us all.”
Reggie, 43, says it’s his fighting spirit that keeps her positive in her dark moments when she feels she has little to smile about.
“I wake up every day and pray this isn’t the last day I’ll actually be able to physically see my kids,” she says. “Imagine the fear, closing your eyes to darkness then waking up wondering if it will be dark forever. When I put the kids to bed at night I say a prayer. I watch them fall asleep knowing that one day soon I won’t be able to see their little faces. It scares me more than anything to imagine I won’t know what they will look like as they grow older.”
Reggie suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, which affects the retina. She has just 10 degrees of central vision and can no longer drive. Even grocery shopping is a challenge. “I can’t see above or below,” explains Reggie. “If I can see a pencil across the room, I’ll
writes LIZZIE WILSON N
fall over 20 elephants to get t to it. I wish I could have someonene see what I see to describe how debilitating it is. Mia and Lucasucas are so gorgeous, they say, ‘Mum, Mum, we love how you walk us too school, no one else gets that’. at’.” ”
Reggie says as much as she he hates her own disability, herer heart breaks watching Lucasas struggle to eat and breathe because of the severity of his CF. He has put on just 3kg in threehree years, and at less than 20kgg is half the weight of his schoolmates. ates.
“Poor little thing,” she says. ys. “He’s never been so sick andnd he was so excited about goingg into grade two but he’s missed two months already. He just wantsants to be like the other kids, and I’d love to be a normal mum but I never will be. All I can do is love and care for them as best I can.””
Every week is a struggle financially. The $250,000 Reggieeggie won in Big Brother in 2003 has long gone. She rents a modest dest home and works in a call centre when she can, but shehe often has to care for Lucas.
“I try hard to see the positive tive but it’s a daily struggle,” she e says. “Anyone who has a sickck child, particularly one withh CF, would understand how toughugh it is. Mia is the most loving bigg sister but sometimes she says I favour avour Lucas because he needs my y attention. One day after school hool I saw Mia holding Lucas’s hand and asking him if he had a happy day. I cried a river that day.” .” May is cystic fibrosis awarenessness month. Take part in the “655 Roses” challenge at www.65roses.org.au
‘Lucas has more courage than the entire front row of the Titans’