Attendees at Heart Kids’ annual Off The Cuff speaker luncheon at the Carlton Football Club on March 16 were treated to an insight into the machinations of the Melbourne underworld courtesy of Underbelly author Andrew Rule.
Andrew Rule, winner of a Gold Walkley award, the Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of The Year award twice and the Melbourne Press Club’s Golden Quill twice, is former deputy editor of The Sunday Age, associate editor of the Herald Sun from 2011 and is currently an investigative journalist for the Herald Sun.
He had attendees in the palm of his hand as he recounted tales of some of Melbourne’s most notorious gangland figures, and celebrated sportspeople.
Lunch guest were also moved to hear from Heart Kid Millie, and her Mum Ebony.
Millie was born with a rare heart condition that was detected when she was two years old, causing heart failure. “We had to drive an hour to the Royal Childrens Hospital without knowing if Millie was going to be ok because she was too sick for us to go in the ambulance with her,” said Ebony. “It was the longest hour of my life.”
Millie received a life-saving heart transplant and she, and her family, were supported by Heart Kids throughout her treatment and recovery. “She’s since started kinder and hasn’t looked back,” said a grateful Ebony.
Norman Hutton, State Manager HeartKids Victoria and Tasmania, shared news on the massive leap the charity has taken since becoming Heart Kids Ltd 16 months ago.
The organisation has since:
Facilitated a round table at Old Parliament House, Canberra – discussing the journey and issues that surround a child living with CHD and their extended family, that got the attention of Canberra and resonated with all who attended.
Established a national registry to track every child in Australia with CHD
Established a peer-to-peer support program for the parents of children with CHD to enable parents who have experienced the journey to support those just embarking on it.
Piloted a CHD family coping program in country Victoria, that will be rolled out nationally in 2018.
Secured government funding for a national CHD program. A system of support for people living with CHD.
“That watershed day for Heart Kids Victoria and Heart Kids LTD,” said Hutton. “If you’d said 12 months ago that we would have achieved all that, I would have said: ‘you’re dreaming,’ but I’m happy to be wrong.
“Heart Kids is an inspiring organisation to be part of. Kids like Millie are genuine superheroes, as are their parents, siblings and the cardiologists and medical staff who treat them.
“I you want to support we will be there with arms open to welcome you to our family. Ask yourself: ‘Do you want to be a superhero or not?’ Millie didn’t have a choice. She had to be the hero she needed to be.”
Heart Kids’ key annual fundraising campaign, Super Boss Day, is coming up on Friday, June 15. Created to enable Heart Kids supporters be heroes for kids like Millie, Super Boss Day asks you to dress up as your favourite superhero and become a super boss for a day, nominate someone else to be a super boss, or support a child like Millie as your super boss. To learn more about Super Boss Day you can click here.
One of Matthews Steer’s nominated charities for several years, Heart Kids is dedicated to supporting children with congenital heart disease - the greatest killer of kids aged one and under - with research, advocacy, support for their families and awareness.
With one baby diagnosed with heart disease every three hours in Australia, and four young lives lost each week, Heart Kids relies on donations from supporters to help them make a difference in the lives of children affected by childhood heart disease, and their families. If you would like to join Matthews Steer in supporting Heart Kids please make a donation here.