A Bray Park family has been given a front row seat at this week’s Dolphins’ Captains Run at Kayo Stadium.
The family has been the fight of their lives for the past two years after Aliannah contracted meningococcal sepsis at the age of six.
Before being stricken by the disease, Aliannah was just like any other six-year-old, playing happily.
But one day she started vomiting and had a temperature, and before long was fighting for her life in hospital with meningococcal.
With medical intervention, Aliannah was able to fight back, but she then faced a battle with sepsis, which emerged because of the battle with the initial disease, mum Bianca Collins says.
“We know that we’re lucky to still have Aliannah with us today, but it’s meant that her extremities including fingers, legs, feet, and toes lost circulation have been removed, and we’re still grieving the loss of those limbs, it’s heartbreaking.
When Aliannah was fighting for her life in hospital, Bianca lost her job, further adding to the pressure and stress the family faced.
“I was let go from my job because of all the time I was spending at the hospital, so now my full-time role is caring for Aliannah, which puts a real financial burden on the family,” Bianca says.
To help raise awareness of Aliannah’s story and to bring a smile to the footy-loving family, Ausbuild and the Dolphins invited them to attend this week’s Captains Run.
Ausbuild joint managing director Matthew Bell says it was special to share the run with Aliannah and her family as the Dolphins’ final game of the 2023 season approaches.
“As community partner of the Dolphins, we are privileged to be in a position to connect with the local community and raise awareness of social issues impacting our region and its families,” Matthew says.
“We were made aware of Aliannah’s story through our partnership with Bray Park State High School and the principal put forward the family as someone who could really do with some good news and some extra promotion to help with their fundraising efforts.”
Mum of four Bianca says her family is grateful for the community’s support and excited to join the Dolphins for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“We’re so excited to join Ausbuild and the Dolphins at the Captains Run - we love watching the footy as a family, and to get to enjoy this experience is very exciting,” she says.
“The school and our community have been amazing, they’ve dropped off care packages and meals, and helped with covering some school costs.
“They’ve also let us run multiple fundraisers to go towards the cost of the vehicle that we’ve just purchased to fit Aliannah’s electric wheelchair.”
Despite having the vehicle on order thanks to community fundraising efforts, the battle is not yet over, Bianca says.
“We’re still really struggling with the rising costs of living, and because the vehicle we’ve purchased is modified, the insurance is crippling, costing over $1500 a year just to keep it on the road.”
Proud to help
How you can help
Dolphins NRL chief executive officer Terry Reader says the Dolphins are very proud of the role they play in the local community and happy to help wherever they can.
“It is even more rewarding when we are able to work with a partner like Ausbuild to help make these things happen,” he says.
The family also received Dolphins merchandise, including jerseys and hats, thanks to Dynamic Bradview Roofing.
To find out more and to donate to Aliannah’s cause, click here.
Well-known LuvaBerry Farm owners Mandy and Adrian Schultz have announced their decision to put the property up for sale after two decades. Here's the story
Kyle Evans punched the air in delight as he took the chequered flag on his Australian Formula Open (AFO) debut - but the celebrations did not last long. ** FREE TO READ **
More than 800 submissions were made on the proposed route for stage four of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative (BHWA) through Elimbah. ** FREE TO READ **