Ipswich auntie supports Heartkids for sister, to help sick kids
GIVEN her family experience, Kelly Verrall has every right to feel emotional delivering tremendous support for Heartkids.
She lost her sister Nikki in 2012.
Kelly's nephew William continues to inspire with the way he is dealing with congenital heart disease.
What pleases Kelly is watching young people in particular support Ipswich Vigoro's annual Heartkids Gala Day where she is event co-ordinator.
"To see them have fun and it wasn't serious,'' she said.
"Just the communication with all the laughs and the giggles and they knew it was for a good cause.
"It was a great day. The kids had a ball.''
Young vigoro players and their friends teamed up to play in two junior round robin competitions.
More than $1000 was raised at the latest fun day at the East Ipswich grounds.
About eight babies a day in Australia are born with congenital heart disease.
Kelly said with no cure for CHD and at least four babies a week dying nationally from the condition, it was important to continue supporting Heartkids causes.
"It is personal reasons for me because my nephew is a heartkid,'' she said.
Kelly said her sister also wanted to give back to Heartkids as much as she could before passing because "they really helped her and her family when Will was born''.
"I'm sort of doing it on her behalf,'' Kelly said.
"I'd do anything for sick kids.''
Monies raised from various Heartkids events goes into major research projects.
The Raceview State School teacher aide said seeing how William dealt with his challenges was incredible.
The 11 year-old year six student can't be involved in heavy contact sport but enjoys every opportunity to play soccer for Raceview and cricket for Northsiders.
"Wil is going really well,'' Kelly said.
"He's had three or four open heart surgeries and he's very healthy considering what you see around. We are just very, very lucky with him.''
Will was among the kids playing in Saturday's games.
Kelly is also an ambassador for other Heartkids activities in the Ipswich region. They include a walk from the Robelle Domain at Springfield set down for October this year.
People can register on the Heartkids website to make a valuable contribution to ongoing fundraising and research efforts.
February 14 is a major Heartkids fundraising day nationally.
Although not playing in recent seasons, Kelly is a long-time Wildcats vigoro player.
That is why Saturday's annual event remains so important to her family and the Ipswich vigoro community.