Doreen Fire Brigade welcomed Isla Magann, the face of this year’s Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, as an honorary member of the brigade.
Isla met with brigade members last month, where she toured the fire station and truck, to help promote the Good Friday Appeal, which is on Friday.
The eight-year-old is in remission after spending half her life in treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
After Isla was first diagnosed in 2017, the Magann’s world was turned upside down. But after three months of treatment Isla was officially in remission.
However in July 2020, Isla relapsed and leukaemia was not only found in her bone marrow, but it had spread to her central nervous system.
“Isla’s relapse was the worst day of our lives,” Isla’s mother Leanne Magann said.
It’s been a long road the Magann family since then but Isla is now nine months post stem cell transplant and remains in remission.
Although Isla’s cancer journey is not over yet, her family remains positive thanks to the support of her treating team at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Ms Magann said Isla was back to her bubbly self at school and dancing to her heart’s content.
As part of Isla’s mission to raise awareness for the hospital, she met with Doreen Country Fire Authority, CFA, members where she was decked out in firefighter gear, used a fire hose and went for a ride in the fire truck.
After Isla’s day with the brigade she promptly turned to her mother and said ‘I need to come back here every weekend so I can take care of business’.
The appeal has special significance to the Doreen brigade, as two of Captain Robert Bury’s grandchildren have received life-saving care at the hospital.
Grandson Daniel was diagnosed in vitro with a blockage of the heart in 2001, and granddaughter Charli was born at 26 weeks gestation, weighing just 740g.
Upon Daniel’s arrival he was immediately transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital, where he would become one of the first newborns to receive a pacemaker, which saved his life.
When Daniel turned 18, he received a new pacemaker in a 10-hour operation.
“Daniel would not be alive today without RCH and their wonderful doctors,” Mr Bury said.
Charli developed necrotizing enterocolitis and, when she became septic, was transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“Eventuality after a full six months she was well enough to come home. Charli has had several follow ups at RCH and had revision surgery,” Mr Bury’s wife Carole said.
“Without the RCH and their wonderful dedicated and caring doctors we would not have these two amazing grandchildren”.
Doreen, along with Epping CFA, will be collecting this year at the intersection of Cooper and High Streets, Epping.
They have raised a total of $171,000 over the years and this year have set a target of $20,000.
“We run a bit of a competition amongst the rattlers to see who can collect the most from every mode of transport including buses, taxis, ambulances, police cars, fire trucks, motorcycles, horses, and pedestrians,” Mr Bury said.
“At the end of Good Friday we like to escort the collection into the city to meet up with other CFA Brigades whilst we await the final tally of the day’s collection.”
Good Friday Appeal executive director Rebecca Cowan said they were grateful to CFA for their continued support of the appeal.
“For 71 years, CFA have been supporting the Good Friday Appeal in raising much needed funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital and every year we are inspired by their generous contributions,” she said.
“So many of our CFA fundraisers have a personal connection to the Royal Children’s Hospital, making the partnership even more significant. We’re grateful to the CFA for all their hard work and support and are incredibly thankful to every Victorian who donates to their local CFA.”
CFA members have supported the Good Friday Appeal since 1951, volunteering their time and raising funds for the hospital and have raised more than $35 million.
To donate to Doreen CFA, visit www.virtualtinshake.com.au/fundraisers/EppingandDoreenFireBrigades/virtual-tin-shake.