THIS Sunday a fundraiser with entertainment, raffles and food will be held at The Nerrina, it is being held to help ease the financial burden for Diane Townsend and her grandson Austin as they go forwards on a journey that all hope will result in Diane donating a kidney to Austin.
“I have an appointment with the surgeon a second opinion doctor on Monday and after that it really is hard to know what will exactly happen,” Diane said. “Austin has got a bit of time up his sleeve. Originally they told us it could be 6-12 months before he would need dialysis and we want to find a donor before then. ”Once that happens it will be a case of keeping him as well as they can, till it gets to a point where they see he is deteriorating and he needs to be done.”
Diane is a realist and says the meeting with the surgeon may not result in her being the candidate for the donation but there is always a back-up plan. “They (doctors) have said that if my tissue match is not as good as what they would like it to be then they will put me into a group situation where someone in that group might be a better match for him and I will be a better match for someone else in that group,” she said. Preparing for his eighth birthday next month life has been easy for Austin and his family.
Diane said he can do things and is managing school but gets very fatigued. “He had an iron infusion a few weeks ago and that’s given him a bit of a boost,” she said.
“He is peg-fed and every night his mum and dad put a formula through the tube and that is pretty grueling – that’s happened for the last eight years. They it put it on about 10.00-10.30 when he is asleep and take it off at 2-3 in the morning.” The best scenario is that he gets the transplant, doesn’t reject it and starts eating normally.
Sunday’s fundraiser has been organised by friends with the family ‘sort of pushed into it’. “It’s hard to ask for help but realistically whoever the donor is there will be loss of income,” Diane said. “There is a small amount that is paid by the government, so if you work for a company that company will get a subsidy to cover your minimum wage while you are recuperating.” Diane Townsend and her husband Barry are self employed and she would qualify for the minimum wage, which would cover their overheads. “We are thinking that money raised will go to Austin and his parents because they will be in Melbourne for a while after the operation, so the hopefully the bulk will go to them,” she said. The community is invited to the fundraiser this Sunday at the Nerrina, which will be a day full of events for the whole family.
The fun starts at 12 noon and promises to be a great day.