7 local GoFundMe campaigns more worthy than Israel Folau's
THE controversy surrounding Israel Folau's now-defunct GoFundMe page has shone a light on many of the worthy causes using the crowdfunding site.
The star player faced intense criticism for asking strangers to donate to his legal fund as he prepares to fight Rugby Australia for unfair dismissal.
It did not go unnoticed that Folau's campaign was on the website near fundraisers for children with terminal illnesses.
In light of the debate, the NewsMail has put together a list of six local GoFundMe campaigns supporting causes more worthy than Israel Folau's legal bills.
Jess Harvey started a GoFundMe to raise money for Swick Automotive, a small, family-run Bundy business after it was again targeted in a break-and-enter.
Jess said the owner had "put in many years of blood sweat and tears, long days and down right hard work to purchase every tool that is needed to help any customer that may walk through his door on his own”.
"On his birthday this year his family business was broken into and all his specialist equipment tools and everyday tools were taken,” she said.
"Without these tools and equipment he is now limited to provide the service he is well known for.
"Please help a local small family-run business get back up on their feet.”
$4310 raised of $40,000 goal
Julie Cross is such close friends with Jo she refers to her as her sister.
"Jo just turned 50 in March and three weeks later she went to the doctor for a check-up where he discovered a lump and immediately sent her to a specialist,” Julie said.
"The specialist informed her that what they have found was a rare form of cancer of the bowel and anus and this type of cancer is also linked to cervical cancer.”
Jo is undergoing six weeks of radiation everyday and chemotherapy in between, meaning she can't work during that period and with the side effects and the pain that she will more than likely experience it could possibly turn into months off work, Julie said.
"Jo is a sole income earner and hasn't been at her new job long enough to have accrued any significant sick leave or annual leave,” she said.
"The medication that Jo has already had to purchase has cost her over $400.”
Julie, who started a GoFundMe for her friend, said this was only the beginning of what Jo faced.
"Jo is the most beautiful person you would ever hope to meet, she said.
"I was lucky enough to meet her when I was five years old and to this day I am so grateful to call her my sister.
"Jo has spent her whole life making sure that her family and friends come first now it's time for Jo to let us help her.”
$1170 raised of $50,000 goal
Briege Taske started a GoFundMe after her best friend, Molly, was diagnosed with lymphoma.
"She has been so brave and so strong but I know her too well. She is very heartbroken by this horrible disease,” Briege said.
"With every medical treatment there is a lot of cost involved and Molly has been telling me little bits and pieces.
"There are scans, tests, beanies, comfortable clothes for chemo, health foods, medication, vitamins, accommodation in Brisbane.”
"Please can you help my best friend kick this disease in the butt, by making it a lot more comfortable for her and her family to get what she needs.”
$10,865 of $15,000 goal
A group of young Bundy men and women shaved their heads and coloured their hair last week to support their friend and colleague, Molly, who has been diagnosed with lymphoma (see above).
"We are raising money in aid of Canteen - the Australian organisation for young people living with cancer and every donation will help,” the GoFundMe says.
"Every donation no matter how big or small will mean the world to us and will help to make a difference to young teens diagnosed with this horrible disease.”
$1546 raised of $5000 goal
Susan Hackett was diagnosed with early stages grade 3 breast cancer in December 2017.
"I was in total shock thinking this could not be happening to me!” Susan said.
"Travelling five hours to the hospital to have chemo every three weeks away from family and friends was hard,” she said.
"The side effects were harsh and strong, though with every step I was closer to finishing my treatment.”
"My heart would melt seeing people who were worse off than me, patients who had no family with them and you could sense their fears, their loneliness facing these treatments.”
"I just want to make that connection to those people, and let them know that, yes, someone out there does care.
"That something is a care pack full of goodies which helps chemo and radiation treatments easier to deal with. Things like vouchers, shampoos, conditioner (natural products) brushes, combs, soaps, books etc”
"I am truly blessed to have so much support around me. There are some that need extra help and please support this cause for a special need. It comes straight from the heart.”
$832 raised of $2000 goal
Saturday, June 8, was a day that turned Rachel and her family's life and world completely upside down.
Rachel's 10-year-old daughter, Sienna, had been feeling "off” for a couple of weeks and Rachel decided it was time for her to see a doctor.
A routine blood test came back with unthinkable results - Sienna had leukaemia.
Rachel's best friend Georgia Bennier started a GoFundMe to support the family, quickly racking up thousands in donations.
Sienna is a happy-go-lucky 10-year-old girl who loves to dance and sing, go camping with her family and play with her friends, Georgia said.
Georgia said Rachel was a self-employed beauty therapist who opened her dream business three years ago and, only two months ago, opened a second business right next door.
"Without Rachel there to work her business and maintain her cash flow, there is no way she can uphold the rental payments as well as all the other day-to-day bills that do not stop coming in just because you're not there,” she said.
"There is the real possibility she would have to close her doors or attempt to sell the businesses she has dreamed about for years.”
Georgia said Rachel's husband and Sienna's father, a FIFO worker, had been dealt another blow, with a back injury threatening his ability to work.
"This could mean a length of time off of work himself due to this injury,” she said.
Georgia said Rachel had been told that it would be at least seven months before the family can return home.
"All that time Sienna will be receiving life-saving chemotherapy treatment, along with weekly lumbar punctures under general anaesthetic and regular scans to monitor the fluid on her heart and lungs.
"It will ravage her poor little body and she will lose her crown of beautiful long golden blonde hair.”
Georgia said Rachel and Dion's family was always there to support others in crisis.
"Rachel has single handedly been the back bone in many fundraisers herself for different occasions,” she said.
"Now is her time to be on the receiving end of the kindness for a change.”
Georgia said donations would go to keeping Rachel's business open, paying bills and covering expenses incurred while living away from home.
$9625 raised of $25,000 goal
Mellissa Broanda started a GoFundMe for her brother, 29-year-old Bundaberg man Daniel, to help with his recovery following a heart-breaking sequence of medical events.
Daniel, an insulin-dependent diabetic, needs full-time care after battling illness for years, losing part of his right foot to ulceration in 2016, suffering bouts of chronic pneumonia and being diagnosed with kidney disease and cardiomyopathy.
If that wasn't enough, 16 months ago he broke his other foot in a fall and spent weeks unable to walk.
Then earlier this month, Daniel suffered a major seizure and was in a coma-like state for 10 days. He'd had swelling of the brain.
"He can talk although he now has a slight speech impairment that may get better over time with therapy,” Melissa said.
Daniel, who deals with ongoing nerve pain, nausea, migraines and insomnia, may still have encephalitis, doctors fear, and worse it could be spreading.
Daniel has been placed on the kidney and pancreas transplant list but as he has lost so much weight he now needs to gain about 20kg before a transplant can even be considered, so he also needs a dietician and physiotherapist to work with him on a more regular basis.
Mum-of-three Melissa, 36, wants to raised money to get Daniel the care, medical aids, equipment, treatment and therapies he needs.
"Please help me get Daniel the treatments, therapies and other things he muchly needs to help him back on his feet and to have the best quality of life possible and work towards getting his transplant,” she said.
$530 raised of $6000 goal