Special event to celebrate William and help Wheeler family
CHRISTMAS wasn't the same for the Wheeler family this year, when just two weeks prior, their little William lost his life to cancer.
Described by his parents Lauren and Joe Wheeler as "the happiest little boy" who always had "a smile on his face," William was one of a kind.
But devastatingly, after a two-year battle with Neuroblastoma Cancer and just a month short of his third birthday, the brave little soldier lost his battle.
Now with the help of a family friend and backing of a kind-hearted community like Bundaberg, a special event will be held to remember William and help the Wheeler family.
After teaching their oldest son Ryan in kindergarten, Jasmine Williams witnessed first-hand the strong bond between the Wheeler family members.
"Lauren was pregnant with William at the time and also had Sam who was a toddler and when Lauren had William, she offered to bring him in and bath him to show the kindy children," Jasmine said.
"This was such a great learning experience and all the children were able to have a nurse of William … I cherish this memory of how kind Lauren was to bath a newborn in a Kindy room with a toddler at her feet."
Staying in touch with the Wheeler family and following their journey, Jasmine said she felt such a strong urge to help out in any way that she could and began organising a fundraising event for the family.
"I know people say this all the time but Lauren truly is a wonderful human being and mother - Lauren was always so caring, kind and patient with her boys," Jasmine said.
"(My partner) Gary and I have motorbikes, attend lots of different charity rides and the Wheelers are part of the Bundaberg Drag Racing Club, so we have planned a ride and drive event to raise funds for the Wheeler family.
"We wanted the ride to be inclusive for all, bike or car, as many are touched by their story."
Proceeds raised through registrations, raffles and individual donations will go directly to the Wheeler family on the day of the event.
"I have had people reach out to me who cant attend to make individual donations of cash and vouchers," Jasmine said.
"They have had a tough few years with lots of long stays in hospital, so we just want it to help them in any way it can … it truly breaks my heart and I can't even imagine what they have all been through."
Known for its community spirit, especially in a time of crisis, Bundaberg is set to come together for the special event next month.
With plenty of locals and businesses signing up, making donations and offering their assistance, the event will finish up at The Club Hotel for raffles, a live music performance by Abby Skye.
"I have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the community towards the event with some wonderful individuals and businesses reaching out to me to donate and help," Jasmine said.
"It has been a collaboration of kind and caring people to make the event possible.
"We want to celebrate William and support the Wheeler family - Joe, Lauren, Ryan, Sam and baby Jack."
Ride for William is on Sunday, January 10 next year.
Registrations will be open in the CQUniversity car park from 7am, with participants set to depart at 8.30am.
Travelling through Elliott Heads, Coral Cove, Innes Park, Bargara, Burnett Heads and Kendalls Flat, riders and drivers will end their journey at the Club Hotel around midday.
The cost to participate in the ride is $20 per person and raffle tickets are $5 for three tickets.
To volunteer or donate to the special cause, please contact Jasmine by phoning 0401 487 505 and make sure you hit attending on the event page on Facebook, by clicking here.