A massive success for our inaugural Challenge 21
The WCH Foundation’s inaugural Challenge 21 was a massive success! Over 400 challengers pushed themselves out of their comfort zone from September 20 to October 10 and raised over $221,000 for families cared for by the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Network!
The breadth of creativity from challengers was amazing to see, with participants challenging themselves to everything from baking 21 goodies, learning 21 songs, reading 21 books, walking 21km, exercising for 21 days, kicking 21 goals, performing 21 gigs to giving up chocolate for 21 days!
We were continually inspired by the stories of our Challengers! We heard from people currently being cared for by the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, those who had survived illnesses or injuries thanks to the Hospital, those whose family members had been cared for and those who had sadly lost loved ones and were completing their challenges in their honour.
Here are just a few of the inspirational stories from Challenge 21:
The Roberts Family
Challenge 21 is inspired by the Roberts family who have been raising funds for the WCH Foundation for 15 years in memory of their son, Sam Roberts, who would have celebrated his 21st birthday this year.
The Roberts family rallied over 120 members for ‘Team Cycle 4 Sam’ who collectively raised over $130,000!
They all took on their own big challenges, with Lucy riding 21 laps of Victoria Park Racecourse on a tandem bike with her cousin, Charlie completing a full marathon and Michelle and Marty riding 210km on a single day!
“I’m so proud of my family and all Challenge 21 participants who completed challenges in memory of Sam,” Marty said.
“Regarding Team Cycle 4 Sam, we are so thrilled with the commitment and creativity of the participants and are in awe of the money raised to support paediatric palliative care at the WCH.”
“Epic was one way to describe it. Sam was looking after us,” Michelle added.
Matt’s youngest son, Hudson, and their family friend, Sophie, are both cared for by the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Matt decided to take on a challenge to give back to all the amazing staff who have cared for them.
Matt raised an amazing $12,000!
He took on various challenges over the 21 days (allowing his donors to choose these) starting with no junk food, then seven nights of camping, and ended with getting a Challenge 21 tattoo!
“It has been harder than I thought,” Matt said.
“This challenge has completely changed my outlook on so many things.”
Samuel was just six months old when he was diagnosed with cancer, but after the brilliant care he received is now a happy and healthy 25-year-old!
Samuel said, “Thankfully, I was too young to remember anything that I went through in this traumatic time but for many other kids this is not the case. Many kids have to go through some unimaginable circumstances and pain through what should be some of their most joyful times in life.”
To thank hospital staff for all the care he received as a child and support kids going through what he went through, he took on Challenge 21 and ran a 56km Ultramarathon!
“I’m so happy to be a part of this amazing challenge,” Sam said.
“Thank you to everyone that helped reached my fundraising goal, it brought me such joy seeing that number go up every day knowing where it’s all going!”
Nurse Practitioner, Sara Fleming, is the Clinical Care Director of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Palliative Care Service and cared for Sam Roberts during his time at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Sara challenged herself to undergo 21km rides with 21 friends in 21 days, in honour of Sam and all the children she has cared for over the years.
“I had a wonderful time!” Sara said.
“I was out there on the pedals with the joy of spring, carrying thoughts of wonderful, inspiring families and the purpose of this fundraiser to make a difference!”
Oskar is 14 years old and just recently was diagnosed with a brain tumour requiring surgery.
“Luckily the tumour was benign, and surgery went well. I had a few setbacks, requiring a second operation. I was quite anxious, but with help from hospital staff, family and friends, I’m feeling much better today,” Oskar said.
Although Oskar is going through a tough time himself right now, he was being incredibly generous, brave and selfless by raising money for other kids like him through Challenge 21! His challenge was to not ride his mountain bike for 21 days.
“I am an outdoors person and really love riding my mountain bike. Not being able to do it for a while was a really big challenge for me!” he said.
Oskar’s mum, Kristin, also feels a close connection to Challenge 21, having cared for Sam Roberts during her time as a nurse at the WCH. Kristin, Oskar and their family saw Challenge 21 as a way to thank the Hospital for all they do.
“We are so extremely grateful for the excellent care we received from the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. I’d like to thank everyone who supported me to support other sick kids and their families going through challenging times.”
We’d like to say a huge thank you to all our Challenge 21 participants and donors, as well as our media partners Fresh 92.7 and Channel 10, for making the first year such a success.
To learn more about the impact of your support, click here.Back to all news