Settle down, get married, have kids. That’s how life goes, right?
Settle down, get married, have kids, endure the sleepless nights, kiss the bruises better, console them for lost first loves, support them through uni. Watch them settle down, get married, have kids… And so it goes, right?
For so many families, the joy and comfort found in the mundane routines of life are brutally interrupted when a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For some families, like the Frenkels, the comma of that interruption becomes a full stop.
Allan Frenkel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukaemia in May 1995, and died in January 1996. He was just 18 years old.
Allan’s family have worked at making that 1996 fullstop back into a comma: they gather every year to celebrate Allan’s life and to raise funds to help support the work of charities like Arrow. This year marks Allan’s 45th birthday, and together Allan’s family and friends raised $27, 994, just shy of their goal of $30, 000, with funds being split between Canteen and Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation. The money that comes to Arrow from the Allan Frenkel Foundation is put towards our patient support program, and it has a direct impact on the lives of bone marrow transplant recipients and their families.
What does that support look like in practice? It’s a petrol card to help with transport to and from appointments and treatments. It’s a grocery card to help feed the kids while Mum or Dad is unable to work. It’s a phone bill paid, or payment for accommodation near a hospital.
It’s that every day stuff that we all take for granted… much like we assume we’ll be able to watch all of our children grow up and have kids of their own.