While the pandemic continues, one local family is making sure that other health concerns in the community don’t go unrecognised.
The Savage family in Caroline Springs has partnered with charity Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision to raise money and awareness for bone marrow failure and its related conditions, with the charity launching ‘Maddie’s Month’ last week.
The charity was founded by the Riewoldt family, including AFL players Nick and Jack, and is named after Nick’s sister who lost her battle with a rare bone marrow condition in 2015.
Carter and Skye Savage both have conditions linked to bone marrow failure, and mum Karen said it has taken its toll on their family over the years.
“When Carter was born he was a perfectly normal baby, but it wasn’t long before he was unwell all the time,” Ms Savage said.
“He would get colds, but it would take him two months until he was better. We were battling for answers for two-and-a-half years, and when Skye came along we just knew that whatever was wrong with Carter, Skye had the same thing.”
The kids were eventually diagnosed with Shwachman–Diamond syndrome, which meant they were not producing enough white blood cells to fight infection.
It meant they would both later require a bone marrow transfer.
Ms Savage said working with Maddie’s Vision had helped their family immensely, and encouraged those that could to donate to the worthy cause.
“I was so excited when Maddie’s Vision came about because here was an amazing opportunity for researchers to get funded to find cures or other treatments,” she said.
“We still have some challenges to face, but for the most part our quality of life is outstanding now compared to what it was.”