Major support needed for sepsis survivor fundraiser
CURRENT and former rugby league and surfing stars will come together at the Kirra Beach Hotel on Saturday to lend their support to a major fundraising plight.
The fundraiser will see the likes of former world surfing champion Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew and NSW State of Origin star Nathan Peats join the community in support of Tweed resident and double amputee, Jason Gall.
Mr Gall, a former surfer and rugby league player, had his life changed forever two years ago when sepsis left him a double leg amputee. Receiving dialysis for kidney failure three days-a-week, Mr Gall also lost his left hand.
Mr Gall's long-term partner Karen Fursman said the fundraiser was hoping to raise much needed funds for a bionic/electronic left hand, which could cost between $80-180,000.
Ms Fursman, who has quit work to care for Mr Gall full-time, said the family had been overwhelmed by the support and generosity shown after a phone call led to the fundraiser being organised.
"I was meant to meet some girls one night, and Jason got sick after dialysis, so I had to (cancel). I sent a picture of us and they decided that they needed to do something," Ms Fursman said.
"They asked what I wanted more than anything, and I said a hand would give Jason so much independence, it would change his daily life."
While resilient, Mr Gall is unable to perform simple, everyday tasks, but Ms Fursman said a bionic/electronic hand would offer a lot of independence.
"He's incredibly resilient and strong, but it gets debilitating for him. With the (bionic arm), Jason would be able to put on his legs, even just put on his pants, and it would be a whole new world for him," she said.
The Tweed Heads chapter of the Men Of League Foundation has also offered strong support to the fundraiser, and hope to provide assistance in helping Ms Fursman carry out much needed crucial repairs to the pair's home.
"Jason played league, and he spoke at a Tweed Men of League barbecue, and that's where we met Ben Ross (MOL national wellbeing manager)," Ms Fursman said.
"They want to support us; I struggle to get Jason in and out of the bathroom, and we need to get it fixed so he can shower himself. It needs a lot of work, so they really want to help us."
The fundraiser will feature auction prizes, including five nights accommodation at Kommune Bali, flights to Canberra and accommodation at Jindabyne, signed and framed rugby league jerseys and surfing paraphernalia and more.
"I'm in awe of what has been given and donated to us, and in awe the amount of amazing work people are doing," Ms Fursman said.
Tickets are $70 per head, with $50 of every ticket going directly to Jason's cause. Tickets include finger food, beer, wine and soft drinks.
Ms Fursman said a GoFundMe page had been set up to coincide with Saturday's fundraiser, which can also be found by searching Jason Gall, under medical on the website.
JASON GALL FUNDRAISER
Where: Kirra Beach Hotel
When: 11am-4pm (Qld), Saturday, October 28.
Tickets: $70 per head. Email email@example.com, or call 0402 629 201, or 0403 920 015.