In a typical year, Resilient Services would send our clients and friends Christmas cards to thank them for a fantastic year. As many of our clients worked from home in 2020, sending Christmas cards wasn’t feasible, we needed to innovate and do something different. Instead of spending on physical cards this year, Resilient Services sent ecards and donated the saved funds directly to the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation through the Kyle Sheldon Memorial Golf Day.

Sadly, Kyle was born with a twisted bowel that cut off the blood supply to the rest of his organs. As a consequence of his condition, Kyle required emergency surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital at only a few days old, which removed most of his bowel. As we learned at the charity event, Kyle had 36 operations in the first 36 months of his life before his parents, Grant and Margie Sheldon could finally take their son home.

Left to right: Phil, John, Donna, and Cameron at the 5th tea-box full of hope and optimism!

Despite his challenges, none of this held Kyle back. With continued support from the Royal Children’s Hospital, medication, and care plans, he attended school, played cricket and football, and lived a healthy and productive life. Tragically, Kyle was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bowel cancer at 26. He fought the illness with courage, determination and grit, but he lost his life four months later.

Inspired by their son’s courage, persistence, and determination, the Sheldon’s began the Kyle Sheldon Memorial Fund to support the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. Specifically, the Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction Service, led by Associate Professor Sebastian King.

Parents Grant and Margie have two aims for the fund; memorialise their late son Kyle and his legacy and prevent other families from going through what they did. Like many families, Resilient Services has strong connections to the Royal Children’s Hospital and were honoured to come along and have a hit of golf to support the foundation.

Just before midday, a team of John, Phil, Donna and Cameron trekked onto the Mt Derrimut Golf Club ready to impress. Phil and John have a direct connection with the Royal Children’s Hospital. Both had sons spend time at the hospital when they were very young, whilst Donna is the Philanthropy Executive at the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Throughout the 18holes, there were plenty of highlights, lowlights, cracking drives, and ball topping. Despite losing a few balls during the journey, all-in-all, the team was very pleased with their round going 6+ par. Unfortunately, despite their admirable score, they were up against some very talented golfers and finished in last place, hence, they were awarded the infamous NAGA award (if you know, you know).

Despite this setback, the team had a wonderful time on the course and were more than happy to support such a wonderful cause. Credit must go to Grant and Maggie who put on a fantastic day and memorialised their son in such a great way. The Kyle Sheldon Memorial Golf Day, which runs annually in January, is the family’s major fundraising event. This year’s 18-holes raised the most money via the fund yet.

If you wish to learn more about how Grant and Maggie are honouring their son’s legacy and the memorial fund, you can do so here: https://www.rchfoundation.org.au/2019/11/kyle-sheldon-memorial-fund-support-world-class-patient-care-model/

Similarly, if you wish to learn more about Associate Professor Sebastian King’s amazing work, and The Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction Service at the Royal Children’s Hospital, click here: https://www.rchfoundation.org.au/2020/10/the-complexities-of-care/

Finally, if you want to get learn more about the event, how to get involved, and the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, you can contact Donna via her email: donna.aranyi@rch.org.au

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