The Australian baseball community has gone into bat for Brooke Kennedy, a courageous fourteen year-old who is urgently in need of a surgical procedure that will help her deal with a rare and debilitating condition...
Brooke Kennedy suffers from Early Onset Generalised Primary Torsion Dystonia, a rare, painful and degenerative condition that results in sustained muscle contractions producing twisting, repetitive movements and abnormal postures.
An inspirational teenager who previously played and loved baseball, swam, played tennis and participated in running events, Brooke has battled in recent times and is now largely wheelchair-bound, unable to attend school, wracked by painful contractions and weakened from medications required to control her condition.
Brooke desperately needs a surgical procedure known as Deep Brain Stimulation, something that is available overseas but has not yet been done in Australia on a child with Dystonia. Royal Children’s Hospital can do the surgery, but will require specialised equipment in the form of a stereotactic frame.
Without the operation, Brooke's prospects are bleak.
A fund-raising target of $50,000 has been set, a figure that will offset the cost of the equipment, without which this important surgery cannot be done.
Knowledge of Brooke’s condition has struck a chord with baseball people at all levels in the sport, with a process now in place to help out to the extent that we are able.
Family friend and Australian Head Coach Jon Deeble is among a group of high-profile baseball identities spearheading an appeal to help with Brooke’s situation.
“I saw Brooke three weeks ago on the Gold Coast, and she is not doing well,” Jon mentioned in a recent email to his baseball contacts seeking their support.
“With the help of Brooke’s mum we have put together a fund-raising strategy that we hope will make a difference to her life.”
“We can make a real difference to Brooke’s life by raising the money for the equipment, and for this much-needed operation,” Jon Deeble said.
“Not only will it help Brooke, but at least six others at the Royal Children’s who need the operation,” he said.
“After we have raised the money and Brooke has her operation, the frame will be donated to the hospital to help other kids.”
Pledging his full support, Sydney Blue Sox Coach and former Major Leaguer Glenn Williams has offered up a series of attractive items on eBay, including a Trent Oeltjen jersey, Luke Hughes bat and Richard Thompson signed baseball.
“This is definitely a worthy cause,” Glenn Williams said. “I have put these items on eBay and any money raised will go towards Brooke’s fund.”
BASEBALL MEMORABILIA AUCTION LINKS:
The appeal is registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria.
“To all our baseball friends, let’s get behind this little baseballer and give her this much-needed operation,” Jon Deeble urged.
To acknowledge your assistance in helping to achieve the surgery, the family invites you to email them atBrookestar.email@example.com – with your name and address – so that they can forward a thank you and a receipt.