Kids with brain illness not letting anything stop them from having a great weekend away. 

Take 16 families of mums, dads, carers, kids with neurological conditions and their siblings, add a flying fox, a giant swing, rock climbing, a kids zoo and archery and you have Brainwave Australia’s ‘Camp Brainwave’ happening this weekend at the YMCA in Yarramundi.

The two and a half day camp is held for children suffering from various neurological conditions and their families and comes to them at no cost thanks to the generous financial support of Brainwave Australia, the use of the YMCA facilities at Camp Yarramundi and the corporate volunteers from Ferrero Chocolates.

The Kimmings family from the Blaxland area are one of the 16 families taking part in ‘Camp Brainwave’. They seem like just your average family of five, but what makes them (and those like them at ‘Camp Brainwave’) so special is that one of the kids, Lucy aged 11, has suffered severe epileptic seizures from just eight months of age. For the Kimmings family the camp provides a rare chance for them to take a break, enjoy the company of others and share a laugh.

Lucy also suffers an intellectual disability; this means she needs a little extra time and care at home and at school. Events such as ‘Camp Brainwave’ means that Lucy’s siblings get a chance to not only play and explore with other kids in similar situations, but also with Lucy – an experience which takes important steps in rebuilding the family bonds that are often damaged when living day to day with a sick child in the home.

Similarly, 10 year old Chandelle Falls, who suffers severe seizures on a regular basis as well, and her family are also regulars at ‘Camp Brainwave’. Last year, Chaela-lee Falls and Zoe Kimmings, the siblings of Chandelle and Lucy, bonded over the ‘Camp Brainwave’ weekend and built a time capsule together. This time capsule has been kept safe by Brainwave and will be presented to the girls this weekend.

The camp provides a fun, supportive environment where parents facing a raft of challenges can share stories and experiences while their kids gain confidence and skills by trying new things and creating long lasting friendships.

According to David Blackley, Brainwave’s Chairman, “Events like the Yarramundi camp not only give joy to these brave children but also offers a welcome escape from the daily challenges that their parents and siblings face, as well as a chance to connect with others whilst enjoying a weekend away. It’s important for families to realise that they are not alone in their situation – there are others in the same boat.”

Brainwave Australia was founded in 1994 by Josephine Nicholls after her son nearly died during life-saving brain surgery. It is Australia’s only charity supporting children suffering from a brain illness or acquired brain injury.