On Sunday 18 May, Brainwave Patron, swim star Michael Klim, helped Brainwave celebrate its 20th birthday at Collingwood Children’s Farm with cake, guinea pigs and plenty of smiling kids.
Klim was joined by fellow Patron and broadcaster Shawn Cosgrove, Founder Jo Nicholls, Chairman David Blackley, Royal Children’s Hospital surgeon Geoffrey Klug, Junior Ambassador Tiffany Wasnig, other key Brainwave supporters, board members and sponsorship partners including senior executives and volunteers from Mercedes-Benz Australia, and a host of Brainwave families.
For two decades Brainwave Australia has been supporting families caring for kids with brain injuries and illnesses. To celebrate this achievement Brainwave families from far and wide converged on the Collingwood Children’s Farm on Sunday 18 May for a day of pony rides, fire trucks, guinea pig cuddles, music, face painting, tractor rides, a big BBQ lunch and, of course, kilos of birthday cake. Former Olympic swimmer Michael Klim, a passionate supporter of Brainwave, was on hand to help cut the 1.5-metre-wide birthday cake and put smiles back on the faces of sick kids.
Brainwave founder Jo Nicholls launched the organisation in response to her son Nic’s brain tumour diagnosis at age six. She saw how many families struggled to cope with the financial, emotional and social pressures of providing ongoing care for children suffering from everything from stroke to epilepsy.
Jo says bringing families together for days of free fun like Sunday’s party is central to Brainwave’s work. “When children are sick, life can become awfully serious,” Jo says. “We find that not only children but siblings and parents too really need the chance to relax and laugh together. It relieves the stress and isolation many are feeling, and builds friendships with others facing similar challenges.”