Page 2023 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 June 2015

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At just six months old, Harry began a course of chemotherapy to help prevent any future regrowth of smaller tumours which were scattered throughout his body. We are happy to report that so far the chemotherapy has done its job. Whilst Harry’s tumours have not completely disappeared, there has been no regrowth.

Harry’s latest challenge is kidney failure, a disease which he has had to battle for the last two years. It is very pleasing to note that in February this year Harry was the recipient of a new kidney from his father, Brendan. Despite the expected ups and downs since the transplant, we are happy to report that both Harry and Brendan are doing extremely well. Just recently, Harry was well enough to return to school; he is a second grader at the Canberra Grammar School.

To help Harry through his medical battles, his parents established a charity, Harry’s Ride. It is through this charity that I had the pleasure of meeting them and also very briefly attending the fundraising dinner back in November. The event was held at Trevino’s restaurant at the Gold Creek Country Club, and all funds raised went to help support Harry and his family through the ordeal in Sydney earlier this year.

I would like to thank Trevino’s restaurant for hosting the fundraiser. Thank you also to everyone who attended and purchased auction items and to everyone who donated an auction item for the night. The time and money that people contributed was for an extremely worthy cause.

Most importantly, thank you to Harry’s parents, Lauren and Brendan. They are facing life’s toughest challenge, but they are facing it very stoically and with resolve to see their family remain fit and healthy.

I would also like to mention the medical staff who have treated Harry over the years. It goes without saying that they all do an amazing job. In particular, I would like to pass on the thanks of the family to Dr Jeffery Fletcher from the Canberra Hospital. Dr Fletcher is described by Lauren as their “knight in shining armour” and is always there to provide advice to the family.

Harry’s story demonstrates to all the importance of good health facilities, but perhaps more importantly the importance of family. Situations like theirs must surely be testing for all concerned, so a resilient and loving family is a must.

I encourage all members to support Harry and to welcome him and his family to the Assembly today. For more information about Harry and to keep updated on his progress, I encourage members to view his Facebook page at

In this ACT budget week, I can assure the family that all of us here are very much aware of the plight of you and many others around town and just how important it is that we get the priorities right, especially when it comes to health funding. In the meantime, I wish Harry and his family all the very best for the future, and thank and congratulate them on their journey.

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