WHILE Brett Rumford was busy winning the inaugural World Super 6 Perth trophy, he took some time out to speak with a 17-year-old Gosnells golfer.
Late last year, Harrisdale resident Luan Wright was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour that could yet take his young life.
Luan – who plays with the Gosnells Golf Club – has had some strong golfing results so far; he was victorious at Golf WA’s State Junior Matchplay titles two years ago and had reduced his handicap down to five and this year he was to be the senior captain of Como Secondary College’s Year 12 team.
But the first signs of his illness arrived late last year when Luan began having trouble reading the board at school.
At first it was thought he needed glasses, but when his vision continued to deteriorate alarm bells began to ring before he and his family were delivered the news that he had a tumour on his brainstem.
“It all happened so fast,” his father Charles said. “Our family’s world was turned upside-down in such a short period of time.”
Since then Luan has twice undergone surgery.
His mother Elna has stopped working to take care of him.
Luan’s golfing ambitions have gone on hold, the position of the tumour means his eyesight is affected and he cannot focus on the ball, and because of that his hearing has become so acute he must wear headphones to dull noises around him.
Luan’s latest surgery, in Sydney earlier this month, resulted in 40-50 per cent of the tumour being removed.
The nature of Luan’s tumour dictated that it was unsafe to remove any more.
That has meant Luan’s family are now searching for the next option in his fight to beat his illness but, after raising $55,000 for the surgery at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, they now need to same amount again as they investigate options overseas.
Luan’s funding page has been updated and is still available for donations.
Rumford took time out from his preparation to speak with to Luan and was a source of inspiration to a young man who has already found great comfort and relief in the generous level of support from family and friends.
“It was awesome to meet him,” said Luan, whose sentences are laboured by his illness, and made more poignant as he grasps for the words to convey the feelings of a young man dealing with his situation.
“He was really nice. He told me to stay strong. It was really good to hear him say those things to me.
“My family and friends have been so good to me.
“It is amazing how people have helped me in my situation. At Gosnells they have made me the non-playing captain of the pennants team this year.
“I want to get back on the course again. That’s what I’d really like.”