BOORAGOON teenager Oscar Sanchez is one of 30 children set to benefit from a $10,000 Commonwealth Bank grant to Cystic Fibrosis WA.
Oscar’s older sister Marina has cystic fibrosis and for four years he has attended an annual camp for the siblings and children of people living with the disease.
Hosted by Cystic Fibrosis WA in collaboration with the Department of Sport and Recreation, the 30-person camp provides opportunities for kids like Oscar to share their daily experiences, build friendships and network with other young people living with a parent or sibling who has the disease.
Oscar said the camps remind him he is not alone and that thousands of families across WA are affected by the genetic condition.
“Luckily for our family, Marina is quite healthy and has had to go into hospital only twice,” he said.
“For others it can be really hard because some people with cystic fibrosis can quite easily get very sick and that can be stressful for the whole family.”
This year’s camp will be held at the Point Walter Recreation and Conference Centre in September.
“What I enjoy most about the camps are that by the end of it you’ve basically made friends with everyone,” Oscar said. “Everyone gets along and there is just a general vibe of happiness.”
Cystic Fibrosis WA services manager Kathryn Perkin said the grant money would help pay for a wide variety of activities such as high ropes, abseiling, flying fox and raft building.
“The money will be used to facilitate all of these activities, provide accommodation, food, a small information/support pack and a separate social opportunity for older siblings to network and reconnect,” she said.
Since the Commonwealth Bank Community Grants initiative launched in 2007, $13.7 million in grants have been awarded to more than 1600 youth-focused organisations, supporting a range of programs.