Boxers add punch to fundraiser for Beth

Beth Elbert (6) has had countless surgeries.Picture: Jon Hewson           d444389
Beth Elbert (6) has had countless surgeries.Picture: Jon Hewson         d444389

BORN with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and more recently diagnosed with a life threatening spinal compression, six-year-old Beth Elbert has had a tougher start in life than most.

But even with the world of medical obstacles in front of her, including countless surgeries, Beth, with the support of her family, remains a strong little girl.

Her infectious smile and heart-breaking story has seen a number of communities band together, hoping to share the burden of her extensive medical bills.

The results have been astounding.

IdentityWA Disability support worker Lauren Henry started working to accommodate the surgery bills from procedures carried out for Beth in Sydney and Perth.

“I started a fundraiser with gofundme to find a way to help her parents pay the gaps in medical bills because they’re monumental,” Ms Henry said.

“I’m very excited with the feedback we have had for Beth so far. It’s been amazing.”

In two months since Beth’s gofundme went live, the website has tracked over $15,000 towards her surgeries, with many donations coming from anonymous members of community.

Most recently putting their hands up to donate were boxers Trent ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald and Pat Eneanya, who donated $4600 and $1200 respectively. Both boxers were signed up to fight at the Thunderdome XII held on September 18 and both had promised to donate their entire winnings to Beth.

“The two boxers won their fights and donated their full purses to Beth’s fundraiser, so generous,” Ms Henry said.

“So in one month we had 64 people donate and reach the $15,000, which was a humble estimate of her insurance gaps but an amount her family and I never expected to reach.”

Beth’s mother Jane Elbert said she had never expected the fundraiser to have done so well and was blown away with the donations from the boxers.

“What generous people they are, it just goes to show you can’t ever judge a book by its cover,” she said.

“All the support is very humbling, and it’s so lovely to think everyone loves Beth. It makes me very happy.”

From the success of the gofundme for Beth, Ms Elbert said she hoped it would allow more opportunity to travel to the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

“Beth’s got ongoing spinal problems which are complicated,” she said. “So it’ll mean now we can fly over to Sydney to see her specialists whenever we need to.”