Wesley College student receives Fred Hollows Humanity Award


Wesley College student Nathan Duke-Yonge (12).
Wesley College student Nathan Duke-Yonge (12).

HIS desire to help and support others despite dealing with his own medial illness has earned Wesley College student Nathan Duke-Yonge the 2017 Fred Hollows Humanity Award.

Nathan (11) was born with Marcus Gunn jaw-winking syndrome, a rare condition in which the muscle of his eyelid was connected to his jaw causing his eye to open and close and with the movement of his mouth.

“Before my first surgery at (age) two or three, I use to have my (left) eye closed all the time,” Nathan said.

“I couldn’t open my eye without opening my mouth, so I have had about four surgeries to stop that and to help straighten my eye and lift my eyelid.”

Wesley College’s Head of Middle School Peter Dunning nominated Nathan for the Fred Hollows Humanity Award after Nathan held a cake stall at school to raise money so he could help others who could not afford surgery to have their sight restored.

“Last year, on the day before his own surgery, Nathan set up a cake stall, raising about $75, which he gave to The Fred Hollows Foundation,” Mr Dunning said.

“He works tirelessly for others and never complains about his eyesight, his operations or his condition.

“He is a wonderful ambassador, not just for his family and our school, but also for all the boys and girls who suffer these conditions and undergo operations.”

Nathan held his stall again this year, raising about $300 for the foundation, which he sees as helping about 12 children with eye conditions like him.

The Fred Hollows Humanity Award started in 2012, expanding into WA this year, with 420 children nominated across the country.

Kewdale students Ahmed Liban Mohamed, Farwa Nahoori and Tarek Ahmad Hawchar also received a Humanity award this year.