A young Taroom girl who battles multiple chronic illnesses is bravely taking part in the Children's Hospital Foundation 42K Your Way fundraising challenge, to help raise much needed funds for other sick kids.
Five years ago, Brooke Hay began a health journey that no 10-year-old should go through, after she began feeling dizzy, shortness of breath, swelling, hives, unexplained loss of consciousness, and more.
Her journey saw her go from a strong, fit healthy girl who would have a go at anything, to being restricted physically, mentally, and socially, with days spent in bed.
In the last twelve months, she was diagnosed with Dysautonomia, Vasovagal Syncope (a sudden drop-in heart rate and blood pressure leading to fainting), and severe allergies.
"When I first became unwell, it was daunting and scary, and resulted in lots of hospital admissions. It was a long, tough road to find a correct diagnosis, with a lot of testing," Brooke said.
"I have ridden the roller coaster of emotions countless times, and it's definitely taken its toll - it's a seven-hour car trip to Queensland Children's Hospital, and spending so much time away from my family has been an ongoing struggle."
Brooke's giving 42k Your Way her all, raising much-needed funds for medical research in the hopes of finding out more about her condition.
"My allergy symptoms have been improved with medication; however, I haven't yet found a treatment which has been successful in treating my Vasovagal Syncope. I hope that with medical research, there will be new therapies discovered which will help improve the quality of life for myself, and kids like me," she said.
"I know how difficult sickness can be, both for a child and their family, and an accurate diagnosis is the first step in management and treatment.
"My family and I have been supported by the Children's Hospital Foundation in so many ways during my admissions, and so I am raising funds for them to ensure they can continue to support other sick kids and their families.
"I am hoping to complete the 42km by walking, but if I struggle with my conditions, I will look at motorbiking, horse riding - or my sisters can always carry me!" Brooke said.
Brooke's mother, Benita Hay, said her daughters illness had been a long journey over the past five years.
"Brooke would have had between 40 to 50 missions to hospital and we are very proud she is raising funds for the Children's Hospital Foundation," Mrs Hay said.
"She is really very selfless and worries about everyone but herself, and now aged 14, she is passionate to raise awareness of what sick children face in their everyday life."
With an initial fundraising goal of $1000, the Taroom community have well and truly rallied around Brooke's valiant efforts, and she has now raised more than $5000 through selling funky socks and her 42k Your Way involvement.
A true budding philanthropist, Brooke will also be conducting an auction on her Facebook page in August to raise additional funds for the Foundation, with prizes being donated from a range of local businesses.
Children's Hospital Foundation CEO, Rosie Simpson, said Brooke for her incredible support.
"Everything we do is for kids and young people just like Brooke, and it's a true privilege that she is choosing to raise awareness for the Children's Hospital Foundation," Ms Simpson said.
"I encourage Queenslanders to get behind Brooke and go the distance for sick kids this August. I can't wait to see the community come together."
To support Brooke, visit her team page, Pull Your Socks Up For Brooke, at https://www.42kyourway.org.au/fundraisers/PullyoursocksupforBrooke.