In 2006, Chris was awarded the Chris Wise Education Scholarship, which he used to further his skills in what he hoped would become a full-time career. That same year, Chris was selected to umpire the TAC Cup Under-18 Grand Final. A stellar year umpiring at VFL level in 2008 saw Chris rewarded with umpiring duties in the VFL Grand Final at Telstra Dome, which then led to an even bigger reward – a contract to umpire in the AFL.
Challenge first met Ryder and his Mum, Melanie, in 2010. Ryder was diagnosed with ATRT, a rare brain tumour, when he was just eight months old. Like many families, they were facing a long and arduous 18-month stay in hospital. It wasn’t long after being admitted that Mel and Ryder became part of the Challenge family.
The Carnie family were living and working in Africa when their seven- year- old son Flynn was diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia in 2014. Flynn and his Mum Leanne immediately flew home to Melbourne, leaving dad Charles and his two older brothers to pack up the house. The boys loaded their lives in Africa and everything they owned onto a container ship, following Leanne and Flynn’s lead.
Sammy’s story speaks of the amazing impact the Chris Wise Education Scholarship had on her confidence. Having used the funds to take up drama classes, Sammy was able to find her voice in the world again.
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