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. The stellar year umpiring at VFL level in 2008 saw Chris rewarded with umpiring duties in the VFL Grand Final at Telstra Dome, which then lead to an even bigger reward, in the form of a contract to umpire in the AFL.
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, including everything they owned, onto a container ship, following Leanne and Flynn’s lead.
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.
I go to drama classes every Monday night. My drama school is called ‘The Drama Company’. In the first term we learnt how to act, especially ‘slapstick’. During term two we made short movies. One movie had no sound and was in black and white. My favourite movie was ‘Funniest Home Videos’. I got to be the host and introduce each act. We made up short skits using shadow puppets in term three.
The Molini’s Story
As a mother, Challenge now means happiness, support and freedom. Both my boys jump with glee when a letter from Challenge arrives in the post marked for them. The camps, the activities, everything we are offered is an absolute joy!