Barooga Football Netball Club will this weekend throw its support behind Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation, a charity that funds organ and tissue donor awareness education.
Club general manager Tania Poole said all under-17 footballers and junior netballers would show their support by wearing the Zaidee rainbow laces for their games on Saturday.
‘‘All money raised will be donated back to the Zaidee Foundation,’’ Ms Poole said.
‘‘It will be an annual event every time Barooga and Cobram play each other, basically the same time that both senior teams play off for The Courier Shield.
‘‘Zaidee’s father Allan will be attending Barooga clubrooms this Thursday night about 6pm to speak with families about his organisation. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.’’
Zaidee Rose Alexander Turner died suddenly in 2004 from a burst blood vessel in her brain known as a cerebral aneurysm. She was just seven.
Kim and Allan Turner founded Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation in their daughter’s memory.
At the time of Zaidee’s death the Turner family had been registered organ and tissue donors for five years. As a result, Zaidee donated her organs and tissues.
Mr Turner said Zaidee’s gifts helped to save or improve the lives of seven people, yet she was one of only six children nationally to donate their organs in 2004.
‘‘Zaidee’s story is directed towards both children and adults so they can think about others who are waiting for a life-saving operation and a suitable match for an organ or tissue,’’ he said.
‘‘Think about giving this gift to others so they can live a better life and, in some cases, have a second chance at life.
‘‘Zaidee’s gift of her organs and tissues to others will allow them to have another birthday.
‘‘One in five people on the transplant waiting list will never get the chance to have another birthday if people do not become registered donors, but more importantly discuss this in their families.’’
Mr Turner said the rainbow symbol represented hope.
‘‘After every storm, the sun shines and there is a rainbow,’’ he said.
‘‘For those people on the transplant waiting list, the rainbow symbol offers them hope.
‘‘At the end of their rainbow is an organ or tissue to improve their life or, in most cases, save their life.’’
About 130000 Australians died in 2004. Only 218 were organ donors.
Mr Turner said Zaidee’s rainbow shoelaces were used to create awareness for this subject, especially by encouraging families to discuss the issues around organ and tissue donations and the commitment to registering as donors.
‘‘The community can reflect their support by wearing the laces, which are sold for just $2 a pair, just like the ones Zaidee wore,’’ he said.
●For more information visit www.zaidee.org
- Grahame Whyte