Gol Gol’s Kym Chapman has set out on the journey of a lifetime, committing to raising $10,000 in 10 months for Moyamoya Australia through Charity Global TV.
‘Moyamoya’ is a rare cerebrovascular disease caused by blocked and narrowed arteries throughout the brain and in other areas of the body, which can lead to strokes and other complications.
Only one in 100,000 people have the disease.
Kym, who works at ‘Autograph’ in Mildura Central, has a deep and personal connection with the disease, and while she has the opportunity to feature on nationally televised show ‘Adventure All Stars’ if she raises the funds, she sees raising money for Moyamoya Australia and spreading awareness as significantly more important.
“My dearest friend, Nicola Baker, her eldest son Jed was diagnosed with moyamoya as a toddler. He suffered his first stroke due to the disease at 11 months old and suffered more afterwards, which have now left him intellectually impaired. Doctors didn’t know what was causing the strokes at first because it’s such a rare disease,” Kym said.
“In total he has had two strokes, three brain surgeries and a kidney bypass and it is not known if he will ever be able to live independently.”
Nicola founded Moyamoya Australia because of the lack of information there was about the disease and to of course help people and in turn spread awareness, and she asked Kym to get involved as soon as the opportunity arose.
“She instantly contacted me and I decided straight away to join her and raise this money. People get excited because I might be on TV but for me that’s secondary, I really want to do this for Nicola and spread awareness.”
Kym has done well so far and is gradually reaching her $1,000 target for March by receiving donations from her friends and family and some of the Gol Gol community.
However, her mind is set on bigger and better things.
“My family and friends and the community in Gol Gol have been really supportive,” she said.
“I’m sort of getting to that point now though where I need to approach other people outside of my network and in other communities, so I’ve been approaching businesses about donating for raffles, I’m even reaching out to airlines and zoos to see if they have anything they could give for a prize.
“I’ve reached out to iconic businesses as well like Stefano’s, the Grand, some of the wineries, and of course I would just love it if the general community got involved in donations too, that would be massive.”
Kym believes that through raising funds, awareness about the disease will spread throughout the community, which could in turn help someone else’s life.
“I know it will raise so much awareness. Everyone knows what a stroke is but this is a bit more acute,” she said.
“There could be someone out there in the community who does have some major issues of stroking and has other symptoms of moyamoya but isn’t aware of the disease, it can hit you out of nowhere.
“So, being able to spread awareness and raise funds for the charity, so they can keep helping families and individuals to the best of their ability, would be huge.”
While Kym has already garnered a good amount of support, she is still daunted by the challenge ahead as she has never previously attempted to fund raise at such a high level.
She remains headstrong however, and has until December to raise the full $10,000. If you would like to donate to Kym’s cause, visit https://moyamoyaaustralia.raisely.com/kym-chapman.