CORY Panazzo’s final wish is straight from the heart.
After seven months of calling the Royal Children’s Hospital home, the inspirational 17-year-old just wants to help other sick kids.
In two weeks, Cory’s fundraising Facebook page – along with his own savings of $1000 – has already raised $3500 for tomorrow’s Good Friday Appeal.
Now, he is hoping Ballarat will once again open its pockets for a good cause.
Cory last week left the RCH’s Kelpie ward, which is specifically for teenage patients, to be closer to his two Ballarat-based sisters.
Cory has a terminal form of genetic condition neurofibromatosis, or NF1, which causes tumours on his skin, eyes and nerves and is found in one in 3000 people.
In October, a fall burst a tumour in Cory’s neck, resulting in his RCH admission.
“It (the RCH) was amazing. They were the best ever,” Cory said.
“I just want to try and get them as much money as possible.”
Cory’s school friends at St Brigid’s College, Horsham, have rallied behind the cause, raising funds through bake sales and sausage sizzles.
Friend Cathryn Mann said: “Every time anyone thinks of something, we just do it”.
Cory’s sister Emma Ward owns Hairhouse Warehouse in Stockland Wendouree and will donate 10 per cent of all today’s profits to the appeal, along with all funds raised by day-long raffles with prizes donated by other Stockland shops.
Gold coin donations will also be accepted.
“The RCH was amazing, absolutely amazing,” Ms Ward said.
“We never got a grumpy nurse or a grumpy doctor. They were so good to Cory.
“The main reason we’re doing this is to make people aware of the appeal and of the disease.”
Good Friday Appeal area manager Ray Trounson said he was keen to help out when contacted by Ms Ward earlier this week for fundraising tins.
Mr Trounson, who has run the appeal in the Ballarat region for 23 years, said he initially became involved through the Wendouree Fire Brigade but stayed on to help out because “I just love kids”.
Over the next two days, he will help pick up 80 collection tins and co-ordinate nearly 100 collectors.
“I keep saying I’ll retire and hand it over to my son but someone said to me the other day to wait until 25 years,” he said.
To donate, go to Cory's Facebook page.