DOLTON Chippett has received nine blood transfusions in the past two years resulting from his blood cell abnormality known as hereditary spherocytosis.
The five-year-old has been chosen by Ballarat Health Services’ children’s ward staff as the 2014 child ambassador for Run Ballarat.
Mother Roxanne Fleming said it was important for her to see the hospital receive funding as it made it a nicer place when families were going through those tough times.
“And the better facilities at Ballarat means the less travelling to Melbourne,” Ms Fleming said. “You don’t think it could be your child that will end up in hospital, but sometimes it is.”
Run Ballarat sees the city unite to run, walk or roll a six or 12-kilometre course to raise money for the Ballarat Base Hospital Children’s’ Ward.
Dolton’s younger brother, Leon, 4, also has the abnormality but does not have any symptoms.
Ms Fleming said Dolton started showing symptoms after having a cellulitis infection after receiving immunisations about two years ago. She said he occasionally had episodes.
“It comes around quite quickly. One minute he’s fine, and then the next he’s crook. He’s lethargic and pale, and other times he’s the opposite.”
Ms Fleming said she would take him straight away to get a blood test where his haemoglobin levels were assessed, before going to hospital and receiving blood.
“Dolton has B negative blood type, which is quite rare, so we rely on donations.”
She said as it has been a unique case for Ballarat, the hospital has had to liaise with the Royal Children’s Hospital about Dolton’s treatment.
Ms Fleming said she had heard of Run Ballarat, but didn’t know too much about it until this year and was planning to take part for the first time.
She plans to walk the six-kilometre course with Dolton and her family and other members of her family.
Dolton joins Steve Moneghetti and Tracie Kaye as ambassadors.
All proceeds from Run Ballarat registration feeds go straight to Ballarat Health Services to upgrade facilities in the children’s ward.
BHS chief executive officer Andrew Rowe said the funds raised through Run Ballarat presented a great opportunity to upgrade and improve facilities for children treated at the hospital.
Registrations are open. For further information or to register for the event, visit runaustralia.com.au