Why I support the RCH

Words by Natalie Gibson, Bendigo Bank employee and RCH supporter

My fundraising and passion for The Royal Children’s Hospital began in January 2017.

My 15 year old daughter, Alexandra was rushed to The Royal Children’s Hospital on 25 January and was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Both of her kidneys were functioning at three per cent and she was very sick. The renal specialist team were amazing, supportive and caring. I felt very privileged that we were being cared for by a wonderful hospital.

Alexandra had emergency surgery on Australia Day and began kidney dialysis. We stayed in hospital for three weeks and I stayed with her during this time. Over the following months, Alexandra attended lots of specialist appointments culminating in her kidney transplant. She was lucky to have been given her father’s kidney and we are very appreciative of the hospital’s care during this time. The transplant was a success and the medical team saved her life and continue to show wonderful support for her.

I stayed at Ronald McDonald House while she was in hospital, and I am forever grateful for their support. Alexandra had further surgery in December 2017, and continues to receive medical care and support. She is currently attending kidney camp with the hospital staff and patients in Queensland.

During my stay, the experience changed me, and I wanted to make a difference and support the children and hospital that saved Alexandra’s life. I attended The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation and met gorgeous Giovina Cicchitti.

I advised her that I work at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Head Office in Bendigo and would like to make a difference to the children at the hospital. I requested a donation tin that I would take back to my work place. I have this tin at my desk and the department I work in support my fundraising efforts.

My department’s social club decided to have an annual fundraiser and Easter egg raffle, with all proceeds donated to The Royal Children’s Hospital. In April 2017 we raised $1,139 through the raffle and a casual clothes day.

In April 2018 we organised another raffle and staff from my department donated all of the prizes. We sold raffle tickets to staff at Head Office and raised $832. Many staff have had dealings with The Royal Children’s Hospital – it is a place very close to many hearts.

The staff at the Bank’s passion for The Royal Children’s Hospital will make a difference to a sick child’s life. Our fundraising will assist with Medical Advancements and Technology.

I will be forever grateful for the care and support my family received during our time at The Royal Children’s Hospital, and I will continue my passion to fundraise on their behalf.

Bendigo Bank’s commitment to the RCH

In addition to the support of wonderful fundraisers like Natalie, the RCH Foundation receives incredible support from the Bendigo Bank community. Bendigo Bank has nominated the RCH Foundation as one of the charities of choice for their workplace giving program, allowing employees to make pre-tax donations to help the hospital. The Strathmore Branch also has a longstanding relationship with the RCH, donating over $300,000 during the past eight years, including the sponsorship of 10 beds across the hospital.