My name is Ben Walker, I’m a 39 year old husband to Petalyn and father of two young boys Lachlan aged eight and Sebastian aged three. My younger brother was born with a genetic liver disorder in 1987 and so I spent a lot of time at the RCH as a child and teenager. The care and treatment provided to my brother saved his life. As I’ve now become a father myself (with one particularly accident prone son who has already had four trips to the RCH!), the importance of what the RCH does to support families has become evident. Now that I’m able to donate to the RCH1000 both financially and with my time, I find there isn’t a greater cause than supporting an institution that improves the lives of our children.
- In five words tell us why you’re passionate about supporting the RCH.
There’s no more noble cause.
- How did you become involved in the RCH community?
The RCH has been a part of my life since I was seven years old as a number of family and friends were treated there. I have always been grateful and appreciative of the amazing work and miracles that occur in the four walls of the RCH. As I’ve aged and become a father myself, the services the hospital provide to children has made me immensely proud of the RCH being in our city, state, country and backyard.
- How have you supported the RCH over the years?
Previously my support to the RCH had been piece-meal. I’d donated to the Good Friday Appeal every year and participated in the Run for the Kids every so often. As my family has grown and my career afforded me the opportunity to donate my time and money, I decided to become involved with RCH1000 last year.
- What’s your favourite RCH memory?
A number of years ago I was undertaking the Run for the Kids event. As I was halfway through the 15km run and coming over the top of the Bolte Bridge, I could see the RCH in the distance. As my aging legs and body were failing me, I motivated myself by imagining all the young kids who would have been in the hospital wishing they could be outside running. I remember a fellow runner next to me had a slogan on their shirt as motivation for why they were running so I asked them to tell me the story of the person that they were running for. Their stories and the thought of the kids in the RCH spurred me on. I certainly didn’t set any records, but I know for a fact that the amazing stories of the RCH and the patients certainly made the last few kilometres of the Run for the Kids a lot easier!
- What would you say to someone thinking of joining RCH1000?
If you can, do. If you are able to afford the outlay it’s worth it. It’s about a cup of coffee a day. I would happily forego that second coffee of the day knowing that my funds are going to help support such a great cause. If you have children yourself, you never know when the amazing work of the RCH might help someone you love.