Courage is a term that was often used to describe Kyle Sheldon. Courage on the sports field, courage to try new things, and courage to battle through his illnesses.
After tragically succumbing to bowel cancer in 2017, Kyle’s family and friends have continued his legacy and courage through fundraising for the Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction Service (CPRS) at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), making a difference to children like him.
The Sheldon family held their fifth annual Kyle Sheldon Memorial Golf Day on Sunday 16 January 2022 at the Mt Derrimut Golf and Country Club. The 2022 fundraiser featured the largest field of players to date, with 72 participants and a host of non-playing guests and volunteers, and had generous support from event sponsorships, raffles and private donations. In total, an incredible $24,801 was raised on the day for the CPRS.
This adds to the $150,000 already generously donated by The Kyle Sheldon Memorial Fund to establish the CPRS and ensure the service can deliver a truly world class patient care model and improve the quality of life of children with complex colorectal, urological and gynaecological conditions.
Led by Associate Professor Sebastian King, the service coordinates a small group of surgeons and specialists from departments across the RCH to streamline hospital experiences for patients, providing holistic support by incorporating both a nursing and a psycho-social perspective to patients who require complex medical care.
Kyle was born with a twisted bowel that had cut off the blood supply to the rest of the organ. An emergency operation at the RCH at only a few days old led to the removal of most of his bowel. The initial operation was lifesaving, but little Kyle required 36 operations in 36 months before his parents Grant and Margie and his brother Joel could finally take him home.
Throughout his life, Kyle’s condition was continually managed with medication, care plans and check-ups at the RCH until adulthood, where he continued to receive support for his condition while living a normal life. Tragically, at 26, Kyle was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bowel cancer and after fighting hard for four months, Kyle lost his battle. While the ending of Kyle’s life was tragic and deeply saddening for his family and numerous circles of friends, the story of his courage, determination and persistence inspired the Sheldon’s to establish the Kyle Sheldon Memorial Fund and support the RCH, and in particular the CPRS.
“While the surgeon-centric model worked for us at the time with Kyle at the RCH, we could see with changing times, the increased amount of cases and their complexities that this model was not the way to continue. We strongly believe the CPRS will result in better patient and family outcomes for children afflicted with conditions similar to what Kyle had,” said Grant.
“I’d like to thank everyone who was involved for their support. It still pains us every single day that Kyle is no longer with us, but we take some solace in knowing he would be proud of his legacy and that many of his mates were able to share this day with him,” said Grant.