Ethan's Space Camp Mission

Hi. I'm Ethan.  I am 16 years old & I attend Nepean School in Seaford.   I was born with a rare medical condition called Septo Optic Dysplasia & Optic Nerve Hypoplasia.  This condition means I have no functioning pituitary & underactive thyroid gland.  This is  the master gland in our body, a bit like the conductor in an orchestra. With my condition the optic nerves are too small in diameter for the light to get back to the brain. Without light vision doesnt develop.  I am visually impaired /legally blind.  My medical condition also affects my endocrine system & I take medications as I am steroid dependent. My medical care is quite complex & I take medication 3 times each day & a nightly growth injection. Despite all of this I try to be positive & live an active life, while keeping my body safe & functioning. I don't let my medical condition be an excuse not to particpate as fully as I can.
My family give me great support in helping me to realise my dreams and to be creative to overcome potential barriers.  When I was 3 I had a stroke & spent 65 days in the Royal Childrens Hospital.  I have worked very hard for many years on my therapies, fitness & independence skills.
For the last 2 years I have worked on my goals of getting myself to Space Camp For Interested Visually Impaired Students.  I am enrolled to attend in September 2016. This is held at NASA, Huntsville in America.  Over 200 vision impaired children from all over the world will attend. This is an an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity.  I have been saving towards this goal, but I still need some help to realise my dream.  I dont like asking for things,
but I am hoping if you are able to help me that I will be able to give back to the community.  I want to share my story, journey & to show that it possible to dream big & to overcome barriers.  I have found many stories from other students to be motivational & giving hope. I love to learn, am passionate about science, space, travel & meeting people. I believe strongly in social justice & inclusion for all. I am lucky to have great learning support with my teachers at Nepean School, who always promote independence, empathy & strength of character.  I have had losses & grief in my life.  I believe these have helped build my resilience, empathy & courage.  I am grateful for the opportunities that I have been given.  My goal is to experience & learn as much about the world that I can. I am looking forward to meeting new friends & the challenges that lie ahead.  I love the space camp motto " Just because I can't see the Stars doesn't mean that I can't reach for them"
Thanks for sharing some of my journey & learning about my dream.  I am appreciative if you are able to help with my fundraising & if you can please like &  share this on your social media account.
Best Wishes,
Ethan. link to the Space Camp website


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Ethan Connolly-Kelly 
Seaford, VIC
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