Lara Kerr Foundation


A helping hand for Lara Kerr & her family.

Lara is just 6 years old and for the last 5 weeks has been feeling unwell. 2 weeks ago her Mum & Dad made an appointment to see a specialist, who sadly was fully booked until this week. Once seen by the doctor on Tuesday, Lara was taken straight to Mater Hospital in Brisbane, she was only there for a short time before being diagnosed and moved to the Intensive Care Unit.
Lara has been diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy , the severest of its kind, resulting in the need for a Heart Transplant.

While we see on TV shows when patients needing transplants get really sick, one is miraculously found and the operation is performed.

Sadly reality is VERY different. The URGENCY of Lara's condition is extremely high and medical staff are doing EVERYTHING in their power to locate a suitable donor, but it's still a matter of WAITING.

For Lara this means being in ICU and on a Ventilator until a new heart is available. While Lara is in the BEST possible place and receiving the BEST possible care, it falls to Mum (Alison) & Dad (Brendan) to keep everything else running.

Brendan & Alison also have a 10 Yr old son, Jim, who absolutely loves and adores his little sister and is beside himself with worry. Being so young he really wouldn't understand what's going on, except that his baby sister is lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to machines to keep her alive, while waiting for a new heart. How on earth does a 10 yr old make any sense out of that scenario?

The reason we're writing this it to ask for YOUR help, in ANY way you're able.

While Lara is in ICU the families bills and expenses still keep on rolling in, with no relief in their near future, but once a suitable donor is located, Lara will need to be transported to a leading Transplant Hospital in Melbourne for the life saving surgery.

While that in itself is a major strain on any family, the kicker is then the 3 months recovery and rehabilitation that is also to take place in Melbourne. Obviously Alison, Brendan & Jim will need to be with Lara, not only for her surgery but for the recovery period as well.
Now not only will Brendan & Alison have to deal with the emotional stress of what's happening to their little girl but now also the financial burden of it all, in the short and long term.

What we are hoping to do is raise as much money as possible to try to alleviate a little of the financial burden that will be hanging over their heads for a long time to come.

I'm sure none of us can imagine the pain they are going through, but maybe what we are all doing might go towards lessening it just a little bit.

Fundraiser for Lara relies solely on the kindeness of others, each donation is greatly appreciated regardless of the amount.

Your donation will help to support the long term care that Lara will require. It will also help with the physical, mental and financial strain this family will need to endure.

All donations will go directly to Lara's health care, and any surplus of funds once Lara is recovered will be donated to Charities with families in similar situations.

Please help in giving them much needed support, hope and the ability to survivie this devestating ordeal.

Information :

Cardiomyopathy - The Facts
1. Different forms of the disease. Cardiomyopathy is a chronic disease of the heart muscle that can present in four forms and may in severe cases lead to heart failure and/or sudden death. Dilated and hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy are the most common.
2. Can affect any child. Cardiomyopathy predominately affects adults but in rare instances does affect infants and children. Cardiomyopathy can occur in any child regardless of age, race, gender or socioeconomic background. Recent studies show that children are about 10 times more likely to develop Cardiomyopathy during the first year of life than ages 2 to 18 combined.
3. Search for a cure continues. Unlike other congenital heart conditions, there is no surgical treatment or cure that can repair the damaged heart or the stop the progression of the disease. The first treatment option is usually medication to improve the functioning of the heart and for those with arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm) an implantable defibrillator may be recommended. For children that fail medical management, a heart transplant may need to be considered.
Cardiomyopathy is the top reason for heart transplants in children.
4. Few medical breakthroughs for paediatric Cardiomyopathy. Since Cardiomyopathy was first recognized in 1950, there have been few medical breakthroughs in understanding this complex disease. Surprisingly, the outcome for children with Cardiomyopathy is the same now as it was three decades ago. Most of the research to date has been performed on adults with a strong family history of the disease. However, only 20-30% of children with Cardiomyopathy have a family history of the disease.
Paediatric Cardiomyopathy DefinedWith the paediatric population, Cardiomyopathy occurs in approximately 12 children out of every million with about 1,000-5,000 new cases diagnosed each year. The majority of diagnosed children are infants under the age of 12 months with fewer cases between the ages of 1 to 12 years. When Cardiomyopathy is diagnosed in children before puberty, it is considered extremely unusual and it may not have the same causes, manifestations or disease progression as Cardiomyopathy in adults.
Unfortunately, there has been little research and focus on paediatric Cardiomyopathy over the years.
When children are diagnosed at an early age, the prognosis may be poor depending on the form of Cardiomyopathy and the stage of the disease. For example, dilated Cardiomyopathy can progress quite rapidly when diagnosed in young children. Up to 40% of diagnosed children with dilated Cardiomyopathy fail medical management within the first year of diagnosis and of those that survive many have permanently impaired heart function.
Mortality and heart transplant rates of childhood cardiomyopathies are much higher than in adults due to the rarity and uncertainty of the disease. Less than optimal outcomes may be attributed to the more fragile state of infants and young children or it may be a function of the disease's advanced progression associated with another genetic disorder.
Another unfortunate reason is that Cardiomyopathy is not usually detected until the end stage when obvious symptoms of heart failure are apparent. Cardiomyopathy can be easily missed in routine check-ups when there are no obvious symptoms (i.e. heart murmur) or when there is no reason for diagnostic testing (i.e. no family history of the disease).
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Lara Kerr Fundraiser 
Wetherill Park NSW
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