Family participates in 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge to support the charity that gives their daughter 24 hour care

 Treadmills will be in continuous motion for 24 hours to raise $880,000 for sick kids in 24 hour care at Victoria’s only children’s hospice.

Only metres away from the treadmills at Very Special Kids Hospice, children with complex medical needs will be receiving specialised nursing care. The hospice is the only facility of its kind in Victoria and offers families access to planned and emergency respite care.

The Young family is one of the families that will benefit from the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge’s fundraising efforts, and they are also participating in the event themselves.

This year is not the first time Luke and Mel Young will be taking part, alongside their team filled with friends, family and colleagues, dedicated to their very special child, Ellie.

Nine-year-old Ellie was born without her right eye, with a cleft lip and other unique facial features. She has a genetic condition called Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome, which affects her in many ways. Ellie is nonverbal, is unable to walk un-aided and requires assistance with all her daily needs.

“However she is super determined to try, and gets a good pace in her walker. Like most kids with WHS, she is extremely giving, loving, happy and just loves people” Says Mel.

Luke, Ellie’s father, got involved with Very Special Kids before Ellie had even used our services. He knew friends who had been involved and decided to help raise funds for the children and families in similar positions to his own.

Luke and Mel have participated in the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge for the last two years, and Luke is captain for ‘The Young and the Restless’ team. Many of Ellie’s friends and family members get on board to help raise funds too, contributing in any way they can.

Ellie’s little brother Cooper who is only five-years-old even assists wherever he can, always offering to try and help put Ellie’s artificial eye in when they’re going out. Although Cooper has had to spend time away from his parents when Ellie has been sick and in hospital, he is incredibly understanding for his age. Mel and Luke strive to do everything they can to do the best by both of their children on a daily basis.

“The Very Special Kids hospice gives us much needed respite. Ellie had only ever previously been looked after overnight by grandparents so this was a huge step for us as a family. The carers and nurses there made us feel so confident, and we found comfort knowing that Ellie was in great hands. It allows us to have special time with just Cooper, and Ellie, being the social girl she is, always has a fun time away” Says Mel.

The 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge will be taking place from Friday 25 May until 9am on Saturday 26 May 2018.

To sponsor a runner or to make a donation to support families like the Young’s, please visit: