Super dad takes part in 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge

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 Philbin family from Malvern is one of the families that will benefit from the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge’s fundraising efforts, and father Tom is also participating in the event himself.

This year is the first time Tom Philbin will be taking part, alongside his team of work colleagues from LINX Cargo Care Group, which were more than happy to get behind the cause.

“Late last year at a work conference, purely by chance, it came up that I was the father of a child with a life-limiting illness and that we access Very Special Kids.

We recently launched LINX Foundation which will support various charities but I was honoured and humbled when Anthony, our Group CEO, suggested we make Very Special Kids our launch charity and throw all our efforts behind the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge” explained Tom.

The Philbin family have been receiving support from Very Special Kids for almost five years now, and 12-year-old Luke loves coming to the children’s hospice.

Luke, in many ways, is just like other 12-year-old boys, he’s delightfully charming, and he enjoys playing his IPad, listening to music, being around people and making jokes. Luke does however, require 24-hour care and lives with an illness which threatens his life every day.

Luke was only six-months-old when he experienced his first seizure, and another six months later he was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a genetic intractable epilepsy. Because of this syndrome Luke has regular seizures, experiences intellectual and mobility disabilities, as well as behavioural and sleep issues.

“It’s difficult to quantify the impact Very Special Kids has had on our family. We use the hospice and book Luke in for a couple of days at a time often. Because Luke requires constant care life can be very exhausting and that short break every now and again is absolutely vital to our wellbeing. I sometimes think the perception of other people is that we put Luke in the hospice and then go off and rage for a few days, but nothing could be further from the truth. We generally spend the time catching up on chores and sleep.

Very Special Kids offers peace of mind when we are not there, should something happen to myself or Sam, we know that they are always willing to jump in and help wherever they can and that helps us sleep at night” said Tom.

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 Philbin’s, please visit: