Lavington firies rally to help sisters

Chelsea Sparkes, of Springdale Heights, with her daughters Ella, 19 months, and Kirsten, 8, who were born with a rare illness. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

Chelsea Sparkes, of Springdale Heights, with her daughters Ella, 19 months, and Kirsten, 8, who were born with a rare illness. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

THE Lavington Rural Fire Brigade is rallying behind two sisters with a rare condition so horrid it physically and mentally impairs sufferers.

It is hosting a “family fun” fund-raiser tomorrow for former member Grant Sparkes and his wife Chelsea, whose daughters have Foetal valproate syndrome.

It was caused by Mrs Sparkes, an epileptic, continuing to take anti-convulsion drug sodium valproate when pregnant. She received no warning from her doctor.

Ella, 19 months, was born with a fused skull and a hole in her heart, requiring up to three trips a month to Melbourne for surgeries.

Kirsten, 8, has a slight facial deformation, ADHD and is in the process of getting a diagnosis for autism.

The family struggles to cover the costs of medical bills, travel and accommodation.

“It’s really hard,” Mrs Sparkes said.

“Just knowing that we have the community’s support makes me feel really grateful.”

The brigade’s deputy captain Kathy Barnes said they had wanted to help as soon as they heard about former member Mr Sparkes’ plight.

“Our brigade is like a family and even when people move on, they still are part of that family,” she said.

A projector will screen a live eBay auction of the signed windscreen of the car Jason Bright rolled at the Clipsal 500.

There will also be face-painting, rides, a jumping castle and emergency services vehicles.

The event is at 629 Krautz Street, Lavington, from 10am to 2pm.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop