By the LFW team
Here at LFW, we truly believe Canberrans are a marvellous bunch. We’re surrounded by lots of local heroes who do wonderful things for our community, including by raising awareness and funds for important causes. Like Daniel Cummins and a cause that is near and dear to his heart—that cause is one of the greatest killers of those under the age of 1 in this country—childhood heart disease.
Daniel’s brother, Will, survived until the tender age of 12 with complex, chromosome syndrome. He was born premature with the debilitating condition, but could only fight for so long. In some ways, Will, and his family, were fortunate to be together for that long. You see, eight babies are born with a heart defect every day in Australia and four lives are lost every week. Daniel is the first to say that the drugs and technology used for childhood heart disease have come a long way but much more is needed. And so he started HeartKids HillClimb to raise funds and help in his own way.
Since 2009, the event has raised a whopping $65,000 ($10,000 last year alone). The funds are used for support, awareness, research and advocacy.
In 2017, HeartKids HillClimb, now in its eighth year, will be held on Sunday 19 February at Fairbairn Park Hillclimb Track. It’s free and a fabulous family day out. Around 45 race car drivers will zoom around the 1km tarmac race track at Fairbairn, competing in time trials, with results posted on a massive screen. Every driver does two laps with the fastest winning. If you’re not a race car fan, HeartKids HillClimb still has lots on offer, including face painting and other family activities. The race car drivers are also kind enough to give kids the thrill of a life time by taking them for slow laps around the track.
But why a race car driving event to raise funds? “Will was passionate about cars, any cars, but definitely fast ones,” says Daniel. “He never stopped talking about them and adored his collection of 100 matchbox cars and his Playstation car racing game. Getting his learner’s licence and driving a cool black car was the last thing we spoke about.” At HeartKids HillClimb Daniel races his cool black car in Will’s honour. HeartKids ACT and NSW work together to raise funds for childhood heart disease. The Canberra event raises money through competitor entry fees, sponsorships, raffle ticket sales, and food and drink sold on the day.
So if you’re not doing anything on Sunday 19 February, head to Fairbairn Park Hillclimb Track, Sutton Road, 9am to 4pm. In the meantime, follow the action on the event Facebook page.