Hurt to Help charity raises $20,000 for Albany’s Hollie Gilpin thanks to community support

Daniel RooneyAlbany Advertiser
Ethan Stirrat and Hollie Gilpin.
Camera IconEthan Stirrat and Hollie Gilpin. Credit: Hurt to Help

New WA charity Hurt to Help was happy to present an Albany family with a giant cheque on Sunday after raising $20,000 through endurance and community kindness to support nine-year-old Hollie Gilpin.

In 2021 Hollie was diagnosed with a rare form of Batten disease, a rare neurodegenerative condition, and Hurt to Help founder Ethan Stirrat said meeting Hollie and her family at the weekend had been a special moment.

“Seeing the family and the difference that it made to them, knowing how much it will help — it’s hard to put into words,” he said.

“Hollie is the only person in Australia with her condition and she’s having to see specialists in the US every six months.

“They’re amazing people who need all the support they can get.”

Maddie Gilpin, back, with Linda Stirrat, Amanda and Hollie Gilpin and Ethan Stirrat.
Camera IconMaddie Gilpin, back, with Linda Stirrat, Amanda and Hollie Gilpin and Ethan Stirrat. Credit: Hurt to Help

The charity was launched by Mr Stirrat in his Wheatbelt hometown Narembeen in December.

“The launch event raised an incredible amount of money and through the generosity of the community we’ve been able to donate $20,000,” Mr Stirrat said.

“We’re super stoked to be able to help people and we’ll continue to do so.”

Hurt to Help was born from Mr Stirrat’s love of a challenge and desire to help.

“I started running ultra marathons and doing different endurance events and a few people said ‘why don’t you raise some money through it’,” he said.

“There’s so many charities people donate to where you don’t really see where the money goes — I thought I’d love to see exactly where it goes, who it’s helping and to be able to show that to other people.”

Mr Stirrat met the Gilpin family after competing in the Delirious W.E.S.T 200 mile ultra marathon on Sunday where he ran from Denmark to Albany along the Bibbulman Track and finished fifth.

“It started on February 7 at 7am and it was pretty tough,” he said.

“I’ve felt so privileged and lucky in my life, I’ve had brilliant family and friends and I know there are so many people out there doing it tough,

“If I can help them that’s what it’s all about — doing these runs has changed my perspective on life.”

Hurt to Help will host its own fundraiser, the inaugural Bin to Bin Marathon in Narembeen on March 30, and part of the money raised will go towards a relief fund to support the region’s disadvantaged kids.

The run can be completed solo, in pairs or in teams of four and further information is available by making contact via the Hurt to Help Facebook page.

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