Telethon Editorial: Generosity of West Aussies sums up all that is good about this State

The West Australian
VideoTelethon donations have kick-started a trial that helps premature babies adjust to life outside the womb

It is a word that has become synonymous with so much of what is good about this State. Telethon.

And this evening it is back again as a 26-hour Channel 7 broadcast kicks off.

West Australians are no doubt well aware of the Telethon story.

How since 1968 it has been entertaining us and spreading financial help to hundreds of charities, causes and programs which help young West Aussies and their families who are in need of a hand.

Even last year, when COVID-19 hit, the show went on and continued to evolve as Telethon 2020 saw the first Telethon Family Festival at Optus Stadium.

And when the weekend was over, Telethon had raised an astonishing $46.3 million — which was distributed to 65 charity beneficiaries — setting a new fundraising record as West Australian families and corporate giants dug deep.

It showed why Telethon is the biggest charity fundraiser in the world per capita.

In the weeks leading up to this year’s event, The West Australian has brought readers the stories of many of the organisations and individuals who will take part in or who have been helped by Telethon.

Today we bring you the story of Madison Dobels, who was just 21 weeks pregnant with her second son TeKoa when her waters ruptured in May 2019.

Doctors told her there was a 95 per cent chance that she would be delivering her son as a stillborn. But she spent six weeks in hospital before baby TeKoa was delivered, weighing just 910 grams.

It was the start of revolving-door hospital visits that the family managed to get through thanks to Telethon-funded Kalparrin, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the families of children with disability.

And we also show how Telethon’s reach can have long-lasting benefits with a feature on Paralympian double-gold medal-winning swimmer Ben Popham — a former little Telethon star.

Perfect illustrations of how you can help by getting involved in Telethon this weekend.

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