Wheatbelt family gives back to charity

Thankful family: Kerin and Leo Baker, outside the Ronald McDonald Perth House, during Leo's treatments.

Thankful family: Kerin and Leo Baker, outside the Ronald McDonald Perth House, during Leo's treatments.

A Corrigin family will be hosting an auction event on July 29, to raise funds for the Perth Ronald McDonald House, a cause close to the family’s heart having stayed at the accommodation facility for one year.

In June 2016 the Bakers’ received life changing news that their two-and-a-half year old son Leo had Neuroblastoma, a type of cancer.

The Baker family didn’t have a place to stay near the hospital where he would be spending many hours.

Little Leo’s treatment included chemotherapy, stem cell rescues, surgery, mega therapy (high dose chemo) and radiation treatment.

Leo’s mother Keren Baker said their journey would have been so much harder if they did not have a place to call home and to spend time as a family.

“Thankfully Ronald McDonald House Perth provided us with a safe and welcoming place for our whole family to stay since that diagnosis,” she said. 

To say thank you, the Baker family and friends have formed two teams of four for the upcoming Central Park Plunge fundraising event on September 9, for Ronald McDonald House.

“In September 2017 we will participate in the Central Park Plunge to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Perth, so they can continue to offer their amazing services to other families,” said Keren.

One team involves Leo’s mum, Keren and three of her friends.

The second team is Keren’s father and her three brothers.

Leo’s godmother, Kellie Bell is leading the charge, organising fundraising events in their local community and promoting Team Leo wherever she can.

As part of their fundraising campaign for the plunge, the Baker’s are organising the auction event to add to their climbing fundraising tally.

The event will be held at the Corrigin Recreation and Events Centre and will include items such as sporting memorabilia, custom made jewellery, big raffle hampers and a chocolate wheel will be spun all night.  

Phil Britten, Bali Bombing survivor and co-author of ‘Undefeated’, and his family will attend the event as a guest speaker, sharing his story of survival.

“We are hoping to raise at least $10,000 for Ronald McDonald House at the auction and to add to our Central Park Plunge total,” said Keren.

“A huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far, every little bit counts.”

Information about the auction can be found on the ‘Team Leo Auction’ Facebook page.

Closer to the date, all auction items will be listed on the Facebook page.

In 1981 the first Australian Ronald McDonald House opened in Sydney’s Camperdown.

There are now 15 in Australia that have collectively provided over 68,000 families with over 1.2 million bed nights.