24 May Imogen’s Story
Located in WA’s South West region, 150km from Perth, is the small town of Australind. It’s here that Rachael, Russell and their daughter Imogen, call home.
Imogen is 5 years old. Over the span of her short life, she has already had 38 procedures and surgeries.
Imogen was born premature and also diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic disorder ‘Fanconi Anemia’ and as a result, has had ongoing medical issues since her birth.
It was almost one week after Imogen’s birth, that the family found care and support at Ronald McDonald House Charities Western Australia (RMHC WA).
Since then, RMHC WA has provided supported accommodation and kept the family close together, for over 300 nights across 39 separate stays.
“Ronald McDonald House has become our second family; we have stayed at the House for over 12 months of Imogen’s life. Financially it took a lot of stress off of us, especially being away from home and our support network during long difficult times,” says Rachael.
The family are well-known by staff and volunteers at the House. Imogen’s never-wavering big smile is impossible to miss!
“Imogen is one of the bravest little children I know… nothing deters her! She is always dressed up in her favourite Disney character outfits.
Her parents are an inspiration, and it is easy to see where Imogen gets her positivity and love of life from,” says one RMHC WA staff member.
Despite Imogen’s ongoing medical challenges, she handles it all with fearlessness.
“Imi’s superpower is her strength and determination to get her through anything,” says Rachael.
For WA families like the Smith’s who require ongoing medical treatment at Perth Children’s Hospital, RMHC WA will always be there to provide care, support, and wrap-around-services.