Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Grace gives back

Grace Walker will volunteer in today's Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal after finding herself in the hospital last year.

MONIQUE FREER March 29, 2013 4:41am

Grace Walker is all smiles as part of Baddaginnie's Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal team.

Grace Walker wears a T-shirt that says ‘‘Royal Children’s Hospital gave me my smile back’’.

A volunteer in Benalla Fire Brigade’s Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal for the past four years, she never expected to be on the receiving end of the hospital’s services.

On Father’s Day last year the 16-year-old was participating in a rally day at Benalla Pony Club when her horse tripped while doing grid work. Grace fell off the horse and one of its back feet landed on her face, fracturing her jaw, knocking out teeth and pushing teeth into her gums and the roof of her mouth.

Airlifted to the Royal Children’s Hospital on the Sunday, she was operated on the next day and remained at the hospital until Wednesday.

Grace had to return for fortnightly treatments until Christmas, and said she now truly understands the importance of the Royal Children’s Hospital.

‘‘You don’t really understand until you’re there,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s obviously very important; people know the hospital helps but I guess Mum and Dad understand how important it is, having a hospital like that so close.’’

Grace will this year join her friend at Baddaginnie to volunteer in the fire brigade’s Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, raising valuable funds for the hospital.

‘‘It sort of makes me appreciate it more, and understand where it (the money raised) goes,’’ she said.

Grace’s mum Julie said while they had always supported the Good Friday Appeal, she believed they had been a bit blase about the importance of it.

‘‘They’re doing such a fantastic job,’’ Ms Walker said.

‘‘I hope it makes people aware that it (an accident) can happen at any time — give generously.’’

Benalla, Baddaginnie and Tatong fire brigades will collect donations throughout Benalla and surrounding areas from 9am on Good Friday.

The collections will endeavour to cover all streets in Benalla, however if residents in outlying areas are not visited by Good Friday Appeal collectors and wish to make a donation, they can phone the fire station on 57624932 for a donation to be collected, or deliver a donation to one of the fire stations.

Anyone wishing to volunteer can attend one of the fire stations and register as a volunteer Good Friday Appeal collector.

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