16 September 2020 News

Molly’s story

The incredible Woolworths Wayfinders are just one of many services made possible by the Woolworths and Children’s Hospital Foundation partnership.

On behalf of thousands of sick kids and their families across the state, the Children’s Hospital Foundation are thanking Woolworths teams and their customers for working hand in hand to raise more than $60 million over 34 years to positively shift health outcomes for Queensland’s sickest kids.

The generosity of Woolworths customers and team has helped fund ground-breaking medical research, entertainment and support for kids and their families, including the development of a rapid diagnostic test for meningococcal, bedside entertainment at Queensland Children’s Hospital, innovative research into childhood nutrition, life-saving medical equipment such as ECMO pumps and monitors, and Woolworths Wayfinders – a team of volunteers who help patients and families find their way around Queensland Children’s Hospital.

Five-year-old Molly Schmidt’s mum, Michelle, is just one of the parents who can recall the support that the Woolworths Wayfinders offered her when she stepped foot into Queensland Children’s Hospital, after Molly was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Toowoomba local Molly was three years old when she began to complain of earaches, and her family spent more than four months visiting several GPs, an ENT specialist, a chiropractor, dentist and naturopath to try and find the cause of the pain, before an ophthalmologist appointment led to her diagnosis of optic nerve glioma – a slow-growing brain tumour that arises in or around the nerve connecting the eye to the brain.

Michelle described how her and her husband, Michael, felt completely overwhelmed and helpless when they arrived at Queensland Children’s Hospital for Molly’s first appointment with the oncologist.

“We were completely petrified, and we couldn’t even muster the energy to speak to the Woolworths Wayfinding volunteers at the front desk, so I just handed her our appointment slip, and she gave me the kindest look,” Michelle recalled.

“The volunteer who took our slip took us into the elevator and up to our ward without a single word, and she simply patted me on the arm before she left. That kindness still brings me to tears.

“I hope the Woolworths Wayfinder volunteers know how much they can impact a family when they first arrive in hospital, especially with all the emotions that come with it. For all the bad stuff, that very first day was the start of a lot of good stuff for our family too, and I will never forget their compassion.”

After a year of unsuccessful chemotherapy, she was later given the news that the tumour had once again begun growing, and so she commenced another 12-month round of weekly chemotherapy in February.

Despite undergoing treatment, Molly remains an upbeat little girl who loves cooking and gardening with her brother, Harrison, before spending a Saturday night having a movie night at home (with lots of popcorn)!

The incredible Woolworths Wayfinders are just one of the many services that the Woolworths and Children’s Hospital Foundation partnership has made possible.

Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO, Rosie Simpson, could not be more grateful for the support that Woolworths teams and their customers have shown, showcasing that famous Queensland community spirit.

“When visiting my local store, I love seeing the Woolworths team’s enthusiasm at collecting donations, and of course, the incredible customers who give so generously and lovingly to help our cause, and for that, I say thank you to the Woolworths community and customers for all your support,” Ms Simpson said.

“Celebrating the incredible milestone of $60m raised gives us a chance for us to say thank you, and formally recognise that we simply couldn’t do what we do for sick children without the generosity of Woolworths staff and customers.”

Chris Peters, Woolworths General Manager Queensland, said this donation would not have been possible without their amazing community of team members and customers.

“60 million dollars is an absolutely huge sum to have raised, and we’re very proud of the effort that our teams and customers have put in,” Mr Peters said.

“We feel so privileged to have such an incredible base of team members and customers in both Queensland and across the country, who are so willing to help a cause close to all of our hearts, and it’s incredible to see the impact that their determination and empathy has had on hundreds and thousands of sick kids and their families.”

 

60 million reasons to say thank you, Molly is just one of them.