Thank you Deputy Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life of the little legend that is Richie Walsh.
The most inspiring boy I have ever met.
My first introduction to the Walsh family was in October of last year, when I helped them seek permanent residency here in Australia and in my electorate of Bonner, so Richie could receive treatment for a rare form of cancer that he was battling.
What started as an initial request for support, very quickly evolved into a special bond.
Richie fought incredibly hard. He loved life and lived it to the fullest; that I will never forget.
A few weeks ago, I attended Richie’s celebration of life, where all guests were asked to wear the colours of the rainbow in his memory.
It was a beautiful ceremony, where precious family moments and cherished memories were shared by those nearest and dearest to him.
Deputy Speaker, the Walsh family are truly remarkable.
During this time, their enormous hearts for helping others hasn’t been diminished.
Everywhere Richie went, he took his headphones and his iPad. He was famous for them.
Even Richie’s nurse said she had never seen him without them!
With the Bonner community as well as many Australians across the country touched by Richie’s story and legacy, the family asked that condolences for Richie were in the form of donations so they could send iPads engraved in his name to every bed on the oncology ward at Queensland Children’s Hospital.
In just under one week, the Walsh family smashed their fundraising target for the Queensland Children’s Hospital and 27 engraved iPads are now on their way to children on the oncology ward.
But the family isn’t stopping here.
They are now fundraising to not only send another batch of iPads to the Brisbane Children’s Hospital, but also to every bed on the oncology ward at Perth Children’s Hospital.
They aren’t limiting themselves to Australia either and are planning to send iPads to the children battling cancer in Richie’s hometown of Manchester in the UK.
A beautiful full circle act of generosity, which will touch the lives of so many children and their families around the world.
The Walsh family are currently in the process of registering Little Legends for Richie as a charity, to raise funds for children battling cancer and their families.
They already have a dedicated team onboard to help with all the work and planning involved with registering this charity and making sure it honours Richie’s life.
I will keep sharing Richie’s legacy. He can always count on me to be in his corner.
Rest easy little legend.