Rallying around RSL staff
July 2023 - $30,000
The Hervey Bay RSL has been a long-time major sponsor of Rally for a Cause in various ways to help the local charity support Fraser Coast residents in their greatest time of need. One of those ways is donating proceeds from Wednesday’s charity bingo and RSL staff member Trey Milligan has played an integral part in running the popular event. So, when a stomachache turned into a life-long battle for the much-loved and respected RSL staff member, it was incredible to see the bingo team and RFAC step in to help.
Trey’s partner Kodie, also an RSL staff member, got a call one day last November to say he was heading home from work sick. By the time she got home Trey was on the coach and couldn’t feel his arms or legs and was in and out of consciousness. The 24-year-old spent the next seven weeks in hospital where doctors found that ulcers in the stomach had caused a bleed and his body was only carrying 70% of its blood.
Different methods were used to try and shrink the ulcers over those weeks but there is sadly no long-term resolve. The only two options Trey has is to live with the constant pain, watch what he eats and drinks and get regular iron infusions because he can only have one serving of red meat per week. Or make the heartbreaking decision to get the bowel removed and live with a colostomy bag.
“I got a call from the surgeons a few weeks ago to say if it’s causing too much pain, I will have to have the surgery,” Trey said. “It’s hard to keep a smile on your face when you are always in constant pain.”
Trey and Kodie both have casual positions at the club so taking unpaid leave during hospital stays left the two in financial stress as the bills started piling up.
Stress is a major trigger of the bleeds so the anxiety and distress of not being able to meet the cost of living took its toll and put Trey back into hospital several times. In the middle of this, his stepdad suffered a heart attack and was also admitted to a nearby Brisbane hospital where his exhausted mum travelled between the two.
That’s when Paul and Blanch from Wednesday’s bingo nominated Trey as a Rally for a Cause recipient and RSL bingo staff organized a collection where the majority of bingo patrons contributed. The collection raised a substantial amount for the bingo favourite.
Trey and Kodie said they were absolutely blown away by both donations and will be forever grateful for financial assistance when they needed it most. “When I got the call from rally it just took such a load off my mind,” Trey said. “We were so behind in the bills and getting back to work in pain was really hard. “I didn’t have to worry about how we were going to buy food and put fuel in the car to get to my appointments in Brisbane. “Everyone has just been so helpful.”
Trey would also like to give a special shoutout to the RSL for holding his position and being so understanding when he’s just not feeling great. “A huge thank you to everyone. I just can’t say it enough. “RSL kept my position open for me where a lot of places wouldn’t do that. My first week back the managers wouldn’t let me out of their sight.
“Every day is a mixed bag but I’m just taking one day at a time.”
To find support or to nominate an individual or family in need, visit rallyforacause.org.au for more information.
How we support the cause…
The Hervey Bay RSL is an Operational Sponsor of Rally for a Cause and is again a Gold Sponsor of the Dunga Derby in 2023.
The Dunga Derby is the charities biggest annual fundraiser.
However, this year’s sponsorship of RFAC has gone to a new level with $30,000 being donated to Angel Families who provide support to those who have experienced the excruciating loss of a child under 21 years of age.
RSL also assists with proceeds from Wednesday’s bingo, entry of Dunga Cars #40 and #888 in the Dunga Derby, and have sponsored teams Breast Intentions, Croc McQueen, Veterans of Australia, Cooper’s journey “Avengers”, Bronxnation and Louie Da Fly Boys in this year’s dunga.
Congratulations to all the Dunga Derby teams for raising an incredible $556,278 for RFAC this year!!!