Teen prepares for mercy dash to cure mystery illness
FOR five years, Toowoomba teenager Amelia Brennan has battled a mystery illness that has at times left her bedridden in pain.
A series of examinations by doctors and specialists failed to pinpoint the source of her ailment, which has been best diagnosed as abdominal migraine.
Until its onset, Amelia had been a bright and active child.
She was so sick she couldn't even travel in a car, let alone a plane
"I was at school and started to get pains, little unusual pains," Amelia, 17, explained.
"Mum came and got me and I went home but it gradually got worse over time."
Her mother Kerri Brennan said Amelia suffered migraine headaches and stomach pain.
"For the first couple of years she was bedridden 80% of the time," Mrs Brennan said.
"She suffered terrible pain and vomiting.
"She was doing well at school but her illness forced her to stay home from school, miss her friends and miss doing the things normal teenagers do."
Since a second surgery late last year, Amelia's condition has improved and over time she has learnt to cope with the pain and constant nausea.
However, Amelia hopes a trip to the famous healing site of Lourdes in France might hold the key to a permanent cure.
"She has always had great faith," Mrs Brennan said.
"When she was desperately unwell she used to say to me, 'If I could just get to Lourdes'.
"She was so sick she couldn't even travel in a car, let alone a plane.
"But her health has improved and she has a bit more of a normal life now."
Family friend Jane Naug has rallied a group of people who are determined to see Amelia's dream of visiting Lourdes come true.
To help raise funds needed for Amelia's Lourdes-France dream tour, Mrs Naug's group has organised The Alpine Family Festival in the Glenvale Room of Toowoomba Showgrounds from 6pm, Saturday, June 29.
The night includes a three-course German dinner, live music by German band Alpine Delight, a silent auction, and a prize for best-dressed German costume.
Tickets are available from Mrs Naug at email@example.com or 46309958 or 0437233314 or from Mrs Brennan on 46768554 or 0458000734.