Western Australia’s 2020 Little Telethon Stars were invited by RAAF Base Pearce personnel for a behind-the-scenes tour of the base on December 7.
Telethon is a Western Australian community charity that has raised more than $349 million dollars over the past five decades to ensure a better life for children living with life threatening diseases.
Each year two Little Telethon Stars are selected to represent the children of Western Australia who are helped by the money raised.
Eamon Doak was born profoundly deaf and wears cochlear implants to enable him to hear. He was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome at five and will gradually lose his sight because of retinitis pigmentosa.
Determined not to let his disabilities hold him back, seven-year-old Eamon said he dreamt of being a pilot. He was able to take his love of flight simulators to the next level by taking to the air in the PC-21 and Hawk 127 simulators at RAAF Base Pearce.
Nora Holly was developing well and reaching all of her milestones early when one day she woke without the ability to move hers legs.
Eamon and Nora’s strength and courage are an inspiration to the team at RAAF Base Pearce.
A fist-size tumor was found to be crushing her spinal cord. Nora was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called neuroblastoma and after gruelling treatment she is in remission.
Nora doesn’t let anything hold her back and was affectionately dubbed the Ginger Ninja because of her fighting spirit, something the base community got to see as Nora kept everyone on their toes – and at one point had the firefighters doing pushups.
Senior ADF Officer at RAAF Base Pearce Wing Commander Andrew Brandham said it was a privilege to host Eamon and Nora and was pleased to appoint them as honorary members of RAAF Base Pearce.
“Eamon and Nora’s strength and courage are an inspiration to the team at RAAF Base Pearce,” Wing Commander Brandham said.
“All of the resident units wanted to provide these little stars and their families with a day full of adventure and memories to last a lifetime.
“Eamon and Nora’s beaming smiles and infectious enthusiasm made it a tremendous day and our base community immensely enjoyed spending the day with them.”
The tour included meet and greets with the trainee pilots from No. 2 Flying Training School and No. 79 Squadron, a military working dog demonstration and weapon display by No. 3 Security Force Squadron, lunch at the mess, full access to the fire station and a visit to No. 453 Squadron’s air traffic control towers.
With so much to see and do, the Little Telethon Stars said they were thrilled to meet so many new friends and didn’t want to leave.
“It was exciting to do lots of barrel rolls on the simulators and see all of the planes,” Eamon said.
“My favourite part of the day were the dogs and flying the simulator – I loved everything,” Nora said.