Cumberland Nepean Softball Association raise money - and awareness - for HeartKids

The Cumberland Nepean Softball Association has dug deep in raising more than $2000 in its Sweetheart Day charity round for HeartKids.

The day was inspired by the story of Azri Mortimer, 8, a softballer from the Eagles Softball Club who needs a heart transplant.

However, Azri’s mother Anna said what is more important than raising money is the awareness raised for youth organ donation.

“It’s great for all the support because for Azri, it boosts her self-esteem,” Anna said. 

“It’s awesome that everyone is involved in it and it’s like a big community. To me it means we’re getting the word out and that’s what’s important.”

Azri was diagnosed with the rare disease restrictive cardiomyopathy and are waiting for a life-saving phone call from Melbourne.

It’s a story that inspired the Cumberland Nepean Softball Association to do the charity day to raise awareness.

Di McPherson from the Eagles Softball Club was one of the organisers of the day and said the day was important to increase the visibility of the charity as heart issues affect so many children.

“I have a grandson who has a heart problem as well but a lot of people don’t know about HeartKids,” she said.

“When we became involved with this and Azri became sick, we decided to get on board and do a charity day here for HeartKids to promote HeartKids so that people are aware that eight babies born every day could have congenital heart problems.” 

The association asked for a gold coin donation for players to dress up in red and blue for the day. There were also several activities organised including motorcycle rides and face painting.

Di Wotherspoon, who was another organiser, said it was a cause especially close to her heart.

“I was actually a heart kid before their was heart kids and to think that I’m still playing softball at 63 and I had major surgery when I was two,” she said.

“It’s good that people can see that you can survive.

“To see everyone come together like this, it is our second family. Whether we raise $100 or $10,000, at least everyone has been made aware of it.”

Mrs McPherson said the awareness is necessary as many people think this will never happen to them, until it does. 

“It’s a knee-jerk teary situation because you know some other baby has to die for your baby to survive but if people aren’t aware and think that the need is there for all donations, it’s good to raise awareness,” she said.

With over-35 ladies (Wednesday) and mens (Friday) competitions to complete the round later this week, the donations are set to reach even higher with matches set to be played at Stanhope Gardens.

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