Wollongong Mayor Gordon Bradbery has thrown his weight behind the campaign to bring Kurt Drysdale home.
Kurt injured his C5 vertebrae in a rugby league game last June and was told at the time the only thing he’d be able to move would be his eyelids. But the 22 year old is a fighter and has proved the doctors wrong. He’s come ahead in leaps and bounds and is now able to live at home with his family, dependant on significant modifications to the Drysdale home. So significant in fact, the home has to be virtually rebuilt, with a downstairs area specially fitted-out for Kurt’s needs.
This doesn’t come cheap, and the local community has been incredible.
With the support of the Rugby League fraternity and local business, there have been numerous fundraising efforts to help the family shoulder the significant cost of building what is virtually a new home.
Kurt’s story has has touched so many hearts, including that of the Lord Mayor of Wollongong.
“It concerned me that Kurt is such a young man in this situation,” says Mayor Bradbery. ” His future will be challenging so it’s important he can live with his family. However the cost of the necessary fittings and design work to make their home suitable have been a big impost on the family.
“Their home wasn’t compliant or functional for a person in Kurt’s situation and as with all building work, there are planning obstacles and challenges. As a representative of our Local Government I was concerned about cost blowouts. I just want to get this project across the line so Kurt can come home as soon as possible.”
So the Mayor spoke with Helensburgh Tradies and instigated a fundraising dinner which will be held at the club on Wednesday April 6.
“It was the least the Council, and more specifically, I could do to help this local family,” he says. “This is an opportunity for the people of Helensburgh to participate in Kurt’s homecoming and build on the town’s wonderful sense of community.”
The night is now a complete sell-out. Supergroup Justice Crew have volunteered their services, Bulldogs captain James Graham coming along, as well as Ben Ross and Brett Kimmorley.
Tradies Community Relations Manager Kathryn Tanner says they are delighted to be able to help.
“We’ve been part of the Northern Illawarra community for more than a year now and we know the Drysdales are a much-loved local family.
“They’ve been through an incredibly tough time, particularly Kurt, so we are happy to be able to help them in any way we can.
“We’re hoping to raise $30,000 from the event, which will help the Drysdale family move forward with the modifications their home needs, so Kurt can come home as quickly as possible.
Although the dinner has now sold out, if you would like to help the Drysdale Family, donations of auction items are still welcomed.