STATE: Five-month-old Vinny Falcione, from Port Augusta, is already facing the biggest challenge of his young life.
The delightful baby is currently undergoing chemotherapy after he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in February, at just two-months-old.
He is also the chief of Vinny's Village, an ab-crunching squad of his family and friends taking on the Redkite Crunch 4 Kids, an event to raise funds for Australia's leading childhood cancer support charity.
The challenge consists of 20 days, from June 1 to 20, of stomach-crunching as participants set their crunch and fundraising goals, either solo or in a team.
Vinny's mum, Sally Falcione, said the fundraiser gave an entire new meaning to the African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child."
Sally was encouraging people from Port Augusta and across South Australia to get involved with the Redkite fundraiser.
"Redkite was there for us when we were thrust into a world of unknowns," she said.
"Our social worker delivered our Red Bag, which was full of practical and essential items, and it made that first week in hospital so much easier.
"The offers of financial support also eased our minds so we could focus on Vinny."
Vinny's dad Michael Falcione said continued support from the organisation was vital for the family.
"Redkite provided us with what we needed to get through those first few gruelling days in hospital," he said.
"They continue to support us, and many other families in South Australia."
Vinny's parents plan to raise $2500 for Redkite by doing 30 crunches a day, for 20 days.
Redkite chief executive Monique Keighery said the organisation had supported about 150 South Australian families over the past year.
"Every crunch crunched, and every dollar raised, will go towards providing essential support to children with cancer and their families," she said.
"These families need extra support at this time and for their communities to acknowledge and understand their unique challenge right now."
Redkite provides essential support such as free online, video and phone counselling, financial assistance to families, as well as funding music therapists and social workers in children's cancer wards, all funded through the generosity of the community and corporate Australia.
- Details: You can show your support for Vinny and other children like him by signing-up or donating at https://crunch4kids.redkite.org.au/