Mini Footy Field with Real Rugby League Goal Posts For Televised Backyard Rescue
PILA has been keeping a secret and we were ready to burst with the excitement of it! On Friday with the airing of Australia’s A Current Affair (ACA), our embargo was lifted and now we can share that we were one of the contributors to a Backyard Rescue organised by Outdoor Secrets and ACA.
PILA Approached by Outdoor Secrets
When Nathan at Outdoor Secrets approached us in February and told us the story of Brett Johnson, PILA National Sales Manager, Shaun Groves, described it as “bringing a tear to a man’s eye”. For 4 years Brett has been battling Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer, and now with his 3rd diagnosis he has been given a 12-18 month life expectancy.
Rugby League Goal Posts
Nathan explained that Brett is a huge Rugby League fan, and in planning the backyard renovation they wanted a mini footy field with real Rugby League goal posts for his one year old son, Jack. When PILA receives requests from clubs for donations of goal posts we are able to refer them to the ever-growing list of grants offered by the government and private sector (see our Funding Available page). In this case we knew it was time-sensitive, and as a family-owned and run company where most of us have young kids ourselves, we felt compelled by Brett’s story to get involved.
In May 2011 Brett found a lump in his jaw that was diagnosed as Ewing’s sarcoma (bone cancer). After surgery and 17 rounds of chemotherapy, Brett was given the all-clear and proposed to his girlfriend, Casey. Just a few months later he discovered another lump and before undergoing more surgery, chemo, and this time radiation as well, they were married and soon pregnant with baby Jack via IVF. With another successful treatment, Brett resumed work and life in general, but a third lump appeared shortly before Jack’s first birthday. Unfortunately this time the surgeons were unable to extract all of it and advised further treatments were limited. Brett and Casey have not given up and continue to fight.
Last year the family bought a house on an overgrown block in Brisbane. Friends and family have cleared the trees and debris, but needed help to transform it into a paradise for this gorgeous young couple in their time of need. This is where Nathan and Outdoor Secrets came to the rescue and coordinated suppliers and labourers to complete the project. The big reveal was a heartwarming moment.
Everyone at PILA is so proud to have been approached by Outdoor Secrets and to have been able to contribute to such an amazing cause. Brett and Casey have such a passion for life and an indomitable spirit, and we hope they succeed in their mission of “taking down Ewing’s sarcoma“.
Watch the segment here.