Dante harvests big donation for Telethon

Nicolette BarbasHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Harvey resident Dante Burnham, 8, raised more than $1000 for Telethon by growing his own vegetables and selling them to friends and family.
Camera IconHarvey resident Dante Burnham, 8, raised more than $1000 for Telethon by growing his own vegetables and selling them to friends and family. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

At the age of two, Harvey resident Dante Burnham was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, a condition that effects the lining of the joints.

The eight-year-old spent the bulk of his childhood in and out of hospitals receiving treatments in which the affected joints were injected.

The time between injections is how doctors monitor how quickly the child grows out of the arthritis.

“When Dante was first diagnosed he was getting treatments every one to two months, now his visits are far less regular,” his mum Catherine said.

“Dante is growing out of the arthritis a lot quicker than normal, and the specialist has put it down to the fact that he is so active and plays a lot of sport.”

Fast forward six years and Dante is involved in the Harvey Bulls Football Club, the Harvey Basketball Association, the Harvey-Benger Cricket Club and the Harvey Tennis Club.

With the treatment experience fresh in his mind, Dante was overwhelmed by the generosity towards sick kids when watching Telethon last year and made it his mission to help out.

“Last year I realised what Telethon meant to sick kids and I wanted to help,” Dante said.

“Dad and I planted some fruit and vegetables, bagged them up and sold them to friends and family.”

Dante managed to raise $1000 and was asked to attend the Telethon event in Perth at the weekend to hand over his donation.

“We were just overcome by how generous people were,” Mrs Burnham said.

Pleased with his fundraising efforts, Dante is looking to increase his vegetable growing in preparation for next year’s Telethon event.

“I’m thinking of moving the swing set in the backyard so we have more space to grow more so I can sell more and donate a larger amount next year,” he said.

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