Variety appeal to set Chantelle Lawrence free

Chantelle Lawrence
Chantelle Lawrence is hoping the Variety appeal will help finance her electronic wheelchair so that she can get around unassisted.

by Josephine Gillespie for The Queensland Times

At only 13, Chantelle Lawrence has already seen the inside of more hospitals than most people will in a lifetime.

Born with a rare progressive neuromuscular condition known as Dejerine-Sottas Syndrome, Chantelle has endured 10 operations, including two hip reconstructions.

The West Moreton Anglican School year nine student is among the local children who Variety Queensland hopes to assist as part of its Variety Friday Radio Appeal on River 94.9 on Friday, June 11.

Mother Kerri said her daughter has inherited the condition from her father Raymond, who through a spontaneous gene mutation was diagnosed with the same condition close to 30 years ago.

Mrs Peters said while the family had received assistance to purchase an electric wheelchair through the Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme, they still faced a gap payment of more than $700.

The Brassall resident said the family also recently had to modify their home to better accommodate their daughter’s needs.

“We have renovated the bathroom and still have to do the kitchen,” Mrs Peters said.

“It is all ongoing costs.

“Raymond had to have his hip done last year and I had heart problems.

“It all mounts up and it can be difficult.”

Mrs Peters said monetary assistance through the appeal would mean her daughter could enjoy the freedom others took for granted, such as going to class on her own unassisted.

The Queensland Times general manager Steve Portas said the QT was fully supportive of the Variety Friday Appeal.

The children’s charity supports sick, disabled and disadvantaged children.

Variety Queensland has received more than $60,000 worth of requests for support in the region.

“The Variety appeal provides assistance to quite a number of needy Ipswich families and it is a great feeling to be able to make a difference to somebody’s life,” he said.

For more information about making a donation or hosting a Variety Friday event at your school or workplace in support of local kids, phone Variety Queensland on 3367 6999 or log on to

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