Boxing for Boag

By Shani Boag

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Fight For Your Cause is a corporate charity boxing event that seeks to represent local causes that need help in both awareness and fundraising. I'm Aaron, and I'm fighting for the first time this year. I've chosen to support a new friend, Shani, after learning the immense struggle she's facing to not only find out what her medical issues are, but to find the right medical people to help her.

You see, Shani's illnesses, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Dysautonomia, are of the "invisible" kind. Extreme fatigue leaves Shani bed-bound for days at a time after short periods of exertion, exertion that I would call "normal daily activities" like a beginners yoga class or driving 15 minutes across town. I was shocked to learn that fainting is a normal part of Shani's months, where her heart doesn't always hear the automatic messages from her brain, meaning often times her heart doesn't beat fast enough to get blood to her brain and she can faint just by standing up. It's no wonder it took her 10 months and 11 doctors to find someone who could recognise her symptoms!

But I was most shocked to learn that these illnesses are estimated to be two of the most common yet undiagnosed illnesses in the western countries.

Medical research is only just getting underway to fully understand the underlying mechanisms. This means treatment is still scarce, and medical professionals who know how to manage the illness are not readily available. So Shani is travelling 1400+ kilometers regularly, at $1250 a trip minimum. On these trips Shani doesn't just undertake tests and receive treatments, but also participates in the vital research projects carried out within Australia, despite her condition, to help both herself and the millions of other patients who will benefit from these studies.

I recognise the struggle she is under - with no family in the country, unable to work or even live day to day to her full capacity, and the majority of doctors never having heard of her illnesses, she's amazingly optimistic about the future. That's why I'm stepping into the ring for the first time after only 18 months training, to represent this local cause. I want to raise multiples of $1250 to help Shani make her next medical appointment in October. I want to support Shani in her fight with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Dysautonomia, and to support and raise awareness for invisible illnesses in our region.

Each $1250 trip entails travel costs for Shani, her partner (and dedicated carer) to ensure she makes her trips safely, accommodation for one night to ensure Shani can physically endure the trip, as well as one specialist consultation and incidental travel expenses for local transport to and from hospitals.

And the great thing is, supporting Shani is supporting the greater #invisibleillness community; it's standing with the #millionsmissing from our communities due to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and it's raising awareness for largely unknown and unheard of illnesses. It's encouraging her to continue participating in research studies where she can, to support her drive to contribute to the greater community in the only way she can - to help find a cure.

Fight For Your Cause 2016 Townsville not only supports worthy, local causes, but also bookends the annual Invisible Illness Awareness Week campaign. Boxing for Boag is one local cause that really deserves your attention. With just $1250 we can safely send Shani on her next medical appointment, we can raise awareness around what an invisible illness really looks like, and help show the medical world that these research endeavours are incredibly important to millions of people.

You can donate directly to Boxing for Boag right here, or you can support me on the night and purchase tickets to attend the Fight For Your Cause boxing event. You can get your tickets through me, Aaron, where a margin of each ticket sale go directly to this cause.

Thank you for helping us raise awareness for Invisible Illness.

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Team Members

Shani Boag

Aaron Mountney