Home » ‘Little’ walk goes a very long way

‘Little’ walk goes a very long way

Daniel Bouwmeester    March 21, 2023    3 min read   

To mark its first anniversary, one of Queensland’s newest charities is inviting Springfield residents to a very special ‘fun walk’ along the bayside this weekend.

The 5km/10km walk for Richie’s Rainbow – which honours the life of 9-year-old Richie “Little” Walsh and raises funds for children’s cancer research – is taking place at Lota Reserve at Moreton Bay at 10:30am on Sunday, March 26.

“Please join us for a 5km/10km fun walk along the bayside on Sunday March 26 and help celebrate the first birthday of Richie’s Rainbow Foundation,” Richie’s father and charity founder Karl Walsh said.

“Let’s turn the bayside gold for our ‘Little Legend’.”

The event is being sponsored by Zest Mortgage Solutions and the foundation is partly managed by Jet Team Finance director Julie Ryan – both based in Brookwater.

“We have a very strong connection with Springfield and local businesses,” Karl explained.

In establishing Richie’s Rainbow last March, Karl and Lisa Walsh vowed that the strength, courage, and bravery of their son would never be forgotten.

They aim to raise funds for vital research into treatments and therapies for children that are diagnosed with childhood cancers, especially sarcomas, and to support families across Australia.

It was voted in the top 5 per cent of Australia’s start-up charities for 2022.

In just a year, they have raised over $100,000, and through their iPad scheme donated scores of iPads to children to help brighten their lives.

“We are committed to ensuring children diagnosed with cancer in Queensland have access to their very own iPad,” Karl said.

Previously misdiagnosed with pneumonia, in March 2020, at age 7, Richie was diagnosed with Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive soft-tissue sarcoma that grows malignant tumours in the connective tissue of skeletal muscle, usually in children.

This type of cancer currently has very low survival rates and is hard to accurately diagnose because of its enigmatic genetic markers and tumour growth.

Richie – or “Little”, as he liked to be called – began a full year of intense chemotherapy, followed by eight weeks of radiotherapy. Sadly, despite all the treatment, he never went into remission, and passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on September 26, 2021, at just 9 years of age.

“We will continue to lobby MPs to prioritise funding for childhood cancer which presently only receives 3 per cent of government funding.”

The team with their signature bold yellow t-shirts at a recent charity event. All images: Richie’s Rainbow Foundation.

Richie’s Rainbow Foundation held their first Gala dinner in September at the Brookwater Golf & Country Club, raising over $46,000.

“The event was a great success and we are already planning next year’s gala dinner,” Karl said.

“It means so much to us as a family, and a newly formed charity to know that people really want to hope and support us, in funding vital research into treating childhood cancer, especially challenging cancers such as sarcomas, which remain extremely challenging to treat and cure.

“We are in this for the long run to find a cure for the cancer that took away our boy. Please support a charity that is making a huge difference.”

To register, head to www.richiesrainbow.org.au. Walk begins at 10:30am – muster from 9am.

To donate blood, please visit the Australian Red Cross website at www.lifeblood.com.au for details.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.