Lifestyle

Jackson's campaign hits national TV

JACKSON Byrnes, 18 of Casino, has been diagnosed with a large and aggressive brain tumour that is expected to kill him if he does not receive surgery soon.

He is booked in for brain surgery next Wednesday with the only specialist in Australia able to perform the procedure, Charlie Teo. 

>> CLICK HERE TO HELP JACKSON BYRNES

Eighteen year old Jackson Byrnes of Casino needs an urgent operation to remove a brain tumour.
Eighteen year old Jackson Byrnes of Casino needs an urgent operation to remove a brain tumour. Contributed

UPDATE Monday 9.45am: JACKSON Byrnes has made it onto Channel 7's Sunrise this morning with the show's hosts applauding the fundraising efforts of Casino and urging more people to get behind the cause.

Holding up a poster of Jackson, show presenter Natalie Barr talked about the surprise discovery of Jackson's brain tumour and the tremendous effort of the community who have raised more than $80,000.

"This young man, Jackson Byrnes, he's from Casino, normal 18 year old kid until four weeks ago, woke up and a bit numb down one side, he has stage four brain tumour," she said.

"They have raised, the little tiny community of Casino with 11,000 people has raised $80,000 in the last four days for surgery and rehab, because he's paralysed down one side and he's going to need a lot of help."

The popular tv show has put the link to Jackson's fundraising page on their website.

The family still needs to raise at least $50,000 to pay for the hire of a hospital operation room, as well as rehabilitation, accommodation and travel costs.

Meanwhile, Jackson's father, Steven Leckstrom, has posted a message on the gofundme page thanking all those who have helped Jackson's cause. 
"It brings a tear to my eye," he wrote.

"Thanks to you all. Awesome work, I love every single one of you. God bless you all in abundance of greatness and mostly good health."

 

UPDATE Monday 5.30am: AFTER a week of campaigning, the gofundme crowdfunding page for Casino teenager Jackson Byrnes has hit $80,070.

Thanks to the help of 1,706 people in 9 days, the young man and his family have reached their goal of $80,000 for his life-saving surgery.

 

UPDATE Sunday 8.30pm: After eight days of campaigning, Casino teenager Jackson Byrnes has crowdfunded over 85% of the $80,000 required for life-saving surgery.

A total of $70,170 had been pledged to his appeal by 8pm Sunday, with almost 1500 individual donations.

The campaign is still in urgent need of financial support, as Jackson and his family only have a couple of days to fundraise the rest of the money required.

Two individual $1000 pledges have been registered in the last couple of hours, plus hundreds more ranging from $5 to $600.

Good wishes and positive messages are also coming in for Jackson and his family.

"Dearest Jackson, I don't know you but I was heart broken by your plight and I am honoured to help you. I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will answer your prayers and bring you the healing you need. Do not despair. There is hope" posted John-Paul Turner in the campaign's page.

 

UPDATE Sunday 1pm: After seven days of campaigning, Casino teenager Jackson Byrnes has crowdfunded almost 75% of the $80,000 required for life-saving surgery.

A total of $57,486 had been pledged to his appeal by noon Sunday, with over 1100 individual donations.

The campaign is still in urgent need of financial support, as Jackson and his family only have a couple of days to fundraise the rest of the money required.

Milk collection and transport company Blu Logistic Solutions donated $1000 in the last 12 hours.

The outpouring of good wishes for Jackson and his family continues.

"Jackson, as you can see you are not alone. Good happens. Your story has touched a lot of people's hearts.

Continue being brave. I wish you well for your operation. You are in the best hands with Dr Teo. May you live a long and healthy life" posted Lola Collins in the campaign's page.

 

UPDATE 8pm Saturday: After seven days of campaigning, Casino teenager Jackson Byrnes is half-way to raise the $80,000 required for life-saving surgery.

A total of $44,945 had been pledged to his appeal by 8pm Saturday, with over 870 individual donations.

Most offers of financial support are coming from individuals pledging between $5 and $200, confirming that every donation will help the local teenager in his ordeal.

The campaign is still in urgent need of financial support, as Jackson and his family only have a couple of days to fundraise the rest of the money required.

Victorian finance, leasing and risk management company Morris Finance made the biggest individual pledge to the campaign today by offering $2000.

Other companies, such as Rooftech Australia, Summerland Credit Union and Alstonville Quality Meats, each donated $1000 in the last 24 hours.

There is also an outpouring of good wishes for Jackson and his family.

"Dear Jackson. Sending our love to you. People are good. Strangers care. How wonderful is that to know! The world is an amazing place. Anything is possible," posted Cate McQuillen in the campaign's page earlier today after making a donation.

 

UPDATE Saturday 6am: ALMOST $19,000 had been raised by yesterday afternoon for life-saving surgery to remove a Casino teenager's aggressive brain tumour, but another $62,000 is needed within three days.

Jackson Byrnes, 18, and his family have been crowdfunding to pay for an $80,000 private operation with Sydney surgeon Dr Charlie Teo.

After The Northern Star published Jackson's story yesterday, thousands of dollars flooded into the family's gofundme crowdfunding account, with the total sitting at almost $18,700 yesterday afternoon.

Contributors and supporters included Richmond Valley mayor Ernie Bennett, Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, Page MP Kevin Hogan, Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and Northern Rivers Business Chamber regional manager John Murray.

Top donators included Roof Tech Australia ($1000), Summerland Credit Union ($1000), Gregory Enright ($500) and Aaron Coleman ($500), according to the gofundme page.

Mr Hogan encouraged residents of his electorate to donate whatever they were able to spare.

"We live in a very caring and generous community," he said.

"I ask anyone with spare cash to join me in helping the Byrnes family in their time of need to pay for this life-saving operation for Jackson."

Mr Gulaptis also chimed in to support the Byrnes family.

"It's going to give someone a second chance at life and I think we should all rally around Jackson and his family," he said.

Mr Murray was hoping to gather the support of local businesses yesterday afternoon in hopes of contributing to Jackson's appeal.

Cr Bennett was hopeful Jackson's community would get behind the desperate campaign.

"From my point of view, I would ask our community to think hard and long about how they might be able to help here and do what they can," Cr Bennett said.

 

UPDATE Friday 2pm: THE extraordinary cost of Jackson Byrnes' life-saving surgery is because of the highly specialised nature of the equipment needed for the work, his mother says.

While there has been an overwhelming response to Jackson's plea for help, with about $12,000 donated today alone, there has also been confusion and anger that Jackson's family is required to come up with the money so quickly, if at all.

"In cases such as this the Federal Government should give full support and cover any costs to save this young mans life," one person has said in the comments on this story.

Dr Teo's office has declined explain the high cost, saying to do so would violate patient confidentiality. 

However, Jackson't mother, Rhonda Byrnes, said she was told the operation performed by Dr Teo could only be funded via the private sector because the tools needed for such specialised surgery were not available in the public system.

"We're going to the best doctor, to get the best treatment," Ms Byrnes said.

"In the public system, the equipment is not up to the standard needed to do this sort of procedure."

She said it was tough, but she would do anything to give Jackson a chance at a longer life.

"Medicare has told us to keep all the receipts… but we will only get a third back at most," she said.

"Life shouldn't have to cost anything. But we just have to hope and pray."

 

UPDATE 1pm: RICHMOND Valley Council mayor Ernie Bennett has donated to help Jackson Byrnes and has urged others to dig deep.

Cr Bennett said he was struggling to comprehend how Jackson and his family were feeling.

"It made me really reach deep inside and think about where this guy is, the space he's in at the moment, not just for him but his whole family," he said.

"I can't imagine what they're going through and what they're feeling. I wish them all the very best.

Cr Ernie Bennett.
Cr Ernie Bennett.

"After reading your story this morning I rang through (to Jackson's family) and donated $50 myself and a couple of hundred dollars from council."

Cr Bennett said the Richmond Valley community had consistently thrown their support behind struggling residents in the past.

He was hopeful Jackson's plight would attract a similar response.

It certainly seems to be. The total so far raised for Jackson through his gofundme crowdfunding campaign is close to $13,000, with more than $10,000 of that having been donated today.

"I know, without getting into detail, about the community helping individuals a number of times in these cases and actually raising over and above the amount required," Cr Bennett said.

"So, from my point of view, I would ask our community to think hard and long about how they might be able to help here and do what they can.

"It's a short period of time and it's difficult for anybody to raise those sort of funds but at least if the community can take that financial pressure away it would help him and his family keep their chin up."

If you would like to Tweet your support of Jackson or post to Facebook, we're using the hashtag #savejackson.

 

UPDATE 11.30am: NORTHERN Rivers Business Chamber regional manager John Murray will rally local businesses this afternoon in hopes of contributing to Jackson Byrnes' crowdfunding appeal.

The 18-year-old Casino resident has been diagnosed with a large and aggressive brain tumour that is expected to kill him if he does not receive surgery soon.

But a private operation will cost $80,000, which needs to be raised within four days.

Mr Murray was sympathetic of Jackson's plight and said he would do all he could to raise awareness.

"There's one thing evident about the Northern Rivers general community and business community - we have a history of rallying behind those in trouble," he said.

"I'm a parent and a grandparent and I'm very concerned to read about the situation.

"I'm keen as anything to try and play a role at contributing to fundraising efforts.

"We'll be all putting on our thinking caps and putting our heads together to see if anything can be done from our end."

Mr Murray said a planned meeting between chamber members this afternoon will offer a chance to discuss how the organisation can help.

"We just want to work out how we can raise funds in as quick as possible time," he said.

Contribute to the gofundme crowdfunding campaign by visiting www.gofundme.com/rjcv6g.

If you would like to Tweet your support of Jackson or post to Facebook, we're using the hashtag #savejackson.

 

UPDATE 11am: DONATIONS continue to flood into Jackson Byrnes' crowdfunding appeal, sometimes jumping hundreds, even thousands, of dollars within minutes.

Some very generous pledges have helped push the total past the $10,000 mark, including a $1000 donation from local business Rooftech Australia and $1000 from Summerland Credit Union.

Many others have lodged donations reaching into the hundreds of dollars, but it appears to be the many small donations, ranging from a few dollars up to $50, that seem to be driving the rapid rise in funds for Jackson's life-saving surgery.

The total is a massive leap for the fundraising effort. In a single morning the total raised through the gofundme crowdfunding campaign - from a little over $2000 early this morning to more than $10,000 by 11am.

However, that still leaves about $70,000 to go.

Jackson desperately needs our help. Can you?#savejackson

Posted by The Northern Star on Thursday, April 16, 2015

UPDATE 8.50am: MORE than $2800 has been donated in just two hours to help provide life-saving surgery to Casino teenager Jackson Byrnes.

Donations are coming in fast, with two people this morning having contributed $500 each and many others donating in lots of several hundred dollars.

However, with Jackson's family having to find $80,000 in only four days, there is a long way to go.

There has been a strong and immediate wave of support for Jackson on social media, with scores of people sharing the link to his story and others offering comments of support.

"Brought tears straight to my eyes. You're a fighter Jackson and your family and friends will try as has as they can to get you the op you need," posted Tayla-lea Cawley.

There is also confusion and anger that Jackson's family is in the position of having to come up with $80,000 to pay for the surgery needed to save the 18-year-old's life.

"This needs to be removed with no charge from doctors or hospital," posted Vicki Lee Maxwell. "Health system needs to help this young man!"

"This shouldn't happen. Where's the politicians stepping in," asked Kelly Rooney.

The Northern Star has directly Tweeted Australia's and NSW's political leaders asking what they will do to help.

If you would like to Tweet your support of Jackson or post to Facebook, we're using the hashtag #savejackson.

POSITIVE THINKING: Jackson’s mum Rhonda Byrnes and his girlfriend Jahnae Jackson, are trying to raise $80,000 before Tuesday to pay for his brain surgery.
POSITIVE THINKING: Jackson’s mum Rhonda Byrnes and his girlfriend Jahnae Jackson, are trying to raise $80,000 before Tuesday to pay for his brain surgery. Cathy Adams

 INITIAL REPORT: IT started three weeks ago with a slight limp.

Jackson Byrnes, only recently turned 18, was excited and happy with the world at his feet - then his mum Rhonda noticed the limp that was the first clue to a large, aggressive and potentially fatal brain tumour.

Within 24 hours, a visit to the local GP had escalated to MRI scans at Lismore Base Hospital which culminated in the Casino teenager being rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital for further examinations.

The prognosis was grim - doctors found a terminal stage four tumour more common in a person four times Jackson's age. The only treatment they could recommend was chemotherapy or radiation.

But that wasn't good enough for Rhonda, who sought a second opinion from Australia's best brain surgeon, Sydney-based Dr Charlie Teo.

Dr Teo is known as the man prepared to operate when no other surgeon will.

Dr Teo basically told us that if we didn't operate we wouldn't have him around for very much longer

- Rhonda Byrnes

Ms Byrnes said another surgeon who sat in on the meeting with Dr Teo looked at Jackson's case and immediately refused.

However, Dr Teo told them he believed he could save Jackson's life through surgery, by removing up to 95% of the tumour, if the operation was a success.

Jackson would be initially paralysed on his left side, but that can remedied through rehabilitation.

"Dr Teo basically told us that if we didn't operate we wouldn't have him around for very much longer," Ms Byrnes said.

"Because it was such an aggressive tumour they weren't sure whether the radiation or chemotherapy would have any effect.

"As it is now, my son doesn't have any feeling in his hands or legs.

"But they said he's got the upper hand being young, and he's a fit young man."

However, to fund the private operation, Jackson's family must raise $80,000 by next Tuesday night, with the operation scheduled on Wednesday.

Was blessed to be a part of this wonderful community support for our 18yo Casino local boy Jackson Byrnes who is in for the fight of his life! He has a brain tumor so severe that drastic action has been taken and a specialist Neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo has taken on the great challenge to save our young brother. The operation will cost $80,000 dollars please give what you can for this young man as he embarks on a fight for his life, I wish him all the best and would like to share a snippet of the action from Sunday's auction enjoy and God bless you Jacko!

Posted by Richmond Valley property hub on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Footage from a fundraising auction for Jackson posted on Facebook by Richmond Valley Property Hub.

 

Medicare will rebate a quarter of this amount, but the entire sum must be raised by Tuesday.

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched through gofundme to co-ordinate the fundraiser, with $9000 raised so far.

A Facebook page has also been set up to show support for Jackson.

Ms Byrnes has also done her best to bring the community's attention to the issue, including writing to shows like Sunrise and A Current Affair. in a bid for media coverage.

"He's got his whole life ahead of him," she said.

"He's just hoping to have a family of his own."

For Jackson, the news was devastating, but supported by his mum, younger brothers Maton and Tyler, younger sister Eden, and girlfriend of three years Jahnae he is trying to think positive.

"I just want to get it out of my head and live a normal life," he said.

"I'd like to go on a holiday, go travelling somewhere and experience a bit of life."

Topics:  charlie teo, fundraising, surgery, tumour




Child killer claims constant fear of violence in jail

Warren Ross boards a police car at the King Street Court in Sydney in May 2014.

Ross once boasted he could make the child scream just showing a belt

Parents' worst nightmare: Daughter, 6, could be deported

The family of six-year-old Lennox Head girl Sienna Tippett have applied for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to intervene so she doesn't get deported for having an undiagnosed mystery illness.

A Northern Rivers family has started the fight of their life.

Avocados drop to 79 cents each

Avocados advertised at Farmer Charlies in Lismore for 79 cents each

Holy guacamole! Avocados in Lismore are how much?

Latest deals and offers

Brian McFadden makes daughters pay for own Christmas gifts

McFadden makes his daughters pay for half their presents

Lady Gaga is a godmother

Lady Gaga has become a godmother to her friends' daughter

Metal havoc this week at New Tattersalls Hotel

Only Machines Remain play Lismore on 6th August. Photo Contributed

Only Machines Remain to play Lismore this week

Will Turbo be taken off TV?

Memes about Turbo are flowing on Social media.

PEOPLE want Turbo taken off TV, but will Prospero Productions the ma

Police charge in after Lohan claims fiance tried to kill her

"You tried to kill me. You're a f*****g psycho".

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started