It’s a running joke between seven-year-old Curtis Cory and his dad, both big-time Parramatta Eels fans, that one day Curtis will play for the Eels and on Thursday night that dream will come true as the Moree Public School student runs out onto the field with his team.
The year one student was born with right side hemiplegia cerebral palsy (which affects the muscles in the right side of the body) and has been seeing a physio in Tamworth for the last four years to help reduce the impact on his body and improve his day-to-day quality of life.
It was his physiotherapist, Luke Wakely from Country Kid’s Therapy, who nominated Curtis for a Starlight Foundation Wish – a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a seriously ill child and their family. Starlight Wishes help sick kids and their families dream big and leave the pain of treatment behind.
Curtis was told he could do anything he wanted with his wish, however as a massive Parramatta fan and Moree Junior Rugby League player, the choice was easy – Curtis’ wish was to play for the Eels.
“It’s a bit emotional considering everything he’s been through and the long road ahead,” Curtis’ mum Annie said. “We only found out last week that he has to have more procedures done.
“He’s a real go-getter. You don’t know it’s affecting him until the end of the day when he’s tired. There’s nothing he won’t do and nothing we stop him from doing.
“He’s just an ordinary kid.”
Curtis and his family – mum, dad and sisters Anna-Lee (9) and Haylee (2) – arrived in Parramatta on Tuesday, and yesterday morning Curtis had the opportunity to attend a training session with the Eels, to which he wore his Moree Junior Rugby League guernsey.
Tonight he will get to run onto the field with the team, wearing a matching Eels jersey.
Curtis will also have the extra special honour of doing the coin toss for tonight’s game against the Gold Coast Titans, while the family will get to sit behind the players’ dug-out area.
Annie said Curtis was so excited.
“He’ll remember it for years to come,” she said.
Annie would like to thank the Starlight Foundation for providing this amazing opportunity for Curtis and encourages anyone to donate to the children’s charity.
“They do such a great job,” she said. “This is what they do with the money they receive.”
To donate to the Starlight Foundation, go to https://starlight.org.au.