This June, the Pirtek Parramatta Eels hosted loyal fans Monique and Tim at a training session so that Monique could visit her beloved team.


Attending the training session was a special moment for Monique, who suffers from a spinal cord tumour, as she has been a Parramatta supporter her whole life. She catches every game, and made time to visit the team despite having to leave to attend radiation therapy later the day.


Tim told us, Everyone was absolutely lovely to Monique, especially Jarryd, Tim [Mannah] and Ricky. It certainly made it easier for her as she is so shy.





Tim says Monique was really overwhelmed by the whole experience, particularly meeting her favourite player, Jarryd Hayne, who came over and had a quick chat to her.


She was really blown away by the whole thing. When she got home she stuck her jersey and flag up on the wall, said Tim.


She was talking about it for ages. She was just really chuffed to meet her favourite players.


At the tender age of 13, Monique has spent much of her life in and out of hospital. Monique was born with a tumour in her spinal cord and suffered pain for the first four years of her life until she was given the official diagnosis of a pilocytic astrocytoma.


When the Childrens Hospital at Westmead found the tumour, it had grown so big that if it were left any longer, Monique would have been paralysed. After surgery at the age of 4 and then again at the age of 8, the tumour returned and at the age of 9 Monique began a year of chemotherapy.


Unfortunately the tumour has returned this year and although it was not completely removed, complications in the surgery resulted in a loss of two vertebrae from Moniques back.


High risk of injury means that Monique will never be able to go to theme parks, ride bikes, play sport or even lift anything.


Massive changes to her life and a new round of intensive Radiotherapy treatment means that Moniques family have struggled with the financial implications of the illness which doctors say is now likely to plague the young teenager for the rest of her life.





To raise money for the hospital costs, family friend Tim Kapustin, has committed to a set of three fundraising challenges.


The first challenge is a dive. From bridges to stairwells, Tim is terrified of heights. Just as Monique has had to overcome fear through her many medical procedures, Tim is facing his own fear. With the help of Diving NSW and Diving Masters Coaches, Tim will dive into a pool from a 10-metre platform.


The second challenge is to shave his head. As Monique lost her hair to chemotherapy treatment in the past, Tim is stripping his own head for her.


The third challenge, also the reason for the name of the fundraiser, House 2 House, is the 100km walk from Tims own house at the Ponds to the Opera House and back again. This challenge is the main focus for Tim as he has been preparing himself for this physically demanding task.


Monique will be offering Tim the same support that she shows her team when they run out on the field to play football. Tims biggest fear, the dive, is the part he is most concerned about but he knows that having Monique there to cheer him on will be a great help.


To follow Moniques journey and to see when the fundraising challenges will take place, like Tims House 2 House page on Facebook.


Donations can also be made online at:


MyCause.com.au/page/house2housemoniquefamily


Thank you so much Monique and Tim for the visit, and good luck for your challenges!