By Cam Lucadou-Wells
The sun and more than 1000 fun-lovers were out for the ‘Tommy’s Day’ spectacular.
Ten-year-old Tommy Hood met his heroes from Victoria Police, fire-fighting crews as well as St Kilda AFL star Jack Steele at the fundraiser in his name at Melbourne Cable Park on Saturday 11 December.
More than $14,000 was raised for the keen and skilful wakeboarder, who faces months of long, gruelling therapy for T-cell lymphoma.
It will help support him and his single mother Le-Anne Hood, who lost her admin job while caring for her son full-time.
The Tommy’s Day extravaganza included live music, an outdoor movie and aqua park, wakeboarding, high ropes activities, silent auction and police helicopter fly-overs.
It was a “great buzz” for Tommy, who was soon due back in hospital for another two-week stint of chemo, Ms Hood said.
“I expected he’d only last two hours but he lasted until 6.30pm.
“He was just so happy to be with all his friends – he hadn’t seen them for months and months.”
Some of the highlights included Steele presenting Tommy with a player-signed St Kilda Football Club jumper, and Tommy blaring the sirens in a police car.
Rip Curl executive Nichol Wylie drove from Torquay to present some free towels, hats, T-shirt, lunch box and other goodies.
Family friend Danny Innes raised money while running the Melbourne half-marathon on 12 December.
Greater Dandenong councillor Lana Formoso attended with her family, praising the “huge turnout” for Tommy’s cause.
Meanwhile, Tommy’s treatment regime may extend several years. Ms Hood was hopeful he’ll be back at school by April but “everything is so much an unknown”.
“We can have a good phase and next thing he might get an infection or other complications and be back in hospital.”
A Go Fund Me page ‘Tommy Hood’s Fight’ is at https://www.gofundme.com/f/tommy-hoods-fight