We have set up a specific fund with the Royal Children's Hospital to assist children with intellectual disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Important COVID control measures such as lockdowns, social distancing and mask wearing have had a profound impact on children with intellectual disability who rely heavily on social support and close contact. Whilst you and I have been affected by the pandemic, these children have faced significant challenges . They are unable to comprehend this new world in which we live.
We are concerned to hear that there are an increasing number of children with intellectual disability presenting to the RCH emergency department with self-injurious behaviour, worsening mental health and family crisis. To do our bit we have set up Team Kilo India Delta Sierra (KIDS). Team KIDs was founded by health professionals within the Australian Army, frontline healthcare workers and community members who wish to pair their interests in extreme racing with community fundraising initiatives.
Following close discussions between RCH Chief Medical Officer (A/Prof Tom Connell), Senior Paediatrician (A/Prof Daryl Efron) and Team KIDS we have identified the ISAID project as an initiative we wish to directly fund. It met our criteria for a project related to COVID-19 that would provide immediate benefit to the community. We wish to raise $125,000 to specifically fund a Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) position in the project. The CNC will be tasked with coordinating care for these children during their hospital stay and to follow them up in the community. The CNC will act as an important link between families, paediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. The aim of the ISAID project is to reduce emergency presentations in this population by 30% by better supporting families. Through early intervention we hope to prevent these children from getting to a point of crisis.
How are we doing this?
To raise this money, we have assembled a mixed gender team of soldiers and health professionals to take on the Elite Sprint section of the Spartan Death Race in Melbourne 11 September 2021. This is a gruelling race that includes a 5km sprint with 20 obstacle stations and we will be competing against the top athletes. We have pledged to complete this sprint in 10kg weight vests to symbolise the added hardship faced by children and families affected by autism and intellectual disability. Yes, it will be tough, but we will prove that with a team effort we can overcome said hardship.
What can you do?
1. Provide a donation through the below link
2. Join our team
3. Like and follow our Instagram page (@Team_kiloindiadeltasierra)
4. Like and follow our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Team-Kilo-India-Delta-Sierra-108230694824057/)
5. Promoting our cause on social media
ALL MONEY RAISED WILL GO DIRECTLY TO THIS FUND WE HAVE CREATED WITH THE ROYAL CHILDRENS HOSPITAL AND NONE WILL GO TOWARDS OUR TEAM, SPONSORSHIP OR OTHERWISE BENEFIT ANY TEAM PERSON INVOLVED.
Please share our page and keep note of our journey towards the Elite Sprint. Many of us will be undertaking this race with 3-months’ notice but we will prove that anything is possible.
 Bellomo TR, Prasad S, Munzer T, Laventhal N. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children with autism spectrum disorders. J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2020;13(3):349-354. doi: 10.3233/PRM-200740. PMID: 32986631.
 Masi, A., Mendoza Diaz, A., Tully, L., Azim, S.I., Woolfenden, S., Efron, D. and Eapen, V. (2021), Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their parents. J Paediatr Child Health, 57: 631-636. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpc.15285
 Hüls A, Costa ACS, Dierssen M, Baksh RA, Bargagna S, Baumer NT, Brandão AC, Carfi A, Carmona-Iragui M, Chicoine BA, Ghosh S, Lakhanpaul M, Manso C, Mayer MA, Ortega MDC, de Asua DR, Rebillat AS, Russell LA, Sgandurra G, Valentini D, Sherman SL, Strydom A; T21RS COVID-19 Initiative. Medical vulnerability of individuals with Down syndrome to severe COVID-19-data from the Trisomy 21 Research Society and the UK ISARIC4C survey. EClinicalMedicine. 2021 Mar;33:100769. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.100769. Epub 2021 Feb 22. PMID: 33644721; PMCID: PMC7897934.