All Grandparents Are Great, But These Ones Just Won Awards For It
After becoming an important advocate for the rare disease affecting his grandsons, a NSW man has become the state's Grandparent of the Year.
Chris Walker has spent the past decade lobbying, fundraising, organising workshops and delivering keynote addresses in a bid to raise awareness of the disease which has left two of his grandkids unable to eat.
Logan and Jordan Weir live with X-linked chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction -- an exceptionally rare condition that affects the small intestine's ability to absorb nutrition.
It is believed the Raymond Terrace brothers are the only two people in Australia with the disease, which also compromises their immune system.
On Tuesday, Walker won the 2019 NSW Grandparent of the Year award for his work to make life easier for the boys.
In 2015, his fundraising efforts were enough to have a special clean environment for his grandsons to play in -- due to their weak immune systems, playing outside is not really an option.
Alongside Walker at Tuesday's ceremony was Grandparent of the Year finalist Jenny Davies, who has been a full-time carer for her granddaughter for a number of years.
The Springwood woman set up the 'Raising Kin Support Group' for grandparents, relatives and kinship carers who have full-time care of a child relative -- the only support group of its kind in the Blue Mountains.
In between being a mum, a wife, nurse and grandmother, the East Maitland woman also manages to care for her two young grandchildren.
She too was a finalist for her efforts to support the children, both of which have special needs.
As well as notable grandparents, Tuesday saw some slightly younger award-winners in the Grandparents Day Photography Competition.
Minchinbury school student Natarsha Camilleri took out the top prize in the schools category for her image titled 'Our Lives are Books, With Each Year a Different Chapter'.
The photo captures a young boy offering an e-book to his grandmother while she hands him a printed novel.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Hilton from Orange won the open category for her photograph of seven-month-old Daisy snuggling up with her 93-year-old Poppa.