Through nib's corporate partnership with the Geelong Cats, Lachlan Fraumano, a 12-year-old carer from Wangaratta, was given his time to shine when he joined the Cats Captain in leading the team onto the field for their season opener at the MCG on Monday, 28 March.
Lachlan is a carer for his older brother, Brandon, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2006. Lachlan provides great support to his parents and relieves them of some of their daily stresses by helping out with chores and taking responsibility for his brother and seven-year-old sister, Maddison, before and after school everyday.
In 2014, we established a community partnership with Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) to support the Young Carers Mentor Program in the Hume region of Victoria. This initiative links young carers, like Lachlan, with an adult mentor to increase their social connections and help achieve their life goals and aspirations.
As a member of this program, Lachlan has found an invaluable outlet outside the family unit where he can express himself and talk about his own needs. With so much of his family's focus being on Brandon, spending time with his mentor Michael has helped Lachlan not only deal with the challenges of becoming a teenager, but also those associated with having a brother who is living with a serious illness.
Lachlan was accompanied to the Easter Monday game at the MCG by his dad, uncle and mentor Michael and we were thrilled to hear Lachlan say the experience of running onto the field was "exciting and amazing".
"It was a great feeling but I wasn't sure where to go once I got through the banner so half cat (the mascot) found me pretty fast and took me for a run with the players!The best part was meeting Joel Selwood and running onto the field with him. I also met Billy Brownless and Shane Crawford and got their autographs."