Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Contents Scott's Story
It doesn t matter how old a child is when they
die -- those left behind will always see them as the
helpless baby they held in their arms at the moment
of their birth, the toddler who stumbled his first
steps to Daddy, the teenager who took those first
steps away from apron strings.
Yvonne Kirkbride, 58, is no exception. Mother
of Scott -- Scotty to his friends -- her handsome lad
is as alive in her heart today as he was on the day
he died, aged 27 in 2004, from melanoma.
"After Scotty died, I wanted to crawl away,"
says Yvonne, of Claremont, "but my journey has
continued. Setting up Scotty s charity has given me
strength and the purpose to get up every day."
The Scott Kirkbride Melanoma Research
Centre, part of the Western Australian Institute for
Medical Research, is dedicated to finding better
ways of diagnosing and treating skin cancer.
Scott, like many in WA, was well aware of the
dangers of too much sun.
"He did all the right things but it wasn t
enough," Yvonne says.
"As a mother, you never get over losing a
child, but helping others was what Scotty was
all about. I never thought I would find myself in
this position but have found an inner strength
which drives me forward."
A new project at the centre asks all newly
diagnosed skin cancer patients to volunteer health
information as well as a blood sample, which
will hopefully lead to a greater understanding of
melanoma, and possibly a blood test that could
diagnose the disease.
Starting the foundation was a slow process for
Yvonne and her family but she says she s now "just
amazed" at the progress made.
"Our aim is firstly to find a cure, and secondly
to find better treatments and outcomes for patients
with melanoma. I m very hopeful that in my life-
time, this will be achieved."
And although she misses Scotty "more than
words can say", Yvonne has developed new
strength since his death.
"I couldn t have done any of this, not for a
moment, before he died. I couldn t have carried
out the public speaking engagements that I ve
since done, I feel like I ve become so much more
courageous thanks to Scotty.
"I ve realised material things mean nothing --
you just must treasure life."
Photographs of Samuel Morris -- a bubbly, blond
two-year-old -- show a child on the verge of
everything. His parents, firefighter Michael, 41,
and full-time mum Jo-ann, 42, never expected
that the events that occurred one warm, autumn
day at their home in Cranebrook, NSW would
Jo-ann had been folding washing at the same
time as watching and listening through the open
windows and doors to Samuel and her daughter,
Taylor, who was five, playing outside. Then Taylor
called her to the back door.
"Taylor kept saying, You really need to come
and see this Mummy, in a funny little sing-song
voice, like she was being a cheeky monkey, so I
carried on putting the washing away, saying I d be
there in a minute," says Jo-ann.
When she went to the door and asked where
Samuel was, Taylor pointed to the pool.
"I looked to where she was pointing... and
couldn t see anything, the water appeared glinting
and still, and I still couldn t see him."
Jo-ann opened the pool gate, and approached
the pool, only then seeing her little boy floating
just beneath the surface.
LIVING ON: (At left,
from left to right) Yvonne
Kirkbride, Riley Burton,
Michael Goynich; (above)
The Jack Dunn
Foundation held its
Jack the Wagtail
physical challenge at
Scarborough Beach in
October last year.
82 scoop WINTER 2010
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