Sisters do it for Jeans for Genes
When her baby sister was born, Katie Facaris was just two and a bit. She got used to the fact that there was something a little different about baby Jacqui, particularly when she had to start to wear a brace.
Today a severe curvature of the spine, pigeon chest and problems with her joints means that her younger sister mostly gets around in a wheelchair, even to school.
'I used to be jealous of her having it! Thinking it was such a cool way to get around,' Katie said.
Jacqui has a rare disorder called metatropic dysplasia which affects bone growth.
Even from their very early childhood the sisters somehow coped. They even managed to pretend visits to the hospital were like a playground. Jacqui particularly got into the swing of it, calling the X rays 'moo machines', the respiratory testers 'elephants', and the meal times were 'room service'!
'She has such a big smile that everyone loves. She is also amazingly energetic, with a sharp mind. That's why I get a little annoyed when people speak to her as if she has a mental disability just because she's in a wheelchair,' said Katie.
Her mother is principal carer, researcher, councillor, educator, doctor and advocate. 'But Katie is my team-mate in this all as we try to find ways to make life easier for Jacqui,' she Linda Facaris.
Linda is a volunteer at the Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) and the two girls often help out. It changed their lives.
'We love the CMRI, particularly Jeans for Genes. We help out and we have fun. It's such an important fundraising day (this year Friday August 1) as it helps scientists find cures to help people like my sister,' said Katie.
Pic above shows (from left) Linda, Jacqui and Katie who work as a team for Jeans for Genes which this year is Friday 1 August.
The annual Jeans for Genes exhibition this year includes works on canvas and jeans - preloved, signed and donated by The Police, Jackie Chan, Cameron Diaz and Keith Urban - painted by artists including David Bromley and Elizabeth Bardon.
The jeans art then goes under the auction hammer on July 23 to raise funds for the Childrens Medical Research Institute at its annual dinner. Jeans art is hotly sought on the night. Last years top-priced artwork, at $32,000 was Robyn Rosss pants off portrait of comedian HG Nelson, followed by Garry Flemings portrait of The Terminator, incorporating Arnies denims.www.jeansforgenes.org.au/events