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Victoria’s only children’s hospice, Very Special Kids, takes on 24 hours of motion for 24-hour children’s palliative care

Very Special Kids 3 mins read
A man running on a treadmill smiles and puts his thumb up at the camera. Beside him, a woman is running on a different treadmill.

From 9am 2 June to 9am 3 June, 800 individuals will team up for the Very Special Kids 24-Hour Treadmill Challenge. The atmosphere will be electric with costumes, games, live entertainment and visits from former AFL stars to motivate participants as they take on 24 hours of motion on their NovoFit treadmills for 24-hour respite and end-of-life care.

The charity’s flagship fundraising event aims to raise $800,000 to help them continue providing free-of-charge holistic palliative care to children and young people with life-limiting conditions and tailored support for their families through life, death and bereavement. 

Very Special Kids is currently undergoing its most significant service improvement project, the rebuild of Victoria's only children’s hospice. The new state-of-the-art facility is set to reopen in the coming months and is located a stone’s throw away from the 24-Hour Treadmill Challenge event.  Very Special Kids House has been designed to offer 24-hour respite and end-of-life care to children and their families when they need it most. 

Very Special Kids parents, Damian and Kristy Whitnell will be taking part in the 24-Hour Treadmill Challenge for their third year. Their eight-year-old son Jett has received support by Very Special Kids since 2015, after he was diagnosed with KCNQ2. A serious gene mutation that causes debilitating issues with his bones, and severe and frequent seizures.  

“Very Special Kids have supported us for about seven years… they do so much for us through the hospice, sibling programs with our boys, camps and counselling. There is just so much that they do and this is our way to give back,” shares Kristy.

Very Special Kids supports Jett and his whole family - providing emotional, clinical and practical support to help each family member navigate the challenges of childhood life-limiting illness. Money raised from fundraising events like the 24-Hour Treadmill Challenge, ensures Victorian families like theirs can continue to receive 24-hour respite and clinical care when our new hospice facility opens.

Very Special Kids Chief Executive Officer, Michael Wasley, is thrilled to see the event returning to former glory, after it was seriously impacted by COVID-19: “The commitment, dedication and enthusiasm of our individual, teams and corporate supporters is second to none. Thanks to their generosity and ongoing support, we can continue to improve the quality of life and death of the children in our care, helping families build positive, lasting memories together. Our empathetic supporters are the reason sick children, and their families have access to comfort, respite and the very best care in the most difficult times.”  

To sponsor a runner or to make a donation please visit

Key Facts:

What: Very Special Kids 24-Hour Treadmill Challenge

When: 9am Friday 2 June to 9am Saturday 3 June

Where: Very Special Kids, 321 Glenferrie Road Malvern


Vision opportunities:

-Confetti bomb to launch and end the challenge, 9am Friday and Saturday 

-Participants in fun costumes running on treadmills in a marquee with a DJ and party lights

-Visual of Very Special Kids families

-Still photos of Very Special Kids’ work and previous 24-Hour Tread-mill Challenge 

-Capture construction progress of the hospice rebuild 

-Sporting personalities:

--Mid-morning - Leigh Montagna (Ex St Kilda FC – Channel Sev-en commentator)

--12.30pm - Nick Dal Santo (Ex St Kilda and North – Coach St Kilda Women’s) 

--12-12.30pm - Nathan Jones - (Ex Melbourne FC) 

--1pm-3pm - Russell Robertson - (Ex Melbourne FC)

--1.40pm–2.40pm – Jimmy Bartel (Ex Geelong and 3AW rep.)


Interview opportunities:

-Very Special Kids spokesperson, CEO Michael Wasley

-3 x Very Special Kids parents (Case study attached)

-Event participants in costumes

-Sport personalities

About us:

Very Special Kids provides free-of-charge holistic palliative care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and tailored support for their families – through life, death and bereavement. Their integrated approach includes emotional, clinical and practical support to help improve quality of life and create positive, lasting memories. 

As one of Victoria’s leaders in children’s palliative care, Very Special Kids bring together their clinical and therapeutic experts, advisors, trained counsellors and experienced volunteers, to create tailored support plans and programs for each child’s care and every family’s journey. 

Very Special Kids is a predominantly self-funded organisation, relying on the generosity of the community to continue offering our essential services to children and families across Victoria.  


In their most significant service improvement project, Very Special Kids is conducting a complete rebuild of Victoria's only children’s hospice. The new state-of-the-art facility is set to reopen in the coming months. Very Special Kids supports more than 800 families across Victoria. 

Contact details:

Primary contact: Jacquie Templeton, Fundraising and Marketing Manager, Very Special Kids 

M: 0419 524 751 E: 


Secondary Contact: Kristi Ingrilli, Digital Marketing Lead

M: 0408 992 804    E:



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