Girl with plenty of heart in a field of her own
YOU wouldn't know it from her hectic after-school schedule, but Caitlin Olive was born with a bad ticker.
In fact the seven year old Brooklet resident was diagnosed with the rare congenital heart disease Tetralogy of Fallot when she was still in her mother Zoe's tummy at 20 weeks.
Zoe had to remain in Brisbane for the last month of her pregnancy to be close to heart specialists at the Royal
Caitlin was supposed to be whisked into surgery as soon as she was born but that ended up being delayed for 16 arduous months until her tiny heart was ready.
During that uncertain and anxious time Zoe received much appreciated support from the Queensland chapter of the national charity HeartKids, support that continues to this day and has now resulted in a once in a life-time opportunity for her plucky daughter.
Caitlin will be one of 20 kids with heart conditions who will run out during half-time during the Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans match at Suncorp Stadium next month to play Oz-Tag.
HeartKids Qld Partnerships Manager, Melissa Simpson, says the charity partnership with the Brisbane Broncos had been positive for struggling families.
"This special team of kids have been through more than most of us could imagine and at just 5 to 10 years old, they have a long journey ahead," Ms Simpson said.
Caitlin is excitedly brushing up on her rugby league knowledge ahead of her outing at Suncorp on May 17 and looking forward to meeting not only the stars of rugby league, but other kids who have over-come similar challenges to her own.
And the born performer who learns three different types of dance and lists acting and horse-riding as among her hobbies, is not phased at all about being in front of thousands of spectators.
"I like to do stuff on stage and Oz tag's fun we play it at school," she says with a grin.