Tracey-Lee desperate for lungs

Tracey-Lee Schumahcher and her dad Graeme are looking to raise money to move to Sydney for a lung transplant for Tracey-Lee.
Tracey-Lee Schumahcher and her dad Graeme are looking to raise money to move to Sydney for a lung transplant for Tracey-Lee. Adam Hourigan

SOME 22-year-old girls "desperately need" a new pair of Tony Bianco peep toes.

Others just cannot go on without those VIP tickets to their favourite band.

But Tracey-Lee Schuhmacher's wish list is very different.

She desperately needs a new set of lungs.

But this gorgeous Grafton girl also needs our help.

To be closer to the hospital in Sydney, she needs to pack up her life and move to Darlinghurst to ensure once she gets the call they have a pair of lungs, she is only minutes away.

"To get a new set of lungs would be like a second chance at life," Tracey-Lee said.

"I wouldn't need all the meds I'm on now and I wouldn't have to miss out on big events because I'm sick in hospital."

Tracey-Lee was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth and has battled with the condition for her entire life.

"It's been really hard," she said.

"I'm constantly in and out of hospital; it's scary."

But without the funds, moving to Sydney is not an option.

Rent in the nursing cottages at the hospital is $30 per person, per night so for her and her father Graeme, that's $420 per week in rent alone.

Which is why a friend of Tracey's, Nicole Delaforce is organising a trivia night fundraiser to help Tracey-Lee get the money she needs to save her life.

"I just heard her story and thought 'I need to do something here'," Ms Delaforce said.

"So we're going to have a trivia night and set up a trust fund so people can donate."

While a date has not yet been set, nor a venue confirmed, Ms Delaforce hoped to have the fundraiser night in November.

Tracey-Lee's father Graeme Schuhmacher said he was never one to ask for help, but without it he fears he will lose his daughter.

"If she lasts long enough and gets a lung transplant, she could live a perfectly free life," Mr Schuhmacher said. "They say the lungs will give her at least an extra 15-20 years providing it all goes well and they're a good match.

"Now she's on the list, she could get the call tomorrow, but the thing is, Tracey is a little pocket rocket, so finding a set of lungs that fit her is extremely hard."

Mr Schuhmacher said he tried to stay positive that she would receive a transplant soon.

"You always think the better, but it's always in the back of my mind," he said.

"It's something you can never plan for.

"I always thought I would pass away before my kids - the natural way. Our fingers and toes are crossed."

Once Tracey-Lee receives a new set of lungs, she will have to remain in Darlinghurst for at least three months to have scans, rehabilitation and tests done almost daily.

To help with the fundraising, Mr Schuhmacher has contacted the Footy Show, of which Tracey-Lee has had a lot to do with.

"I am a total football fanatic," Tracey-Lee said.

Thanks to the Make A Wish Foundation, Tracey-Lee has met almost every name in the NRL and the Melbourne Storm her number-one blokes.

"I got to be on the show for my 21st birthday and I always get phone calls from Billy Slater and the players," Tracey-Lee said.

While they have not yet heard back as to whether the Footy Show can assist Tracey-Lee's cause, creating a bit of noise on a local scale may just grab the attention of the big boys and together we can grant Tracey-Lee her one wish. Life.

Topics:  cystic fibrosis lung transplant

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