Relic reunite to help three-year-old Imogen

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Jackson BarrettBunbury Herald
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Burlington Hotel owner Fleur Mayne and performer Billy Wauhop are keen to put on a good show to support Imogen, Russell and Rachael Smith.
Camera IconBurlington Hotel owner Fleur Mayne and performer Billy Wauhop are keen to put on a good show to support Imogen, Russell and Rachael Smith. Credit: Jackson Barrett

Dusting off the instruments and reuniting with bandmates was an easy decision for Bunbury’s Billy Wauhop, who is set to put on a show in support of an old school mate.

Mr Wauhop’s former Newton Moore Senior High School mate Russell Smith’s daughter Imogen has an extremely rare condition called fanconi anemia.

Since being born premature at 34 weeks, Imogen has required a host of surgeries including brain surgery at just six weeks old; three hip surgeries; five bone marrow aspirations and a thumb amputation.

The bright three-year-old has captured the hearts of many in Bunbury, so much so that a night of music at Bunbury’s Burlington Hotel has been organised to raise funds for Imogen’s impending relocation to Perth with parents Russell and Rachael.

“She was born with a genetic disorder. There were issues at birth and then it was diagnosed when she was about six months old,” Mr Smith said.

“The big challenge now is her bone marrow is failing so they basically need to give her new bone marrow to help boost her immune system and to stop the cells deteriorating further, which could then mutate further into leukaemia and other types of blood cancer.

“Basically we will be in hospital from early April for maybe six to 12 weeks, but we will be in Perth for another three to six months after that ... to make sure her body doesn’t reject the bone marrow and the bone marrow doesn’t reject her body.”

The concert will pull together a group of local bands, including Mr Wauhop’s band Relic, who jumped at the chance to reunite and help out.

“We were thinking about ways we could try and help and we don’t have too much we can give and do, but we can do this easy event for the family,” he said.

“They can concentrate on spending their time with Imogen and getting her the help and giving her the support she needs.

“I hit the guys up and they threw their hats in the ring.

“Now the pressure is on.”

The event will be held on March 20 and will feature a VIP event between 6pm and 7.30pm before the free event across the pub’s three different bars at 7.30pm.

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