Crows Senior Coach Don Pyke helped to make Angus Bond’s wish come true last week when the nine-year-old was given the opportunity to help take the team’s main training session at Adelaide Oval.
Angus has an extremely rare bone marrow failure disease – Diamond-Blackfan anaemia – which means he can’t produce red blood cells and therefore has had regular blood transfusions since he was a baby.
His wish, through Make-A-Wish Australia, was to be part of the Crows AFL team for a day – something Pyke and the rest of the squad, with the help of the Crows Children’s Foundation, was only too happy to make happen.
Equipped with his own whistle and dressed head to toe in Crows training gear, Angus participated in parts of the training session and shadowed Pyke for other parts as he led the team through drills.
Highlights included a spider run competition with Charlie Cameron, a sprint race with Tom Lynch and some goalkicking with Pyke and Eddie Betts.
Angus’ dad Jeff said the family was grateful to Make-A-Wish and the Crows Children’s Foundation for making the day happen.
“Angus’ wish was just to be a Crow for a day, to be in the inner sanctum of what happens in a footy club,” he said.
“He loves the Crows, he loves Eddie and he loves his footy, always has, so Make-A-Wish was brilliant in bringing this together.
“When he heard the day was going to happen he was incredibly excited for about three months. He went to water a little bit when he got here, just a bit anxious around the big guys as he’s not overly big himself, so he’s walking with giants. But he’s warmed up and he’s loving it.
“He’ll talk about this for years – it’s an amazing experience for him.”
Angus and his family also attended the Crows’ clash with Richmond at Adelaide Oval last Sunday, with Angus delivering the ball on to the field before the match and visiting the winning rooms after the game.
Jeff and wife Jess started the Captain Courageous Foundation in 2010 to raise money to research a cure for rare bone marrow diseases.
Diamond-Blackfan anaemia is characterised by the failure of the body’s bone marrow to produce the red blood cells that carry oxygen to organs and tissue. There are only about 1,000 known cases worldwide.
The Crows Children’s Foundation raises and distributes funds for children in need across Australia through health, education and welfare programs, while also facilitating special experiences for sick or disadvantaged kids at the Adelaide Football Club.