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Editions

Coen’s new start

04 Mar 2013

Coen’s new start Image

By Bethany Williams

Coen Ashton returned home to Queensland last month, taking with him a new set of lungs and a new lease on life.

The Ashton family moved to Docklands in 2011 after Coen, who has cystic fibrosis, was placed on the transplant list.

Melbourne is the only place in Australia where paediatric lung transplants are performed, so the family created a new home at Yarra’s Edge and waited for the phone call that would change their lives.

That phone call came through last November and now Coen and his family are making plans for the future.

The first big plan on the list is another Murray River trip to raise awareness for organ donation.

In 2010, when he was 13-years-old, Coen jet-skied the 2000 km length of the Murray River to raise awareness for organ donation.

In October this year he’ll return to the river and this time he’ll jet-ski the 2000 km length in just seven days.

Coen’s mum Dawn said she hoped the second trip would encourage more people to sign up for the Australian Organ Donation Register.

“He’s got his own special organ donor to thank now too so it will be a very special journey,” Dawn said.

Dawn said the family also wanted to thank Docklands, and particularly the Yarra’s Edge community, for their support  over the past year and a half.

A fundraiser at Yarra’s Edge last year raised more than $10,000 for the family’s accommodation before Queensland Government funding came through.

“The community has helped us so much along the way,” Coen said.

Dawn said leaving Docklands was both a happy and sad experience.

“It’s bittersweet because it means the transplant has been successful and Coen’s able to return back to Queensland but it’s sad because we have made such great friendships and we love living at Yarra’s Edge and having the community spirit that’s supported us,” Dawn said.

Dawn said she wanted to thank the local residents and businesses including Lucas Real Estate, YMCA and The Loading Dock who had offered support.

Docklanders can continue to follow Coen’s story via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/coenashton

The Ashton’s are also looking for sponsors for the Murray River trip in October. Visit http://www.coenashton.com to get involved.

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