Make it good for Theo

en-month-old Theo Tullio, of Woodend, is the inspiration for a community effort to raise funds for the Good Friday Appeal. Theo was born with bilateral renal cystic dysplasia and is a regular patient at The Royal Children's Hospital. He is pictured with dad Joe and mum Samantha.

When Theo was born last year, Samantha Moore realised her family had joined other Ranges families that had a fight on their hands.
Theo was born with bilateral renal cystic dysplasia and requires regular visits to The Royal Children’s Hospital from Woodend to manage his kidney condition in the lead up to his kidney transplant at about age three or four.
Over the years, Samantha has been the vessel for mums from all over the Ranges to confide in and she has learnt that there is a recurring theme among parents of sick children.
On social media, parents celebrate healthy babies’ first steps and munching first toasts while parents of sick children often sit mute, knowing that their child may never reach those goals. One mum explained it as “being in black and white and watching everyone else move around in colour”.
“When it feels that everyone is celebrating the norms in life, these amazing parents are celebrating nights without feeding tube accidents, clear blood tests and running up kilometres, taking trips to specialists,” Samantha said.
“These parents are our neighbours, our friends. They are the families that can’t turn up to play dates and are hyper vigilant of colds and sniffles. These are the families that need our support. There are a lot of sick children and I really feel for those parents that are going through things privately.”
From providing the feeding supplements for Theo, through to his occupational therapy, Samantha said The Royal Children’s Hospital had been a massive support.
“We are at the hospital nearly every fortnight. Everyone there has been really incredible. They juggle our appointments and work around our lives to try to make things as normal as possible. They understand the juggles of life and it’s small little details that make a big difference,” she said.
As part of this year’s Good Friday Appeal, Samantha has organised a spectacular local raffle with entry through donations made to the ‘Theo Tullio virtual tin shake’.
From golf lessons, hotel and beauty vouchers to bespoke pottery, the raffle has a huge prize pool with many local businesses coming on board to offer contributions in support.
Samantha’s original goal was to raise $2000 but she met this target within the first 48 hours and within two weeks she had met her next target of $4000.
“I was absolutely blown away. The support of the community was incredible,” she said.
The virtual tin remains open and donations can be made up until March 31. To contribute, visit:
Samantha is also encouraging Macedon Ranges residents to donate to their own local fire brigade virtual tins, which can be found via the same link and using the search tool.