Ravenswood community show support for a ‘little fighter’ Sienna

SICK: Sienna Plumbridge is currently fighting Neurofibromatosis type one. Picture: Supplied

SICK: Sienna Plumbridge is currently fighting Neurofibromatosis type one. Picture: Supplied

When Sienna Plumbridge was born in July last year, her parents knew something “wasn’t quite right”.

Described as “floppy”, at just two weeks old a lump was found on Sienna’s neck. 

Further tests revealed she had Neurofibromatosis type one – a genetic disorder that causes tumours to grow along the nervous system. 

For Sienna, her tumour had wrapped around her spinal chord and was inhibiting her movement. 

Now at nine months old, the “little fighter” has spent almost her entire life at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. 

With the emotional and financial burden of Sienna’s treatment weighing them down, her parents Jak Plumbridge and Rachael Gatti, of Ravenswood, have found comfort in the support from their friends. 

HELP: Fundraiser organisers and performers David Lee, Margaret Bryon, James Duffy, Ruby Lee, 4, Juanita Simpson, Gary Pengelly and Peter Simpson.

HELP: Fundraiser organisers and performers David Lee, Margaret Bryon, James Duffy, Ruby Lee, 4, Juanita Simpson, Gary Pengelly and Peter Simpson.

On April 21, a country music fundraising event will be held at the Ravenswood Over 50s Club in aid of Sienna. 

The event will feature performances from musicians Apache, Gary Pengally and David Lea.  

Ms Gatti said the family were overwhelmed by the support received from their friends back home. 

“It’s hard at times, but I stay strong for Sienna as I know that if I show positivity around her she will feel the same way too,” she said.

“We need all the support we can get right now, especially through these tough times. 

“It’s good to have that support around us knowing that we aren’t alone and have people that are there for all of us.”

CARE: Rachael Gatti and Jak Plumbridge, with baby Sienna.

CARE: Rachael Gatti and Jak Plumbridge, with baby Sienna.

Since Sienna’s diagnosis, the parents have been living out of the Ronald McDonald House in Melbourne. 

Sienna is currently undergoing chemotherapy and Mr Plumbridge said she would remain in hospital for some time, with treatment costing about $5000 a month.  

“We originally only came down for an assessment, we didn’t realise at the time we would essentially be moving down here,” he said. 

“At the moment Sienna is having chemotherapy and she is the first child under one to have this treatment.

“There is no cure for NFI and the chemo is really the closest thing that could work. 

“She has another MRI at the end of the month, so that will give some answers for her future. But if the tumour continues to grow, she might not live for much longer.”

Bookings for Saturday’s fundraiser concert can be made at the club on 6339 2912.