Supa staff raise money to fund workmate's brain surgery

Supa IGA Sun Valley staff Brenda Kiernan, Tanya Melksham, Mark Harley, Kristy Thorne, Karen Boyer and Tracy Taylor are helping out.
Supa IGA Sun Valley staff Brenda Kiernan, Tanya Melksham, Mark Harley, Kristy Thorne, Karen Boyer and Tracy Taylor are helping out. Luka Kauzlaric

BRAIN surgeries are part of life for Ben Valery.

The 17-year-old suffers from hydrocephalus, which means there is excessive fluid in his brain.

To date, he has had 35 brain surgeries.

Supa IGA Gladstone and Calliope stores are working to raise support and awareness for his condition, and have raised more than $6000 to go towards his medical bills.

Supa IGA Sun Valley checkout operator Kristy Thorne said the team would do anything to help out a workmate.

"He gives 120% effort for work every day. He's had headaches constantly . . . but you wouldn't even know, because he just has this beautiful big smile on his face all the time. He's a credit to the company," she said.

Over the past four weeks, they have held fundraising events and have found the Gladstone community to be incredibly giving.

"The Gladstone community always pulls through with something like this," Kristy said.

Their fundraising efforts left Ben's mum, Kelleen Windsor, almost speechless.

"This means I can pay the medical bills without worrying sick. It has been very difficult to make ends meet," she said.

"You never imagine anything like this could ever happen to you.

"I do fundraising to support our charity, but I still just can't fathom that people have done this for us."

She said the money would go towards their transport and accommodation in Brisbane, his medical bills and cover some of their rent while she was unable to work.

Ben has had the condition since birth. It resulted from a brain haemorrhage when he was born three months premature.

"We just never know, we can spend months in Brisbane or Sydney for operations," Kelleen said.

Ben is in Year 12 at Gladstone State High School.

"Sometimes he can be his own worst enemy because he won't ever give in," Kelleen said.

Donations are still being taken by all Supa IGA stores.



  • Its primary characteristic is excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain.
  • It results in abnormal widening of spaces in the brain called ventricles.
  • The causes are not well understood. But it may result from inherited genetic abnormalities, developmental disorders, premature birth, and diseases such as meningitis, tumours, traumatic head injury or subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Topics:  brain surgery fundraising hydrocephalus supa iga

Local wants town out of the Gladstone region

Tony Bridges wants to see Baffle Creek break away from Gladstone to join the Bundaberg region.

50 signatures needed to shift Baffle to Bundy.

PHOTOS: Husband's 'blokey' gear up for grabs in Gladstone

UP FOR GRABS: Muldoon's big garage sale bonanza.

COUPLE selling 'thousands' of items to Gladstone bargain hunters.

Quarter century milestone for Gladstone hairdresser

Charlene Kalmar, Catherine Wassell,Brielle Couch, Hannah Hooper and Talitha Couch.From Cath's Hairdressers celebrating 25 years.

Business celebrates 25 years in Gladstone

Local Partners

Artist unveils her island home

JEAN Kane's backyard has a unique and elusive history; but next week she's prepared to unveil it to travellers from across the country and world.

Your chance to win

Learn More

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

WHAT'S ON: Fashion show, family events and live entertainment

Runway 7 Model and Talent Agency Roche Bailey.

Everything you need to know about what you can do in the region.

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Wine and dine your way around Brisbane this summer

Brisbane has the best places to wine and dine.

NINE of the best places to wine and dine.

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

Push to sell homes that flooded Gladstone's market

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

URGENT push to cash-up first home buyers investing in Gladstone.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge