FINISHING high school is an exciting time for all teenagers, bringing with it responsibility, freedom and a sense of achievement.
Lauren Comiskey is just one of those students this year, but for her that freedom is a little further out of reach.
The 18-year-old has microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder which causes abnormal growth of the brain and delayed development for the teen.
The Springsure local is the youngest of her three other siblings, and her mum Joyce said it would be great for her to get some time to visit different places and part take in activities around the Highlands.
"She has turned 18 and it's time to kick her out into the big wide world," Joyce said with a laugh.
"If she can't access different activities around town then she is just stuck at home."
The problem is, for Lauren to become more independent and visit places without Joyce and her dad Mark, she requires a specially modified car to travel in with complete wheelchair access.
Because she is not able to walk, talk or take care of herself, Lauren's family manually lift her in and out of their vehicle, but due to Workplace Health and Safety regulations, employed support people are not allowed to do this lifting.
"Basically she needs a car with a hoist so she is able to attend different activities around town," Joyce said.
"The vehicle we are looking at with the hoist is quite expensive."
In order to give Lauren access to the "big wide world" and afford the expensive vehicle, the Comiskeys have started an email fundraiser to make Lauren's dreams come true.
"If lots of people read it and see it, then hopefully we can raise some funds," Joyce said.
"We will be grateful with whatever we get towards it."
The Queensland Government has already committed to providing funding for a carer to drive the car for Lauren, which will also give Joyce and Mark some time to themselves on their Springsure property.
"Lauren currently receives respite from Springsure Hospital - they are fantastic, but she needs to access other events," Joyce said.
"For her time will move very slowly without a car to travel around in, as we live 45km from town."
All financial contributions to the family would be greatly appreciated and tax deductable donations can be made via post or electronically to Central Highlands & Western Qld Family Support Assoc Inc., PO Box 1607, Emerald, Qld 4720 or BSB number 484799, account number 049004831, reference Lauren Comiskey.
For an invoice please email request to email@example.com.
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