Bailey, Craig, Tristan and Jessalyn Willis hope people will admire their Christmas lights and make donations for Tristan’s new wheelchair.
Bailey, Craig, Tristan and Jessalyn Willis hope people will admire their Christmas lights and make donations for Tristan’s new wheelchair. KARLEILA THOMSEN

Help Tristan's star shine bright

SPOONBILL Way at Eli Waters will be alight with colour this Christmas but the lights adorning numbers 5 and 12 will also shine some light into little Tristan Willis’s life.

Christmas lights are a family tradition for the Willises and their neighbours, the Nicholls family, but there is always a reason to the season.

Last year the families raised $900 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation during their Christmas lights display. This year the need is closer to home.

Tristan has been getting around in a third-hand disability stroller but it’s falling apart and he needs something more reliable to make his school life easier next year.

The five-year-old has Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that leaves his ligaments loose and far too flexible.

“There’s too much collagen in the ligaments so they’re like loose rubber bands,” Tristan’s dad Craig Willis said.

“He dislocates his shoulders very easily and can only walk short distances.

“A wheelchair is really important for when he has a full day out for things like shopping – and for school next year.”

The two families have started putting their lights up for the Light Up Fraser Coast competition, which is sponsored by the Chronicle, and plan to fundraise to buy Tristan a new wheelchair.

The Variety Club has come on board and local businesses have already made donations but there is still about $2000 to go.

The families will have glow sticks and head bands for sale and a special place for kids to write a letter to Santa.

The Christmas lights will be turned on on December 1 and will light up until Christmas Day.



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