Tenille to storm stadium in tribute to her brother
WHEN five-year-old Tenille Beran runs out on to Suncorp Stadium tonight it will be a fitting and moving tribute to her late brother Hayden.
Hayden sadly passed away at the age of seven months after he was born with a congenital heart disease and DiGeorge syndrome.
But Tenille will honour Hayden's memory when she joins around 20 other children in the Heart Kids team for a game of Oz Tag at half-time in the NRL clash between the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Titans.
Tenille's mother Rebeka Beran says her outgoing and chatty daughter has been looking forward to tonight for a month.
"She's very excited," Rebeka says.
"She's been counting down and saying 'Is it Friday yet? Is it Friday yet?'.
"It is something she wanted to do in memory of him ... because he is not here to do it himself.
"They had a training day on Tuesday where they got to meet and greet the Broncos and prepare for what they have to do."
Rebeka found out mid-way through her pregnancy that Hayden was going to be born with a heart condition.
When he was born Hayden had DiGeorge syndrome, caused by the deletion of a chromosome. It left him without an immune system
"His heart was inoperable, but we brought him home on palliative care and I nursed him," Rebeka says.
Tenille, who was two when Hayden passed away, was only able to look at her brother through a window in hospital because of the need for a sterile environment.
"But we wanted her to know him, touch him and spend quality time with him," Rebeka says.
"We also lived in a sterile environment at home but it meant that we could have quality family time together."
Rebeka and husband Matt now have a healthy nine-month old son Callen.
"We didn't want Tenille growing up alone. As much as she will always have two brothers she will only have one she can grow up with," Rebeka says. "He's definitely the light of our lives."
Most of the children taking part in tonight's game have heart issues, but Tenille does not. Her actions tonight will raise awareness of congenital heart disease.
Rebeka hopes this story will "help other families who have been through it know they are not alone".
Coping with their own heartbreaking loss has not been easy.
"It is one day at a time, one step at a time ... together as a family," Rebeka says.