Day for Emily a pinktastic affair

Emily’s year four class mates all dressed the part for their beloved friend. Picture: JESSE HAMILTON

The town of Laidley transformed into a sea of pink to mark Saint Mary’s Catholic Primary School student Emily Surman’s Day for Batten Awareness on 6 June.

Businesses down Patrick Street and school students across the Lockyer Valley all painted themselves in pink, celebrating with balloons and streamers in honour of Emily’s favourite colour.

Saint Mary’s Catholic Primary School assistant principal Patrick Finch said Emily’s day was designed to be both fun and educational in teaching kids the realities of Batten’s Disease.

“We try to make it fun because Emily is just such a smiley, happy, joyful little girl, and she loves to play music and dance, so we have a disco,” he said.

“But also, in the classrooms, we engage with a children’s story called Max and Abby, which is a story that teaches the kids about Batten’s disease.

“The day started off as an in-school celebration, but the wider community has really gotten behind it, which has been wonderful.” 

Emily’s family said they had been incredibly grateful to have such a fantastic community around Emily.

“We are so proud of our little community for getting behind Emily and Batten’s Disease awareness,” they said.

“We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for making today so special and helping raise awareness of this terrible disease.”

Batten disease is a group of genetic disorders that affect the body’s ability to get rid of its cellular waste, which leads to seizures, vision loss, and problems with thinking and movement.