Journalists recall their standout stories for 2017 | Gloucester community rallies behind brave young children

Sienna Forbes and (inset) journalist Anne Keen.
Sienna Forbes and (inset) journalist Anne Keen.

What is it about this story that sticks in your mind:

I was touched by how brave Cooper and Sienna are in the face of their medical conditions, which will be a lifelong challenge for them.

Also, how their parents are working so hard to ensure their children live a 'normal' life, like other children their ages. Neither family have support groups in the community and rely on help from family and friends.

Both are facing the stress of sending their children to school knowing that something could go wrong at any time. 

Anne’s standout stories:

What were the challenges in writing this story:

Ensuring that the message the families were wanting to deliver came across correctly and that the information about epilepsy and type one diabetes was accurate.

It was important to be sensitive to the privacy of the families but at the same time allowing them to tell their story.

I did have a challenge with capturing a photo, as both children are so cute, it was difficult to choose just one.

What kind of stories do you love to write:

These types of stories first inspired me to become a journalist and continue to drive my passion to provide people the opportunity to be heard. 

Trudie and Cooper Symens

Trudie and Cooper Symens

Meeting with the families and learning about the challenges they face with their children highlighted to me how strong and resilient people, especially children, can be; it's something that continues to amaze me.

Anne Keen is a journalist with the Gloucester Advocate.  If you have a story for her email anne.keen@fairfaxmedia.com.au