Since the day she was born, 17-year-old Brooke Minks has lived with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening lung disorder that damages the digestive system.
This week, the Murray Bridge teenager made the decision to end the treatment that was keeping her alive.
She has been in and out of hospital her entire life and, two weeks ago, she was rushed to the emergency department with pneumonia.
Brooke’s lungs filled completely with fluid and with only five per cent of her lung function, she knew she would never be able to live without a Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machine to give her oxygen.
After receiving a clean bill of health from her doctor just two weeks prior, Brooke’s sudden illness was a shock to her friends and family.
Brooke’s best friend Gracie Ayres said she had never seen Brooke fight with such courage and confidence.
“Brooke made the strongest decision any of us could comprehend, and decided to stop all treatments, which means that she is about to slip away from us,” she said.
“Due to the suddenness of all this, her family is not financially prepared for all the costs that are about to come.”
To support Brooke’s family, Gracie vowed to shave her head if she could raise $3000.
“Before Brooke got really sick, Brooke and I discussed me shaving my hair to help earn money for her parents... I am hoping to earn $3000 as soon as possible,” she said.
“I will be shaving my hair when my goal has been reached.”
She said the money would go directly to Brooke's parents and would help them more than anyone could imagine.
To Gracie, Brooke will always be her best friend.
“I think she has such a kind heart and would do absolutely anything for the people that are close to her. She is very beautiful, smart and is simply family,” she said.
“She can light up a dark room within seconds with her sarcastic sense of humour… I am lucky to call her my best friend.”
- To donate to Brooke’s cause, head to Gracie Ayers’ gofundme page at www.gofundme.com/44450f4