Special hockey game in memory of courageous PLC Sydney ex-student

Issue 0915_Whitney closeupIssue 0915_Whitney gameOn Friday 12 June current and past PLC Sydney students came together to play in a special hockey game, in memory of Ex-Student Whitney Lane.

Whitney attended the College until 2010 and was an integral member of the PLC Sydney hockey family.

Whitney was diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia in 2004 when she was 11 years old, and in 2010 developed Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare disease of the bone marrow.

In 2010, as well as completing her HSC year and constantly battling with ill health, Whitney collected over 20,000 signatures in a petition requesting the Federal Government to include the drug Soliris, that she needed, in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This medication would help to alleviate some of the symptoms Whitney struggled with on a daily basis. After her HSC examinations, Whitney went to Canberra with two other PNH sufferers and met with Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. The meeting resulted in Soliris being added to the PBS.

Whitney commenced Soliris in 2011 and underwent a bone marrow transplant on 18 April 2012. However, due to complications with the process, Whitney sadly passed away on 5 May 2012.

The hockey game was held between the 2015 PLC Sydney Firsts Hockey squad and a group of ex-students and hockey players who were instrumental in PLC Sydney securing a place in the top grade of the Independent Girls Schools Sports Association (IGSSA). It has taken more than 10 years for PLC Sydney to become the number one team in the premiere division – a position we have held for the past three years.

Whitney's parents attended the game and were thrilled with the event. Many of the ex-students returning to play were also accompanied by their parents who, along with PLC Sydney staff, cheered on both past and present students. The quality game finished in a draw (1-1).

The hockey game, to be named ‘Whit's Cup of Courage’, will become an annual event in honour of Whitney. Every ex-student who graces the field in the future will do so to recognise Whitney’s determination, resilience and spirit, and to foster a shared passion and pure enjoyment for the game of Hockey.

Whether you knew Whitney or not, the lasting impression she made in her short life was nothing less than incredible.

To find out more about Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH), visit the PNH Support Association of Australia's website: http://www.pnhsaa.org.au/pnh/


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