Day At The Track

Young girls facing a life without dad

08:02 AM 08 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Nigel Munro, with daughters Sienna, 5, and Tia, 2
Nigel Munro, with daughters Sienna, 5, and Tia, 2, has been battling illness. He will not get the chance to watch his two favourite people grow up.

Having been involved in harness racing all her life Katrina Fitzpatrick is not one to sit on the sidelines as her daughter and grandchildren prepare for a heartbreaking situation, life without a husband and father.

Her son-in-law Nigel Munro has terminal brain cancer and is in palliative care in Ballarat after being told he would not return home. 

He will leave behind wife Kylie Munro and daughters Sienna, 5, and Tia, 2.

Ms Fitzpatrick has worked with the Ballarat and District Trotting Club to put on the Trots Night Fundraiser A Mother’s Plea for Help. 

The event, along with a GoFundMe page, will raise money to support and offer a sense of security to Mrs Munro and her two daughters.

“It’s really lovely for everyone to get behind us because we’ve never asked for anything like this,” Ms Fitzpatrick said. 

“But when you have a family going through this, and Kylie has had a pretty rough go, I just wish I could have a wand and wave it and make everything good. But I can’t, we’ve just got to make sure that the girls are secure.”

The fundraiser will include a three-course meal and a night of harness racing, along with auctions, raffles and a race book. There will also be face painting and children’s activities.  

Already there has been a strong response with a long list of sponsors, many donating prizes for the auction.

“It’s pretty hard to go and see Nigel the way he is at the moment, but the community has really rallied around us,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

“It is a terrible thing but you have to do what you can.”

Ballarat and District Trotting Club chief executive officer Paul Rowse said he was expecting a big attendance on the night and a lot of support for the Munro family. 

“When something like this affects one of our trotting community, I would say that the people always rally behind them,” he said. 

“And I know that Katrina Fitzpatrick is well known and well liked in the sport.

“I’m sure that people will rally behind the family to raise as much money as possible on the night.”

The fundraiser will be held in the club’s function rooms on February 2, from 6-10pm. Tickets are $35 for people 16 years and over, $22 for children 12-15, and $13 for children 2-11, bookings are essential via 5335 9041.

If you can not make the event, but still want to help, you can donate to the family’s GoFundMe page online at

By Siobhan Calafiore

Reprinted with permission of The Courier News

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