Melbourne- Isuzu dealer Westar Truck Centre and demolition company Delta Group have announced  they have teamed up to lend their support to Flicker of Hope, a charity foundation that works to raise awareness of neurofibromatosis and funds for treatment research.

Neurofibromatosis is a little-known genetic disorder that affects 1 in 2,500 people worldwide, and about 10,000 Australians are living with the condition.

Neurofibromatosis affects people in different ways. A key symptom includes tumours that develop on nerve endings in the body. Those affected by neurofibromatosis can also present with comorbidities such as chronic pain, blindness, deafness, learning difficulties, epilepsy and cancer.

Zoe Petropoulos, 18 years old and ambassador for Flicker of Hope

Zoe Petropoulos, ambassador for Flicker of Hope, was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis at just three months old. Knowledge of the condition is incredibly limited, both publicly and in the scientific community. This inspired her, now 18 years old and in her final year of VCE, to create Flicker of Hope.

“We set up the charity in September last year to make people aware of this condition and raise funds to go into much-needed treatments. At the moment there are no standard treatments for neurofibromatosis.

“Through the charity, we are hoping to raise enough money to formulate a drug trial in Melbourne and Sydney,” Ms Petropoulos said.

“The trial drug is designed to help contain tumour growth. If we can raise $1 million over a five-year period, we’ll be able to get the trial underway here.

“We need $500,000 just to get things started. We have $300,000 so far, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, meaning hopefully we’ll have enough to get started and help people with this drug.”

Zoe Petropoulos’s father, Con Petropoulos, is the founder and managing director of Delta Group, and together they reached out to their key transport supplier, Westar Trucks, for support.

Jason Cugley, sales \manager at Westar, said the dealership is committed to continuing their support for Flicker of Hope over the next decade, providing vehicles, donations and support for causes and events.

“When we heard about Zoe and her condition, we thought it was an excellent cause that we could really get behind,” Mr Cugley said.

“We want to continue our support in helping Zoe and the Flicker of Hope team secure the further $500,000 they need to raise.

“We’ve had a great relationship with Delta over the years and we’re proud to extend our support wherever we can.”

In support of the foundation, Mr Cugley and Westar have helped supply Delta Group with two striking new Isuzu FYX 350 10×4 tippers sporting the Flicker of Hope logo, helping to raise neurofibromatosis awareness on the streets of Melbourne.

If you are interested in supporting Flicker of Hope, you can follow the foundation on Facebook for upcoming events or news. Their website also contains a link to donate to their cause.

But for Flicker of Hope, the main goal is to simply spread the word.

“We need the public to be aware of this condition, that it exists and there are Australians battling with it every day,” Ms Petropoulos said.