As we countdown the days to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia’s biggest sporting events this decade – there’s an incredible relay happening that celebrates diversity, inspires communities and creates opportunities for some to experience something quite special.

The Queens Baton has a proud history, with batonbearers chosen from thousands to represent the spirit of the games and #SHARETHEDREAM. 

One runner in particular will be cheered on by all at Isentia – a girl who has certainly inspired us, and many around her. Meet 13-year-old Nayeli Gajardo.

Daughter of long-time Isentia Press Readers, Oscar and Patricia Gajardo, Nayeli has quite a remarkable story for such a young girl.

At the age of 6 months, Nayeli was diagnosed with acute dermatitis, and by the time she was 8 years old her illness became chronic – requiring her to spend much of the next 4 years in and out of St George Hospital. As her condition continued to deteriorate over time, she spent extensive periods in and out of hospital – missing almost the full first term of school in 2016. It was at this point that doctors concluded Nayeli would have this condition for the rest of her life.

"It was very stressful to see our daughter in pain and discomfort. Not only the physical part, but also mentally. She was growing – and to see her skin in that state was very confronting. With no hope from the doctors, we decide to take action and find alternative medicines to help our daughter,” Nayeli’s mother, Patricia Gajardo said.

She tried different medications until she was stable including Methotrexate – a chemo pill that people with transplant organs take, and after endless treatments and procedures Nayeli was sent to France for treatment at the Avene Hydrotherapy Centre.

“The Gajardo’s have contributed over 25 years’ combined service to our [Isentia] team here, so when Oscar and Patricia asked for our help with getting treatment for Nayeli, people from right across the business wanted to pitch in and help Nayeli get better,” Isentia’s Press Manager, Peter Coy said.

With the help and financial support of the community, friends, family and Isentia staff via the family’s GoFundMe page, Nayeli has now been to France twice for treatments, and plans a third trip in the coming year.

“Isentia helped us to take time off to go to France and our co-workers did a money collection to help us with the trip,” Patricia said.

Now, Nayeli’s condition has improved to a point where she is able to able to control her illness and live a healthier life, only experiencing discomfort when days have high content of pollen or she has an allergic reaction.

“It was really cool to see all that generosity and, of course, to also see it pay off when Nayeli’s condition improved. Seeing Nayeli now get the chance to carry the Queen’s Baton is a great bit of icing on the cake for a family who’ve been though some bloody tough times.” Peter said.

We can't wait to see Nayeli take the baton, enjoy the moment and inspire others with her story!

Isentia is proud to be delivering powerful media intelligence and insights for GC2018 all the way to the finish line. To keep up-to-date with the Queen’s Baton Relay and all the excitement of the Games, visit www.gc2018.com/qbr