Teenager Alysha Loffler has high hopes of becoming a medical researcher like Fiona Stanley and finding a cure for her rare bone condition.
The confident 15-year-old, who gives speeches regularly in her role as an ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation of WA, is studying five Year 11 TEE subjects and has chosen her preferred universities.
She has also broken more bones than she can remember because of a condition called juvenile idiopathic osteoporosis.
"I can't tell you how many," she said. "I've lost count. The last one was my finger.
"I was walking past the kitchen table and slightly banged my hand against it and it was broken."
Alysha said she was passionate about following her dream of working for the Telethon Institute.
"I have been through so much personally and want to do medical research to find out more about bone diseases and, hopefully, find a cure for fellow sufferers," she said.
The Arthritis Foundation of WA was one of the dozens of beneficiaries named yesterday as receiving a share in the record $13.4 million raised by Channel 7 Telethon last year. It will use the funds for an e-learning website about musculoskeletal disorders in children.
At the ceremony attended by beneficiaries and major donors, Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes said Telethon was not just about giving money, but about contributing to the community.
"The dream is our community will be better off, that our children will have better opportunities through whatever circumstances they may find themselves," he said.
Mr Stokes recognised Telethon's million-dollar partners, the JWH Group, Burswood Entertainment Complex, the Federal Government, the McCusker Foundation, the Telethon Adventurers, Lexus of Perth, Australian Capital Equity and an anonymous WA family.
"We are really grateful for the million-dollar partners, they are so important," Mr Stokes said.
"But so, too, is the $5 of pocket money that comes from every kid and we regard that just as highly."