News & Events

Measure in Love for Larson – A Pop-Up Piano Bar

When Larson was diagnosed with a Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome, the Horsham community gathered around him and his parents with a beautiful event to raise awareness and funds for research – the Measure in Love for Larson Pop Up Piano Bar. Parents Erin and Chris share their story:

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched; they must be felt with the heart” – Helen Keller

“Larson is a zestful, energetic and spirited two-year-old from Horsham, three and a half hours west of Melbourne. He was diagnosed with a form of bone-marrow failure called Severe Idiopathic Neutropenia when he was 18 months old and he has been admitted to hospitals, having blood tests and missing important life events because of it ever since. Larson was heading down the path of a bone marrow transplant at the Royal Children’s Hospital when our amazing tribe of friends and family rallied around us.

It was the weekend before Christmas when our phenomenal Guncle Loucas Vettos came around to discuss a pop-up piano bar for Larson. He had already recruited a talented team including Maddie Ostapiw for music and vocal rehearsals, Mary Vettos for catering and Tanya Mock for interior design. We as a family were not able to attend as Larson would be midway through his treatment. However, as fate would have it, our haematologists indefinitely postponed the bone marrow transplant allowing us all to attend this magnificent evening.

Saturday evening in February… the Horsham Football Netball Club was transformed into a contemporary, vibrant and love-filled room with more than 150 guests travelling across the state to laugh, sing, dance and spread joy. We as a family were simply overwhelmed by the kindness and compassion showed by the 5 pianists, 2 guitarists and 20 vocalists who played and sang until well past midnight. Larson did not stay until the end!

The evening began with Chris speaking about Larson and his journey before our close friend Justin Amor spoke about his journey through a bone marrow transplant in his teenage years. What followed was party songs, slow songs, games and joyous conversations around the room for an amazing evening. At the end of the pop-up piano bar, tallying ticket sales, merchandise and donations, we raised $7000 for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision. Their support, guidance and kindness when we as parents felt isolated and disillusioned about rare blood disorders was immense.

Thank you for all you do, Maddie’s Vision!”

Erin Boutcher and Chris Versteegen
Larson’s parents

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