October 25, 2019 – Laura Lisac, 15, qualified for the World Cadet Karate, Junior & U21 Championships in Chile after winning first place at the Croatia Open in the Cadet Female Kumite +54kg, but couldn’t afford to travel to South America.
The Croatian Karate Federation (CKF) covered 40% of the costs for the trip, while the other 60% should have been covered by Laura’s family, who couldn’t afford it. They appealed to the public, who magnificently chipped in and sent Laura to the World Cup where she won third place.
But just two weeks ago, Laura’s dream and a trip to Chile was in jeopardy. Her dad has Multiple Sclerosis, which is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance while her mom works at two jobs in order to provide food for the family. Therefore, the Lisac family couldn’t afford the trip.
Thankfully, there is always someone willing to help, and that’s exactly what friends of the family did. They decided to raise funds for Laura’s trip to the World Cup with the power of social media.
“We kindly ask you to help one girl attend the World Karate Championship in Chile. The federation covers 40% of the costs of the trip, and the family has to come up with the remaining 60%. The total cost is 12,458 kuna, while the federation will pay 4,983 kuna and the candidates themselves must pay the difference of 7,475 kuna.
“Laura’s dad suffers from MS and is on long-term sick leave and her mom works two jobs to cover the financial needs of the family. In addition to the everyday expenses that each family incurs, the additional costs are Laura’s appearances in numerous competitions. As she is very successful and talented, we want to help her in achieving her dream to become a successful athlete, to the pride of all Rijeka residents,” one post on Facebook read.
A few days later, this appeal brought success and happiness to the Lisac family. A Multiple Sclerosis Society helped in sharing the plea while the organization “Koga briga” decided to pay the costs of the trip, the family announced on Facebook.
The CKF main secretary Darko Šimunec said at that time: “It’s true that the federation has only covered part of the costs because we don’t have money for everything. We would have if we only send the best competitors to such tournaments, but we felt it was better to give a chance for everyone to attend.
“So, the rest of the costs are covered by the club or city sports associations, not parents. It has never happened to us that an athlete doesn’t go to the competition because the family has no money.”
This story received an even more positive spin when Laura won the bronze medal this week after winning four matches in a row, first beating Enni Lydman from Finland 3-1, then Amy Lopez from Ecuador 3-0, Canadian Alina Altinabaeva 2-0 and finally Venera Zhaxybayeva of Kazakhstan 5-0.
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