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Steph takes the first trip in the TLC Ambulance to the zoo!

The specially designed TLC Ambulance which will be used to transport seriously ill children on special trips has had its maiden voyage to the zoo, and it was a day to remember.

Last year, 3AW listeners generously donated $533,000 in money, goods and vouchers to fit out the special ambulance.

The idea is to give Victoria’s sickest kids a break from the hospital or palliative care setting.

“It was embraced by a whole lot of people – including you” – Neil Mitchell

Eleven-year-old Steph has a degenerative, mitochondrial disease which has no treatment or cure.

Her mum Kylie said it was a terrible disease, which robbed her body of energy.

The TLC ambulance took Steph, her mum and brother to Werribee Zoo for the day.

“So for me, it was amazing. The big thing for me was I got to be a normal parent for a day, and everyone else around me, just made it happen,” Kylie said.

“I didn’t have to think about wheelchairs or curves or could she hear or see, other people did that.

“This gave us a very special memory we will have.”

Steph told Neil favourite animal was the hippo!

“It was awesome – there were baby zebras – the people around me were so nice. I felt really loved,” she said.

Paramedic Gemima Tawse came up with the idea of the ambulance.

“You can’t not love Stephi’s irrepressible spirit,” she said.

TLC CEO Tim Conolon said seeing the ambulance take Steph on her day out was one of his proudest moments.

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