THE sudden death of an eight-year-old Darlington girl last week has rocked the tight knit hills community which has rallied in support of her family by raising over $50,000 in donations.
Little Mikaylah Mullen tragically passed away on July 18, leaving her parents devastated and their friends and family desperate to do something to help.
“Mikaylah was Lisa and Steve’s whole world, and she was well-known locally as a bundle of love and energy who accosted anyone with a cute dog,” friend of the family Jasmine Fyfe said in a statement to Echo News.
“Lisa and Steve have always supported others in their times of need, so I have been so grateful to see our amazing community rally around and support them in these unimaginable circumstances.”
Ms Fyfe launched a GoFundMe page within days of the Darlington Primary School student’s tragic death and another local has organised a ‘meal train’ which will see food delivered to the family every day for the next month.
On Sunday an emotional match of football was played in honour of Mikaylah at Darlington Oval where many of her friends were members of the local team.
“Mikaylah touched not only people her age but everyone around her,” president of the Darlington Junior Football Club Brodie Della said.
“No family should ever have to go through what Steve, Lisa and their immediate family are right now.”
The club launched a new annual game they hope will enable Mikaylah’s legacy to live on.
“Mikaylah’s Match is about honouring her name and celebrating her life, and always allowing the name and the sweet little girl to be remembered,” Mr Della said.
“This hit home for every parent, grandparent, aunty, uncle, brother, sister and friend.
“Life can be taken so easily but memories always remain.”
Mikaylah’s Match will take place every year in her memory with the club asking the WA Football Commission for it to be scheduled in Round 10 against Forrestfield Junior Football Club for at least the next four years so that Mikaylah’s friends can play in her match until they graduate to Youth Football.
“Once this happens, each incoming year 3 side will play in Mikaylah’s Match so that all members of the club will always know who she was and why it’s so special,” Mr Della said.
“Honouring Mikaylah was about more than football.
“It was about recognising that as a community we lost someone who was going to grow up and do big things.
“Steve and Lisa lost their daughter and the football club wanted to offer any support we could.”
The Mikaylah Mullen Medal will be presented to the best afield each year and winner’s names on a perpetual trophy that will remain on display at the club.
Anyone who wants to contribute to the GoFundMe page can find it HERE.
By Rebecca Peppiatt