Footy 'warrior' battling five types of epilepsy up for award
JACK Dalton loves nothing more than running onto the footy field in his maroon Dalby Devils jersey - his specialist headgear is embedded with the word "warrior".
But Jack, 14, has had to tackle much tougher challenges off the footy field, and it's his tenacity when facing these challenges that will potentially see him winning an award this week.
At the tender age of five, Jack was diagnosed with five types of epilepsy and has had to take medication mostly used on adults due to the severity of his condition.
But his mum Anna knew that wasn't enough to stop him.
"I never stopped him from being a kid," she said.
"He was only ever one bad seizure away from not coming out of it so I never stopped him from having a childhood.
"At the end of the day, you can wrap them in cotton wool and not let them be a child, or you can have a childhood with your child."
It was this choice from Jack and his mum to live life as best he could that led him to be recognised with a nomination for the award from Epilepsy Queensland.
This Wednesday, Jack will be heading to Brisbane with his mum to a function where the winners will be announced, and he has his eye on the prize.
Epilepsy Queensland got in touch with the Daltons after Mrs Dalton organised a purple sock day with the Dalby Devils to raise awareness for epilepsy.
Mrs Dalton said the foundation thought it was "phenomenal" for Jack to be battling five types of epilepsy, and still playing football.
But the pair agree the award will be more than just another trophy on the shelf.
"We were told when he was younger that this was a condition that may or may not end his life if it's not treated and kept under control," Mrs Dalton said.
"It would mean that he has actually got it under control, he's doing what he loves, and he has conquered his condition.
"It would mean that he could show other kids that I can play football, I can ride my scooter, I can do what I want to do. I can live with this."
Mrs Dalton has faced her fair share of criticism for allowing Jack to play football.
"I used to hear people say she shouldn't be allowed to have him, he should be taken off her because she's unnecessarily putting him in danger," she said.
"I've been a nurse for over 25 years, I think I know what I'm doing."
Mrs Dalton's priority has always been making sure her son makes the most of every opportunity he can.
"He missed out on a lot of stuff I'm not going to lie," she said.
"But he has gotten to do things that a lot of kids haven't. I did other things with him to make up for other things he'd missed out on."