During Monday night’s episode of Australian Survivor, Flick Palmateer received the devastating news that her mother had passed away after her long battle with Frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
After consulting with her family, Flick made the difficult decision to continue competing, choosing to honour her mum and raise awareness of FTD through her time on the show. Knowing that the episode was coming up, Flick said she had been “waiting in anticipation” unsure what the response would be.
“I knew it was coming up and I’ve just been blown away with how much love and support I’ve received in the last 24 hours,” Flick told 10 play over the phone.
“That whole moment for me is such a blur, and I didn’t know how I was going to react watching myself go through something so traumatic,” she added.
Almost immediately, the ‘game’ of Survivor was put on hold as her tribemates surrounded her with love and support.
“From that moment,” Flick said, “it blurred that line for me between reality and the Survivor bubble. I think it almost did for everyone and, as hard as it was and as traumatic as it was — you never want to go through something like that out there — it actually brought everyone so much closer together.
“I experienced so much love and support from my tribemates, the producers and the crew on the show that there’s no way I would have been able to get through it without those people. My tribemates I consider family now.”
With her family’s full support behind her, Flick made “the hardest decision” to continue on in the show.
“My mum would have wanted me to keep pushing on and, me staying was me honouring the very reason I wanted to play Survivor in the first place. I was living for my mum, and it definitely fired me up.
“The next challenge we had to do was absolutely brutal and I don’t know what I drew on there for that but I just knew I had to finish it and I was just out there doing it for my mum,” she said.
“My very reason for going on Survivor was for my family.”
Since the episode aired Flick has been “blown away” with the outpouring of support across social media and also in response to the GoFundMe she launched after the episode.
“All the proceeds are going to Dementia Australia and The Perron Institute,” the latter of which is in her home state of WA and conducts specific research into FTD. Overnight Flick has almost hit half of her target of $20,000.
“Honestly I can’t believe how supportive all my friends are, my family, people I’ve never met before.”
Even her tribemates have stepped up.
“George this morning, off his own back, said he was auctioning off his shirt, unwashed! And all the money he was going to donate to my GoFundMe. Things like that, I just can’t be any more grateful.
“Since sharing my story I’ve had such an amazing response just from people that I’ve never met before that are going through the same thing. Just to know that there are other people that are going through the same situation, you’re not going through it by yourself.”
“Hold your loved ones tight,” Flick continued. “Spend as much time as you can with them. In general, make the most of every opportunity, every day, every moment.”
If you’d like to read more about Flick’s GoFundMe or to donate head here. Or bid on George’s unwashed shirt here