Storm claims Tracey as lucky charm
FOR four months, 20-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer Tracey-lee Schuhmacher was looking forward to what was sure to be the weekend of a lifetime.
Back in April, when she was down in Sydney getting ready to transfer from paediatricians to adult doctors, she was approached by the Starlight Foundation who offered to grant her a wish.
Being an avid Billy Slater fan, she said she would love to meet the Melbourne Storm, and meet the Melbourne Storm she did.
Tracey, her dad Graeme and her best friend Ebony Gillett were flown to Melbourne for four days, driven around in a limo and given spending money, all before the best night of Tracey’s life.
“We got this massive tour of the whole stadium, and then for the game we were up in one of the VIP rooms which were awesome,” Tracey said.
But the best part of the whole trip was when she got to toss the coin before the game wearing her Storm beanie and scarf.
“It was so cool. I had this interview before I tossed it and I didn’t realise I was on the big screen.
"I turned around and saw myself and then I started hearing my own voice. It was crazy,” she said.
“I tossed the coin too early too which made Darren Lockyer laugh which is a hard thing to do apparently.
"It was so much fun.”
In the end, the Storm lost the toss, but they won the game, with players citing Tracey as their lucky charm.
“We got backstage passes too, so we got to meet all of the players.
"I met the communications manager for the team, Frank Barrett, who was awesome and I have kept in touch with him, Darren Lockyer, Wally Lewis and a whole heap of other people.
“I’ve forgotten half of the people we met, but they were all amazing.
"I couldn’t have been treated better by any of them.”
The other high point of the evening was getting a signed Billy Slater jersey, and managing to get a hug from the man himself.
“It was just awesome.”
More importantly for the Storm though, they have recruited another loyal follower.
“Dad didn’t like the Storm, but now he does,” Tracey said with a laugh.