LITTLE is known about children facing the adult responsibility of caring for others with disabilities.
"There are two kids who are carers in every Australian classroom," UWS education student Leon Allen of Cambridge Gardens said.
He already knew one such carer, Dane McKay, 11, also of Cambridge Gardens, but he got to know more through his studies, working with the Anglicare Young Carers Program.
"The course requirement was to get Christmas presents for kids who are carers," Mr Allen said.
"But I felt it was important for them to have a chance to be just kids for a weekend."
He has been fund-raising to send the children to Springwood's Blue Gum Lodge for a weekend, where they can swim, abseil, climb rocks or just relax.
"The aim was to raise $9000 — we've already reached $5000 — but I don't want to stop there; I want to double it [to $18,000]," Mr Allen said.
"I want to send these kids to Blue Gum Lodge, but I'd like to keep this running so they could go to camp about every six months."
Dane said he often has to help his mother look after his five-year-old sister, Charlotte, who suffers from Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder which prevents or inhibits movement and speech.
"I have to remember and tell people what medicines Charlotte has," Dane said.
"When she sleeps over at my nan's, I have to remember all the names of the medicines."
He said at the same time he has to keep up with his school work.
"We have to take her to the doctor's a lot too; it can be a bit annoying," Dane said.
He hopes Mr Allen's fund-raiser is successful.
"It sounds awesome — just the thought of going there is good," Dane said.
Mr Allen said some children carried even more responsibility than Dane.
He knew of one case where a year 7 student had to care for his bedridden mother every day, even doing the cooking and cleaning.
"At first I didn't know if I'd do well with these kids," Mr Allen said.
"But I've learned more in this part of my course than I have anywhere else."
Rett syndrome details: curerett.org.uk/rett-syndrome or girlpower2cure.org