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2018 Christmas Appeal

It never fails to surprise me how quickly the end of the year approaches. 
This year, thanks to the support of generous people like you, have provided therapy, information, networking and support to over 1,500 South Australian children who have a vision or hearing impairment – and increasingly families with children who have other disabilities are turning to us for support.
This festive season I’d like to share the story of Maddison and her family. Imagine how frightened Maddison’s parents must have been when, at only days old, they were told their baby was not going to survive.
This Christmas, I ask you to consider sending a gift to Can:Do 4Kids so children like Maddison can look to the new year and beyond with confidence.

Maddison’s mother, Megan and father, Shaun shares their story… 

My name is Megan and I am the proud mum of a little girl called Maddison - and very soon a new baby boy.  Maddison is two and a half years old but unlike most toddlers she doesn’t talk, walk – or even crawl.  But with your support Maddison will have the best quality of life she can. 
I would like to share my story with you…
During my first pregnancy I suffered terribly from Preeclampsia and in turn Maddison was born 2 months premature. I felt like it was my fault, and as with so many babies born prematurely I was discharged from hospital before my tiny girl. 

Going home and leaving my baby was terrifying, I wanted to be there with her all the time.  Life is unpredictable and I certainly couldn’t have imagined what was going to happen next. 
One morning I had a gut feeling something was terribly wrong.  Call it mother’s intuition… I called the hospital to ask how Maddison was. They assured me that everything was just fine – but the next phone call I received was the hospital again; I needed to come in right away - Maddison was having seizures.   
I didn’t understand what had happened, then they told me my little Maddison contracted Meningitis whilst in the hospitals care. How could this happen to my baby? I was so angry; I was angry at the hospital for letting this happen, and I was angry at myself for not being able to protect her. 
But it didn’t truly sink in until Maddison was moved to palliative care; it was there that they told us to say our goodbyes – that our baby was going to die.
Our family made the decision to take Maddison home so she could spend her last days with family and leave the world peacefully surrounded by love. 

But Maddison wasn’t ready to leave us

Two years on and Maddison is still here; she defied the odds and fought through what was supposed to be fatal Meningitis. But this did not come without battle scars. The Meningitis caused swelling around her brain and spinal cord resulting in Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI) and developmental delay
Shaun and I are so thankful for the day we were referred to Can:Do 4Kids by the hospital and, we haven’t looked back.

Life is full of challenges for Maddison, and the Can:Do 4Kids early intervention team has helped me learn ways to best support her. 

Before starting therapy with Grace, Maddison would only eat purees and now she is eating pasta and so many new things, we didn’t think would be possible. 

Everything has changed in our lives, but Can:Do 4Kids have been there to support me every step of the way. 
I’ve tried going to childcare gatherings but it breaks my heart to see Maddison being left out because she can’t do the same things as the other kids. It’s hard to not feel like everyone is judging us. 
Though Can:Do 4Kids, I’ve been able to meet other parents,  share ideas and stories –  and be supported and encouraged, rather 
than judged. 
I can see that she wants to do so much, wants to walk, she wants to play and with your help she will show us, and the world, what she can do.

It is only with your help that children like my Maddison can access therapy and learn to live their best life.

Thank you. 

Megan and Shaun, proud parents 
of Maddison


Your generosity has helped thousands of children like Maddison and their families focus on what they ‘Can:Do’. 

It is only with your support that we’re able to assist every family who turns to us for help.
Up to 10,000 South Australian kids are facing today with a vision or hearing impairment. Your gift will ensure we can support families like Megan and Shaun every step of the way, no matter their circumstances.
Kind regards and season’s greetings,

Heidi Limareff 

Can:Do Group Chief Executive