Daniel and Friends Fund

Daniel and Friends Fund
The Daniel and Friends Fund...creating the platform for a stronger, more intimate special needs community

What is the Daniel and Friends Fund?

On the 23rd August 2013 little Daniel le Roux lost his lengthy and courageous battle with Leigh Syndrome, exactly one week after another little warrior, Mariele Laurie, succumbed to complications of the syndrome she suffered from, Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome. Professor Pieter Fourie, whose care of and love for Daniel and Mariele had gone over and beyond anything which might be considered fair professional expectation, was determined not to allow the heartache and devastation caused by such tragedy to go without lending itself to a higher purpose...and so shortly after Mariele and Daniel had earned their angel wings, Professor Fourie shared with Kate and Lianie, their mothers, his vision for an organisation which would provide much-needed support for other parents who might be on a similar journey. Just a few short months later, the Daniel and Friends Fund was born guided by, by this time, three special needs mothers, each symbolic of the three friends who had helped Daniel in the Biblical passage from which Professor Fourie had drawn his inspiration.

Since their launch in February 2014, the Daniel and Friends Fund (a registered non-profit organisation) and the dedicated and driven people behind it, have provided not only the emotional and psychological support often sought by parents of children with special needs, but have also committed to ensuring that these parents have had access to the necessary knowledge and training in order to equip them to care for their children in the best possible way that they can. While largely focusing on top priority issues like providing extremely affordable CPR courses, free therapy sessions, psychology-based programs for the parents, occasional donations of items/equipment necessary for caring for a child with special needs...the importance of also creating a fundamental base from which friendships and 'normalcy' can stem has not gone overlooked. To this end, the Daniel and Friends Fund mommies are often treated on special days like Mother's Day and Women's Day and, where possible, these invitations are extended to the entire family for celebrations such as Mandela Day, Christmas Day, etc.

The purpose of our blog is not only to provide the opportunity for sponsors, supporters and followers to stay in touch with the various projects and events we're busy with but also, and just as importantly, to provide an insight for others into what life entails for families on a special needs journey, as well as enlightening fellow parents to the fact that this journey need not be travelled alone...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Daniel and Friends Fund celebrates Mandela Day with Reach For A Dream

On Saturday, 18th July, eighteen of our Daniel and Friends Fund families were treated to an incredible morning at Two Oceans Aquarium by the amazing Reach for a Dream team in celebration of Mandela Day. It was amidst an air of barely-contained excitement as close to 100 people, all proudly sporting their new DFF badges, gathered in the foyer of the Aquarium, hugs and smiles a-plenty as new members were welcomed and those already acquainted got down to the delightful business of 'catching up'! The atmosphere could have been no more festive than if there had been a white-bearded, chubby-bellied gentleman jollying himself around, dishing out gifts and chanting "Ho ho ho!'"
Of course, connecting as a group and the new friendships and strengthening of bonds that comes with that was largely responsible for the high spirits, but certainly contributing to the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere was the reassurance that, at that moment, no one individual family was standing out against the rest of the crowd for being different. Oh sure we stood out as a gloriously unique group, don't get me wrong, but confidence in numbers and a sense of belonging was the order of the day!

After exploring the Aquarium for two fun-filled hours, we gathered outside for an additional treat from Reach for a Dream -  scrumptious Spur meals for each and every person there, personally delivered by Christelle Gantz and Noeline Jacobs. As tummies were filled and thirsts quenched, conversation touched excitedly on some of our awesome upcoming events...a Housemarket on Saturday, 25th July in Durbanville...our hugely discounted CPR Course at the beautiful La Provence Wine Farm in Stellenbosch on Saturday, 1st August and of course the Totalsports Ladies Race on Monday, 10th August, which at least 12 of our Daniel and Friends Fund moms are participating in, in all their magical glory...watch this space!

Our community-based activities are not only an invaluable opportunity for our moms to connect and nurture friendships but, just as importantly, an opportunity too for our communities to come out and meet our families, hear more about the Fund and get to know our children.  We've all heard the traditional African proverb "It takes a village to raise a child" - this couldn't be more true than when that child has special needs!

Our Family

Little Liza Laurie...mesmerised

The Kemps

Adrian Visser finding the exquisite scene behind him far
more exciting than posing for a snap 

Christelle, Kate, Lianie, Myself and Noelien

The Daniel and Friends Fund Directors

Lea van Reenen and mom, Marili

Our Housemarket taking place this Saturday. 
See you there! 

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