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...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oh, the GEMS one finds at a housemarket!

Preparations and planning for our only-ever second Housemarket went about with more excitement and anticipation than our first market I daresay. Having some insight into the great quality products being sold and the surprisingly festive ambience present previously, we looked forward to a morning of more of the same.

And then the weather happened...cold, windy and scattered with just enough drizzle at regular intervals to keep you guessing when would be a good time to run for cover. Despite the dreary weather though, there was a steady flow of folks through the garden...enjoying the most delicious homemade pies, tummy-warming pancakes and lovely boerie rolls. The Sand Art stall was a huge hit and provided the perfect entertainment for kids, giving moms and dads some time to linger.

And then, of course, bringing a sparkle and a warmth to the morning all her own, was this little Gem...Jordyn McKenzie...reigning Miss Teen Hope 2015. After spending a great deal of time in hospital, battling two separate medical conditions, Jordyn developed a passion for colouring the lives of children less fortunate than herself, with hope and encouragement to dream!

After a lengthy hospital stay a few years ago during which Jordyn received treatment for both ITP (a chronic low blood platelet condition) and Type 1 Diabetes, "the sadness in the childrens' eyes" inspired her to start the Heart of Dreams Project. Reaching out to children in orphanages, informal settlements, farm schools and hospitals (such as Red Cross Children's Hospital), Jordyn teaches the children wire art and beading. Each piece forms the shape of a heart and each bead is placed on the heart representing a dream, accompanied by a prayer. "We put our hearts between our praying hands and thank the Lord for all our blessings and what he has done for us this far, as well as all the dreams that will come true".

Jordyn regularly delivers heart-shaped beads to children with special needs as they cannot do the bragging themselves and then goes home happy, revelling in her rewards..."WARM SMILES".

As you read this, Jordyn is brainstorming countless ideas and exciting new elements to bring to our Christmas Market at the beginning of December. This young lady's compassion, dedication and inspiring faith will leave you so completely in awe...spend mere minutes in this 14yr old's company and only then will you appreciate my sentiment and Daniel and Friends Fund's excitement about an opportunity to work hand-in-hand with her xxx

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