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...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Two Years Strong

On the 30th of January 2016, the Daniel and Friends Fund celebrated two years of a journey so incredible, few could have anticipated it. Having started with barely 20 families on our register, to 70 families a mere twenty-four months later, provides the ultimate testimony as to the profound role the Fund plays in the special needs community.

The last year especially has seen not only the realisation of a dream...our special needs community growing stronger and more intimate indeed...but has also seen our moms flourish as individuals, as the support, encouragement and inspiration they draw from their fellow DFF moms lends them the confidence and courage to follow their dreams and aspirations, often dreams and aspirations born from having a child who is differently-abled.

Despite the previous twelve months having seemed somewhat packed with all sorts of wonderful events like our super-successful Gatsby-themed Ladies Tea, the group physiotherapy session, an inspirational talk on maintaining a healthy marriage when parenting a differently-abled child, our first-ever sibling day at Grand West, art-jamming, the fantastic CPR Course presented by Michelle Phillips of Synchronize Systems which was an open, community-based event offered at an outrageous 80% discount, several costume-yielding charity walks, our first three house-markets and and...the upcoming year promises to be even more spectacular!

With firm favourites making it onto this year's program as well...art-jamming, CPR Courses, Sibling Day, our annual Ladies' Tea, children's theatre productions and even more fun-walks...we are beyond excited to be able to add a few new and amazing events.  Kicking our community-based events up a notch, we are thrilled to have added a First Aid Course, Anti-hijacking Course and Basic Self-defence Course to our calendar. A "Mom Care" Course has also been added which will be focused on instructing moms how to limit physical strain and injury to their bodies while caring for their disabled child and this will be beautifully complimented by a fun-filled, yet professional session on how to incorporate a brief but effective exercise regime into the daily routine of our busy time-restrained moms.  We will be working hand-in-hand with another wonderful charity organisation called I Am Special Ministries to host the first ever "Touching The Heart" Gala event which will take place on the 16th June at the picturesque Val de Vie Estate and will see local celebrities, like Hannes van Wyk from the popular tv show Kwela as MC for the evening, offering their time and commitment to ensuring the event will be a mind-blowing success.  

The one project which stands out for us this year is without a doubt our first-ever Legacy Project called "Something In A Box" which takes place on the 28th May and will become an annual, major fundraising event based on the popular tv gameshow "Minute To Win It".

Fill in the gaps with a number of Awareness Day get-togethers, a family paintballing afternoon, picnics, the introduction of our school awareness program, a lovely Spring Dance and one or two items more and you have the makings of our most awesome year yet!

A beautifully-decorated and delicious cake
to sweeten the celebrations at our anniversary
dinner which was so well-attended it brought
a tear (or two) to the eye. 

Our lovely Social Commitee whose passion and 
commitment will be an invaluable resource in
accomplishing all we hope to in 2017.
Back : Janet Strumpher, Kharshifa Isaacs and Justine Quinn
Front (left) : Lizel Ann Smit

We were honoured to have one of our beautiful 
Ambassadors, Minki Burger, join us for the evening