While we’re all still digesting our Christmas pudding and making plans for a fun-filled New Year with our friends and loved ones, I wanted to share with you a story that brings it home to me just how precious life is. And how, particularly at this time of year, it’s easy to forget that not everyone’s going through the silly season excited for the next catch up or party. I spoke to a social worker last week who had a patient who desperately needed our help. Mr Johnson* is a 73-year-old gentleman who has recently been diagnosed with carcinoma of the oesophagus. He and his elderly wife live in Wauchope, NSW and he starts a five-week course of intensive chemotherapy on January 2, 2017. Not only is the prospect of
Over 12 months ago, I received a call to say that baby Matilda* had just been diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) and her family where in need of somewhere to stay while she received lifesaving treatment at the Westmead Children’s Hospital in Westmead. ALL is an acute form of leukaemia, or cancer of the white blood cells, characterized by the overproduction and accumulation of cancerous, immature white blood cells, known as lymphoblasts. What this meant for the family was that they were in for a long and gruelling course of treatment before Matilda would be anywhere near on her way to recovery. It’s now over a year later and since then, Matilda has dealt with months on end in hospital receiving critical care. She has had a bone
How a normal mum, just like you and I, is overcoming adversity to provide the best possible medical care for her son.
‘…his skin is going black, and we need to prepare that he will lose his foot…" Those were the harrowing words that Kate Turner heard when she answered the phone to her devastated husband one fateful morning in 2012. Her six-year-old son, Josh, had just been diagnosed with AVM, a rare condition which affects only one person in 100,000. He was in the Royal children's hospital in Adelaide, and he was in a bad way. In a double blow for the family, at that time Kate was undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment to remove a tumour in her breast and she was unable to be by the bedside of her precious boy as he lay helpless in a hospital bed. Time was of the essence for the vulnerable little child,
How an eleven-year-old boy defied the odds and underwent brain surgery previously only ever conducted on adults.
"Massive malignant brain tumour." "Abnormal mass" and "Poor prognosis." Can you think of any words more terrifying to hear being said about your child? Devastatingly, on April 22 this year that is the shattering prognosis that Queensland mum, Tammy Gardner, was given about her 11-year-old son, Sam. "From that moment on, our life was turned upside down" said Tammy. "We were immediately sent to the Gold Coast University Hospital, knowing that we would then be transferred to the Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane due to the severity of our son's condition. The following days and many tests later, it was revealed that my son had a 'Giant Serpentine Aneurism' and there are only a reported 30 known cases worldwide and very rarely seen in a child." The rarity of
If you think this sounds too good to be true – you’re wrong! Heartfelt Homes is honoured to have been chosen as the Charity of the Month for December by Australian online shopping legends, Shopnate. Shopnate is a cross between shopping and donating, so for those of you who like to do good while your credit card is getting a workout…read on! How does it work? Shopnate is an online shopping platform which works in conjunction with HUNDREDS of Australian and International retailers. Those big household names that you know and love so well which includes Spell, Amazon, ASOS, Priceline and Booktopia, along with hundreds of others, have agreed to donate a commission from every single online sale to a charity of your choice. This is taken from the cost
I still can’t quite believe that it is my name up there! Originally from the good old North of England, I’m on my second stint in this beautiful country that myself and my family call home. Having spent 15 out of the last 18 years here, both of my kids were born here and are as Aussie as vegemite on toast. Over the years, I’ve become more than familiar with the Pride of Australia awards. The nominees are heroes, champions and those who have overcome the odds to achieve something phenomenal. True legends in my eyes; each and every one of them. So, you can imagine my surprise, shock and utter disbelief when I received a letter recently to say that I had been nominated for a 2016 Pride
Now that the hangover has passed and my feet have touched the ground I wanted to say a massive THANK YOU for the extraordinary effort that the beautiful Heartfelt ladies have just gone to for the families of Australia. Last Saturday the 15th October, a fabulous group of our Lennox Lovelies came together for a night of fun, laughter, delicious tapas and of course bubbles and cocktails! With no reason other than to raise funds to help Heartfelt Homes keep families facing medical crisis together, our ladies dug deep, went all out and brought the love into the room. From the initial donations, to buying raffle tickets, to prizes donated so we could sell the raffle tickets and to the coins (and notes!) thrown in the collection box; all
A few weeks ago I received a phone call from a really nice guy called Aaron. He was representing My Giving Circle and he told me that Heartfelt Homes has been chosen as their charity of choice for their next giving circle. With this new and stress-free (for me!) way for not-for-profits to receive much-needed donations now in place; I thought I’d give you all a heads up on this awesome bunch of humans who are making a huge difference to charities, including Heartfelt Homes, throughout Australia. Giving Circles have been around for a long time but with the rise of the digital world they are much more accessible and are becoming an increasingly popular way for individual donors to connect with each other, and make a bigger impact
That moment you’re in the ladies at a fancy awards night and your partner bangs on the door to tell you ‘C’mon this is you’! So it wasn’t exactly an average Saturday night out for Andy and I two weeks ago, but it was memorable to say the least! After taking out the ‘Best Home Based Business Award 2016’ at the Ballina Chambers Awards in August, last Saturday we attended the regional Awards held by the Northern Rivers NSW Business Chambers at the Lismore Workers Club, Lismore. Heartfelt Homes was nominated in the ‘Business Leader’ category. We were up against ten fantastic Northern Rivers businesses, including the inspirational Cate McQuillen (dirtgirlworld) and we truly never expected to win! We were just there for the night out and to show our
One of the things I LOVE about doing what I do is the constant stream of inspiring people I meet along the way. Everywhere I look, people are taking the ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, and the positive contribution people are making to society, right here on our front doorstep, never ceases to amaze me. Take last week for example. A beautiful friend of mine, Nolin who works for OnQ Human Resources called me, she was so excited to let me know about a coffee shop they had just purchased (Maggie and Mr Jones) which would be run as a social venture and they also wanted to help Heartfelt Homes raise funds by having one of our donation boxes on their counter. Awesome. They also wanted to
Are you ready to party??? It’s a well-known fact that while men bond by playing sport, fishing, or fixing stuff – women all over the world are strengthening their relationships by TALKING! We connect with each other by sharing stories of our past, present and future. Kids, families, holiday, work – there are no holds barred when you’re a woman and by following our natural instincts and opening up and revealing all, we make some bloody good friendships in the process! Now that the breeze rolling in off the ocean is getting warmer by the day, the winter hibernation period is well and truly over and what better way to mark the fact that spring has sprung than by grabbing your best girls and heading on down to Heartfelt
Today, I feel energised. I feel refreshed. And I feel ready to kick some goals. And not only that, I have a clear idea of exactly how those goals will be kicked. In case you were wondering, I haven’t just come back from a Tony Robbins Motivational course; my current PMA hasn’t stemmed from anything anywhere near as exciting as that. You see the difference between me today and me two weeks ago is a simple one - I’ve had a holiday. Now I’m not telling you this to brag, I’m not even trying to make you jealous that I spent the past seven nights cruising around the pacific islands with an all you can eat buffet on hand 24 – 7 (Next stop, boot camp!) No, I’m telling
The Lady Cilento Hospital – ground-breaking new children’s hospital is meeting patients’ physiological needs.
Sensory room, animal petting area, garden terraces, friendly staff on hand to assist and a warm and genuine welcome on arrival. You'd be forgiven for thinking I'm quoting a brochure for a local spa & resort. But no… …A couple of weeks ago I visited The Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane to discuss the expansion of Heartfelt Homes into its second capital city. What I found when I got there astounded me so much (in a good way!) I felt I had to write and share with you how the Lady Cilento Hospital is in the process of revolutionising, not only Heartfelt Homes, but I believe, the healthcare system as a whole. Let me start at the beginning. 18 months ago, my beautiful boy, Banjo, was diagnosed with Sensory
In today's modern world of 24-7 communication and with the increasing popularity of crowdfunding sights such as Go Fund Me; there is no shortage of charitable causes asking you for your hard-earned dollar at every turn. Children in need on your front doorstep, international campaigns on a global scale, and the rescue animals and lifesavers in between; there is no deserving cause that is unlikely to tug at the heart strings of a charitable giver. Some requests may be warranted and some not so, but you can bet your bottom dollar (pun intended!) that the kind-hearted amongst you have a hard time deciding who to give your precious charitable donation to when everyone seems to want a piece of your giving pie. For the Average-Joe who wants to give,