The MAD Foundation has raised in excess of $1.4M since its inception, assisting disadvantaged children and youth in the community since 2001.

Overview

Here at MAD, not only do we strive to Make A Difference in the community, but we do this in a different way. MAD has developed a unique funding model whereby we “bridge the gap” in funding between the cost of the equipment or service requested and the amount of funding available from government sources. Without MAD’s support, many of these requests would not be possible as the cost involved is significant. The MAD Foundation has raised in excess of $1.4 Million dollars since its inception, assisting disadvantaged children and youth in the community since 2001.

Thanks to the continuing relationship between MAD and the Department of Developmental Medicine, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and other associated organisations, MAD has been able to provide a number of children with equipment, facilities, therapy services and personal care that would otherwise not be affordable.

Here are a few of the many thank-you’s MAD receives. Each situation is different and as you can see, your generosity has truly Made A Difference to the lives of these children and their families.

Archie

Hi MAD Foundation

You kindly funded a bicycle from Body Cycles for my son, Archie, which we received in December 2015.  Given it was so close to Christmas I decided to make it a Christmas present for Archie.  So with Anthea’s help (Archie’s physio from his school) we kept the bike hidden from Archie.

I have attached a photo which shows the wrapped bike.  Archie was able to pull the paper off the bike – he had no idea what was underneath the wrappings.  We videoed Archie unwrapping the bike but my technical incompetence prevents me from attaching the video (and it does go on for a bit!).

The next two photos are of Archie’s first bike ride with his two sisters and cousin.  We drove down to Ringwood Lake and Archie enjoyed riding with the family.  We have turned the bike into a police bike by attaching flashing lights and sirens and Archie was in his element arresting everyone for speeding, jaywalking and stealing each others bikes.

Thank you so very much for your kindness and generosity.  It was so beautiful to see Archie being able to fully and equally join in a family activity.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Yours in gratitude

Barbara

Ellie

To The Team at The MAD Foundation

Ellie bed 4I’m not sure if I ever sent you photos of Ellie in her new amazing bed…!!  Ellie had a rough year last year with seizures and being unwell generally. So sorry if I hadn’t sent these yet.

Huge thanks to everyone at the MAD Foundation for their support in funding this bed.

We are so unbelievably grateful, it is just what she needed. We now sleep easy at night, knowing that ellie is not only comfortable but safe too. She has so much room, which is great as she is a wiggle worm. She can also do one of her favourite things, which is standing up, all while we know she can’t hurt self by falling out. Ellie just loves her bed…!

Once again, thank you!!

Kindest Regards,

Mel, Luke, Ellie and Cooper

Elke


To the Make a Difference Foundation,

We are writing to you to express how grateful we are for your kindness. Your generosity has enabled our daughter Elke to get specific help for her areas of difficulty.

Our daughter Elke was born in June 2010. She contracted enteroviral encephalitis at the age of 4 weeks and was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of two. She suffered general developmental delay but physically had great improvement after she started medication for her epilepsy. Her speech however was severely delayed and speech therapists at her early intervention centre diagnosed this as a delayed speech. it was not until we attended private speech therapy that Elke got a diagnosis of CAS; childhood Apraxia of Speech or what used to be addressed as dyspraxia. This is a neurological speech disorder that affectsthe motor planning of movement sequences required for speech production resulting in errors. In other words Elke knows what she wants to say but is unable to make the correct sequence of movements to produce the correct sound. This is of course very frustrating for Elke and for those around her.

Thanks to the MAD foundation we have been able to have private speech therapy with Marnie Cameron addressing Elke’s very specific speech problems. Elke has responded particularly to PROMPT therapy (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) which is a very hands on treatment form where the child is given tactile feedback and cues on the face neck and torso to get a sense of the movement required for the particular sound. This treatment requires a speech therapist with special training which was not available at the early intervention centre. Elke is now able to say her name, her brother’s name and some colours and she has at times even put 3 or four words together. She will have a go at singing and although the words are not clear you can tell that she enjoys it. We are hoping that with the appropriate therapy Elke will be able to attend a normal school and that she will over time develop functioning speech and not need to resort to an electronic speech device.

Elke has also, thanks to the MAD foundation, been able to see an occupational therapist Robyn Bartram, whom was recommended by the royal Children’s Hospital. Robyn has helped Elke and given us strategies and activities to best help Elke prepare for school.  Our family was in a very stressful situation, knowing what therapies our daughter needed but not being able to access them due to financial stress. The funding system in Australia is only accessible to children with a clear diagnosis, and although Elke suffers from very severe dyspraxia and was close to non-verbal, she falls outside the funding system and no help is available. We will be forever grateful for the kindness of the people at MAD whom have so generously supported Elke without even meeting her. CAS is a disorder that is notoriously difficult to treat and Elke will need help for years to come, but we can see little improvements each week and with that comes a sense of hope.

Thank you!
Yours Sincerely Emma and Dan, Elke’s parents

Reggie-Lee

MAD recently funded the modifications to Reggie-Lee’s wheelchair allowing her much better mobility.

Reggie-Lee is a much more comfortable and happier student in her bigger and better fitting manual wheelchair. She is also zooming around school in her new power wheelchair which offers her a level of independence that she has never experienced before” says Julia, a physiotherapist at Sunshine Special Developmental School.

Your generous donation has lead to life changing improvements for Reggie-Lee and we are extremely grateful. Please pass on our thanks to your generous and hardworking  foundation members.”

Michael*

MAD funded the $8,600 required for a Melbourne family to send their nearly 8 year old son Michael, with severe neurodisability, to an excellent advisory and behaviour management service for a month.  This service is called Mansfield Autism Service, and it will help Michael with toilet training and behaviour management strategies which will in turn improve his quality of life, and the life of his family.  *Name has been changed.

This note was sent to MAD from the family paediatrician:

When MAD staff contacted me to say “YES”  to my latest request, the speed and generosity (the sum of money required was large) of the agreement was overwhelming. I rang the child’s mum immediately and we both had tears rolling down our faces. A great day in my job!

MAD Foundation has funded equipment, programs and interventions for 5 of my patients, in situations where no other source of funding could be found. The generosity of MAD and its donors is remarkable and truly makes an enormous difference to both the children and their carers. Perhaps they should be called MAED!

Jasmin

MAD Foundation learnt of Jasmin in 2012 through a letter we received from her occupational therapist. Jasmin is a delightful 7 year-old girl who has severe cerebral palsy. She lives at home with her parents and older brother. Last year Jasmin had a considerable growth spurt. To you and me that means buying new clothes and shoes, but for Jasmin and her family it means purchasing a lot of new and expensive equipment that can amount to thousands of dollars. At the top of Jasmin’s wish-list of new equipment required was a “Second Skin body splint”. Thanks to the generous supporters of the MAD Foundation, we have been able to fund the purchase of a new “Second Skin body splint” for Jasmin. This highly specialized suit is individually designed, measured and fitted for Jasmin. The splint will provide stability to her pelvis, trunk and shoulders, which will improve her ability to sit upright. It will promote normal patterns of movement in her legs whilst she is assisted in walking, and in her arms and shoulders to assist in reaching and grasping. It will also ease some of the burden on her carers as she will be able to assist somewhat in transfers.


Dear MAD
A very big ‘thank you’ to you and MAD for funding Jasmin’s much needed second skin.
Very much appreciated!
Here is a photo of Jasmin.
Many thanks
Claudia (Jasmin’s mum)

James

James* is a seven year old boy with severe cerebral palsy. He is fed by gastrostomy tube. He has had considerable medical issues in the past 12 months, including crush vertebral fractures which have caused a great deal of pain. In addition, his vision is deteriorating. He requires a communication device that uses auditory scanning because of his failing eyesight. The equipment needed is a Dynovox VMax at a cost of $14, 249. The Victoria Aids and Equipment will fund $7000 towards the purchase, but there is a short fall of $7,249. *name has been changed.

MAD Foundation paid the short fall of $7,249 directly to the supplier ensuring the money committed to James* went directly to his specific case.

Sam


Hello
I am Sam’s mum, Cathy, and we were fortunate to receive some very generous funding for a ramp from the Making A Difference Foundation. The ramp is now finished and almost fully painted and oiled and I have attached some pictures. I would be grateful if you could pass them on to the volunteers with a big thankyou for the work that they do. Sam loves the ramp, particularly coming down it when he gets a bit of speed up (and I hold my breath that he doesn’t fall). He also happily chugs his way up the ramp following his brother and sister now instead of being stuck at the bottom of the old steps. Thanks you so much for the funding and allowing us to make Sam’s life just that little bit easier.

Many thanks
Cathy and Euan

Click here to view some of the beneficiaries from the 2014 MAD Ball

Click here to view some of the beneficiaries from the 2013 MAD Ball