With the organisation growing at an alarming rate, the need for a support team to provide assistance to the Directors with regards to the operational aspects of the NPO became essential.
Justine Quinn is mother to two sets of twins – the older set of twins, Isabella and Cillian, both having special needs and the younger set being neurotypical. Justine became involved with Daniel and Friends Fund through her paediatrician, Professor Fourie, and several good friends who are part of the NPO. Justine has a passion for children and empowering special needs parents with regards to what they can achieve for their child/children through obtaining efficient knowledge about education, finances and medical aid support. Justine loves laughing, walking, champagne and having her children draped all over her when indulging in a rare Winter morning sleep-in. She also often expresses her gratitude for a God who amazes her with His grace and blessings. “So many of us need an outlet and a place where we can share and talk to others. We all need encouragement and a support system…it is the key to coping. DFF is such a group and I have a platform here to support and help others.” – Justine
Lizel Smit survived a devastating accident at the age of nineteen which has left her still battling complications thereof, to this day. Mother to a teenage boy, Daniel, and younger son, Michael, who has Kabuki Syndrome, Lizel has learnt to tap into extraordinary amounts of patience which, together with her incredibly empathetic and nurturing nature, has generously benefited her as a daycare owner. Lizel’s strong organisational skills, which are polished off with a wonderfully creative flair, make her a valuable asset to the team. “I’m me, just different over the years and I love it!” – Lizel
Heidi Kidson and her husband, Derek, made the overwhelming decision in 2015 to relocate their family from Vredenburg to Cape Town, for the sake of their son’s future. Raymond, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 5, faces specific learning barriers and none of the schools in their hometown were able to accommodate Raymond’s educational needs.
Raymond, now 9 years old, attends the SNAP Academy in Vierlanden and has since developed Tourette’s Syndrome as well. Heidi is now thankful for the decision they made to move to Cape Town as, firstly, the additional diagnosis of Tourette’s would have proven even more challenging had they not moved and, secondly, the comfort and support Heidi has found within the Daniel and Friends Fund has become an invaluable blessing to her.
I am a stay at home mom to a 6-year-old girl, We fondly call her our little red headed Madiba baby, as she was born on 18 July, arriving almost five weeks early. She was diagnosed with Autism in March 2015. I was immediately introduced to the Daniel and Friends Fund through an old school friend and since then the amazing folks became part of my second family. When asked how we cope with a special needs child I often find myself saying that this has been more of a gift than a burden as it has allowed us to grow with our child and see each and every hurdle overcome as a huge victory, often celebrated with us by our Daniel and Friends family. We have learned to appreciate the small things in life and not to take a second of this precious journey for granted. My love of people has allowed me to connect with some amazing mommies, some of whom have become lifelong friends, and a group of truly amazing children who have taught me so very much. LIfe is a journey often paved with bumps and bends. But with the right support and information, it can be quite an adventure.