Submitted by Carol Ireland
It’s almost Tax time! The end of another Financial Year is near and what better time to think about a worthy investment. Did you know that every donation to Epilepsy Action Australia of $2 or more is tax deductible? Perhaps you would like to invest in a better future for children with epilepsy?
I’d like to introduce you to 7 year old Emery, who still manages to smile even during an EEG test. Emery’s Mum, Naomi, wants Emery “to be able to do whatever she chooses to do”. You can help children like Emery reach their potential by giving a donation today so that Epilepsy Action can launch two crucial new programs for children and youth. You can read more about Emery’s story and our new programs in our latest fundraising appeal below.
“That she’s happy” is Naomi’s dearest wish for her 7-year-old daughter Emery.
It’s every parent’s desire! But happiness is not a given for children with epilepsy like Emery.
Emery was only three when her mum and dad realised her “blank spells” were something more.
“She would have staring episodes, she would ‘zone out’. Also, she would walk around and wouldn’t react to danger. Like, she fell downstairs, walked into stuff. She would fall over, get hurt, and just not react, she’d just lay there like her brain was switched off.”
In the years since Emery’s diagnosis with epilepsy, taking medication has reduced the number of seizures she has, but not stopped them.
At school, Emery has suffered cruel bullying. She fell behind in her classwork because of days lost to doctor’s appointments and the seizures themselves. Making the situation even worse, her teacher was afraid of her having a seizure in class, and regularly asked for her to be kept home – effectively barring her from getting an education.
“It broke us into pieces,” Naomi says. “Emery just didn’t want to go to school anymore.”
Naomi says Emery is exceptionally brave, despite everything she’s faced. But as a mum it was like a knife in her heart, watching her little girl feel miserable, unsafe and left out at school. Her parents have also worried how a poor education could hurt Emery’s prospects down the track.
For a happier future, Emery needs timely specialised support and intervention to bring down hurdles as they arise. All kids with epilepsy deserve this. But many are slipping through the cracks and not receiving the right support.
At Epilepsy Action we want to change this. Please help us invest in the future of children with epilepsy like Emery by making a donation today.
When you donate to Epilepsy Action Australia, you’re not just helping children living with epilepsy today. Your donation funds our programs that can improve kids’ lives tomorrow.
You can help a child reach their potential by giving them Strong Foundations.
We will use your gift today to launch a new ‘Strong Foundations’ program comprehensively supporting children’s education and their wellbeing. This includes an assessment of a child’s learning needs by a neuropsychologist specialising in epilepsy, who will develop strategies for parents and schools that address their issues. Webinars for parents and family sessions with a psychologist will support their capacity to positively influence those all-important school experiences.
You can set up children like Emery for success in their teenage years, through Youth Connect.
High school is the gateway into adulthood. But it is also an extremely challenging time when anxiety, depression, discrimination and bullying can easily harm the mental health of young people with epilepsy. With your donation we will empower these vulnerable teenagers to step more confidently into greater independence, connecting them through youth conferences, peer activities and a series of vodcasts featuring young people with epilepsy overcoming barriers.
There could be no better investment than in the life of a child. They are our future.
As for Emery, she already knows what she wants to be when she grows up.
“If you ask Emery what she wants at the moment, she wants to do software engineering, which is what her dad does,” says her mum.
Like any other child, Emery deserves the best chance to achieve her dreams. And you can help her. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation and help us give children with epilepsy like Emery a happier tomorrow.
CEO & Managing Director
Epilepsy Action Australia
P.S. Your donation by 30 June can return a double reward. You can make savings by claiming a deduction on your tax return, while you help us safeguard a child’s future. It’s a win-win!