Kids dream of being extraordinary - the thought of becoming an astronaut, vet, doctor, scientist or firefighter is what they spend their childhood aspiring for.
Looking back on these types of childhood memories brings up feelings of happiness, gratitude and hope. But for many kids out there, childhood is far from what it should be and their dreams seem out of reach.
Instead of playdates there are appointments, instead of sleepovers there are stays and instead of firsts there can be lasts. Childhood is spent being rushed between hospital wards and outreach centres, undertaking routine tests and scans and missing the important milestones that every child deserves.
Whether they’re a toddler or a teenager, fighting a common injury or a rare disease, whether they’re from inner suburbs, outer cities, regional, rural or beyond, these sick kids are courageous and brave – they are anything but ordinary. They are extraordinary.
Despite going through bad days, weeks, months and even years, they appreciate that one good day, making every laugh, memory, and moment matter. They long for that one ordinary day.
This year for the Sydney Sick Kids Appeal, Better Homes and Gardens got involved to help provide many more good days to sick kids and their families. Their vision was to build a space to allow patients, parents, siblings and carers to step away from it all, breathe in some fresh air and take a moment for themselves. They have not only done that, they have also created a space that allows sick kids to be kids first and patients second.
The Avery Garden at the Albert Shun Outpatients Clinic is filled with imagination, wonder and adventure, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Better Homes and Gardens for all their incredible support. From the early mornings to the late nights, the equipment to the labour, every little bit goes such a long way in ensuring patients and families have the best possible experience when visiting the Albert Shun Outpatients Clinic.
The Grahame Mapp Family Foundation generously supported the garden build, in addition to an incredibly generous donation that made the Albert Shun Outpatients Clinic possible. The donation was in part thanks to the family’s experience at The Children's Hospital at Westmead with their granddaughter Avery.
In 2017, Grahame's daughter Penny had beautiful twin girls, Avery and Frankie. At just ten weeks old, their lives were turned upside down when Avery was diagnosed with biliary atresia, and the family was told she would need a liver transplant.
After the successful transplant, Penny, who is also Executive Director of the Foundation met with Dr Michael Stormon and asked if there was anything they could do to help. It was then that Dr Stormon spoke of his vision to have a separate outpatient clinic for immunocompromised transplant patients to help keep them safe and thanks to the very generous donation from The Grahame Mapp Family Foundation, the Albert Shun Outpatients Clinic became a reality.
Thank you to both The Grahame Mapp Family Foundation and Better Homes and Gardens for bringing this space to life. You have made an immeasurable difference to sick kids and their families.