Nima and Dawa are off to Kinder

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The formerly conjoined Bhutanese twins, Nima and Dawa, will soon start kindergarten thanks to your generosity. Nima and Dawa, who are now four and half years old, are ready to begin kindergarten, but their family could not afford the fees.  Funds were raised through our Back-Home-Support program to support the twin’s kindergarten fees, and now Nima and Dawa can access the education and future they aspire to. Thanks to your support the twins will start kindergarten in April.

The Back-Home-Support program specifically enhances the children’s health, education, and welfare opportunities post-treatment. Whilst it remains a small element of what we do it’s crucial to ensure we are truly changing the future of the children we help.  

The surgery is absolutely critical in changing and, at times, saving these children’s lives. It is also essential in removing the barriers which prevent them from accessing the tools they need to build a successful future – accessing education, employment, and social acceptance – but it may not always remove them all. Sometimes, these kids need a little extra help. The Back- Home-Support program is designed to be that little extra help. 

Any child who has gone through either our Miracle sMiles or our In-country program after 1 July 2015 is eligible to be considered for Back-Home-Support. Together with our generous supporters, we want to ensure that the kids who come through our door have every chance of a bright and positive future.

Whilst the twins are all set you can still support other children’s futures by making a donation towards this program. 

We are delighted that Xavier, who arrived from Madagascar in the first week of December, was able to undergo his surgery in early February. It was a long journey to get him here and we are incredibly grateful for the continued support which has allowed us to do everything needed to finally get him to Australia for his life-saving surgery.

You may recall that Xavier was in an accident many years ago which caused severe damage to the top layers of the skin and tissue on his lower leg. As well as enduring significant tissue damage, Xavier had a 90-degree contracture on his knee and a twisted ankle and foot.

Xavier needed to have his lower leg amputated and be fitted with a suitable prosthetic to enable him to be able to walk again, go to school and get his life back.

Due to the risk of developing infection and cancer, his surgery was not considered elective therefore was able to go ahead. Xavier was in the trusted hands of the wonderful A/Prof Leo Donnan and the team at St Vincent’s Private. It seems he was a model patient as the CFF team have noticed lots of message of support to him on CFF social media from the nurses and other staff he met whilst there!

Xavier has been progressing really well following his leg amputation surgery. He has already met the wonderful team from ProMotion Prosthetics and at the time of writing this he is in the midst of being fitted with a prosthetic leg. This will take a number of appointments to ensure that the prosthetic leg is an excellent fit and doesn’t cause Xavier any issues once he returns home to Madagascar.

Xavier has not put any weight on his injured leg for many years. He has been hopping with the use of his other leg and crutches. Consequently the muscles around the hip of his injured leg have become weak and tight.

Our volunteer Physiotherapists have taught Xavier an exercise program to strengthen and to stretch his muscles. These exercises are important to enable him to walk with an optimal gait when his prosthetic leg is fitted. Xavier is really motivated and as a 15 year old boy he  looks forward to an active life without his crutches.

Xavier and Roumule have also been making the most of their free time here. Our wonderful team took the pair fishing for a day recently. Despite only catching tiddlers, that they released back into the water, they had a ball. Xavier has spent such a long time dealing with pain that fun hasn’t been high enough on his agenda. 

We were incredibly grateful to the generous team from Melbourne Victory who have arranged for our keen young soccer fan to attend a game. He’s incredibly excited just to see the game and we can’t wait to hear his reaction to the A-Lounge at the stadium where he’ll be watching in luxury! However, we know he’ll be even more excited once his prosthetic is fitted to get a chance to kick a ball himself. Without your support none of this would have been possible – thank you for changing this young man’s life. 

If you’d like to help more young people like Xavier access treatment that will transform their lives, please donate today.

15-year-old Mona arrived in Australia just before Christmas. Mona has a severe cleft palate and needs surgery that isn’t possible in the Philippines.

After a stay in hotel quarantine, she was able to join us at the Retreat in time for our Christmas celebrations. However, due to the disruptions in surgery caused by COVID, she has had a longer than expected wait. 

Mona shared with us over the years I have been bullied because I can’t talk properly. That made me not talk much. This surgery will mean a lot to me.”

Her wonderful surgeon A/Prof James Leong understood how much the surgery means to Mona and how tough it’s been for her to be away from home for so long. He has pulled out all the stops, liaising directly with Mulgrave Private Hospital on CFF’s behalf and pulling together a volunteer surgical team for the day. Mona’s surgery will take place on Saturday 26th March. Her hopes are so simple that she will be able to “talk properly and well and get the words more understandable. I will be so happy to talk to mum, my family, and friends.”

This will be the first time that Children First Foundation has partnered with Mulgrave Private Hospital and we are incredibly grateful for this new relationship. We seldom struggle to find surgeons and health professionals who want to support our children but linking in with hospitals willing to support the surgeries has been getting gradually harder over the years. We truly appreciate everyone who comes together to enable the children to access the surgery they need but a new hospital partnership is incredibly exciting for us.

We can’t wait for Mona to have her surgery and finally find her voice, thanks to your support. We know she’ll have a lot to say but we’re pretty sure one of the first things will be THANK YOU!

Hoang Pham, one of Australia’s best concert pianists, will be joining the equally amazing Matthew Rigby (violinist) and Daniel Smith (cellist) for an evening concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre on 26 March 2022, from 6.30 pm – 7.45 pm.

Children First Foundation will receive proceeds of the ticket sales (minus the booking fee) if you buy a ticket and use the promotional code “childrenfirst”.

Tickets are $34.00. Please do not forget to use the promotional code “childrenfirst” – otherwise, we will not get the proceeds.

Here from Hoang himself!

Purchase your ticket online or call the @Melbrecital box office during business hours on 03 9699 3333.

Due to Victoria’s everchanging COVID-19 environment all tickets for postponed or cancelled concerts will be fully refundable, so you can buy with confidence at Melbourne Recital Centre.