On the 2nd November MicksGarage.com is holding our first charity SoapBox race in aid of the Jack and Jill Foundation Here is a small insight into Jack & Jill and why we have chosen to support the charity.
The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation provides direct funding, to families of children up to the age of 4 with brain damage who suffer severe intellectual and physical developmental delay, enabling them to purchase home respite care. We also provide end of life care. These are children who as a result of their condition require intensive home nursing care. The Foundation gives these families the Gift of time, time to do the things that we so often take for granted like shopping, taking their other children to the park, a night’s sleep etc.
Jack and Jill needs to raise over €3 million per year to provide these services. Less than 19% of our budget comes from the Government so they rely on innovative fundraising campaigns to reach our target. Please help us to help these families by making a donation or by holding a fundraising event on their behalf.
How Jack & Jill began
On 29 February 1996 Jack Irwin was born – a bonny bouncy baby. Two days later he suffered some invasive trauma in the hospital’s nursery.
While history does not reveal the immediate aftermath of this drama, it is probable that he died and was resuscitated. Certainly from that moment on, Jack could not swallow and was probably blind and deaf. His parent’s dreams were shattered and the heartbreaking task of keeping Jack alive began.
"The senior pediatrician in the hospital was brutal but honest."
Asked for a route map of care for Jack once he left their intensive care unit, it was made clear that there were simply no services in Ireland available in 1997 to a baby like Jack. He cautioned that Jack’s needs would threaten the marriage and certainly damage the childhood of his healthy brothers and sister. To escape this trap, he advised the only way out was to get him admitted to one of the children’s hospitals. Then and only then would the State have to take responsibility for him.
"Spine chilling advice that resolved Jack’s parents to take action. Never again would any Irish family have to face such a horror"
Jack lived for 22 months – a desperate and painful life. A mix of drugs, physio, postural drainage, seizures, reflux operations, gastronomy and suctioning. The only saving grace was that he was cosy and warm and nursed around the clock by a dedicated band of five nurses and carers from the neighborhood.
His short life showed his parents the ideal way in which little children like Jack can be nursed. From their experience evolved the home respite care that has now been offered to over 1700 children and their families all over Ireland since 1997.
This leads to a situation where the Jack & Jill Foundation not only has to raise funding of up to €2.7 million per annum but must act as advocate for it’s families helping in securing a carer’s allowance, a medical card, correct housing, special equipment or a primary medical certificate.
Why is this the case?
In a rich country like ours, why do our families have to struggle to be granted even the most basic entitlements?
The root problem of this is historic. The State has previously taken the view that children such as those cared for by the Jack & Jill Foundation would die, probably before their second birthday, and therefore were never taken onto the State’s books.
Thankfully this attitude is slowly changing and the Jack & Jill Foundation applauds this.
At all times, we are mindful of the isolation and loneliness that families experience and we pay particular attention to the needs and emotions of the healthy brothers and sisters who can so easily be overlooked.
Read the stories of families that Jack and Jill have helped. MicksGarage.com have created a MyCharity page for our SoapBox Race Fundraiser, please click here and donate.