Life # 10 - Jackson, a 10 year old boy from Tweed Heads
Jackson is a 10 year old boy from Tweed Heads. Two years ago he was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis. It causes crippling and joint deformity, irreversible blindness, and also affects the skin and internal organs. There is no known cure.
Jackson spends most of his days housebound. He has been in ‘flame’ since diagnosis, which means he battles chronic pain every single day, with very little relief. His school will be arranging wheelchair access so he can attend on the days when he is able.
Cricks wanted to help make this brave young boy's life a little bit easier for him.
Thanks to some incredible genersity from Cricks staff, we were able to give the family a helping hand. We were able to give them a $500 Woolworths voucher to help ease their financial pressure, thanks to donations from staff members, including Glenn and Kirsty at Tweed, Andrew Jones and Andrew Murton at Mercedes-Benz and Anthony at Maroochydoore. Ben from the IT department kindly donated a desktop computer, which will help Jackson with his schoolwork while he is at home. And Cricks also bought the family 12 months of pre-paid internet.
"Jackson was a happy go lucky kid with a big smile. It was a pleasure to do this for them and to actually be there to present it to them on behalf of the group...very humbling."
Danny Gott - Group IT Manager
Life # 11 - A family from Caloundra
Last month, Cricks wanted to help a Caloundra family going through a very difficult time. Stewart tragically lost his wife, Fiona, in November. And his two daughters, 5 year old Riley and 1 year old Reese, lost their mum.
Fiona was just 28 years old, and died suddenly while Stewart was away. Unable to wake her mum that morning, brave little Riley took charge, getting food for her sister and even changing her nappies. What they have all been through is just heartbreaking.
With his world turned upside down, Stewart has left his job to look after his girls, and is doing everything he can to bring as much joy as he can into their lives. After we shared the family's story on Cricks 12 Lives, the response from the Cricks team was just incredible - and the kindness they have shown will change more lives than they realise.
This is what we did....
Held a big BBQ breakfast with Stewart and the girls.
More than 30 staff joined in, there was balloons and face painting, and Glen Turrell and Dean Stuart cooked a delicious brekky for everyone.
Delivered homecooked meals to the family.
Many staff, and their partners, have been cooking meals for Stewart, which Natalie Barker has kindly been dropping over to Stewart several times a week. We've had lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise, devilled sausages, chicken pie, casseroles, cupcakes and slices as well as some farm fresh eggs. It has made Stewart's day to day life a great deal easier.
Arranged a whale-watching trip.
Fiona always wanted to go on a whale watching trip, and Stewart said he would love to take his girls on the trip their mum had wanted to do. So Cricks will be making arrangements for them to fulfill that dream.
There's no doubt that the tangible help we gave Stewart, Reese and Riley made a small difference to their life, but it was the simple act of kindness itself that had the most profound effect. Stewart was so overwhelmed with the support shown to him by the Cricks team - who were complete strangers to him - that he was determined to pay it forward and help someone else in need. Last week, we discovered that Stewart has just made a significant donation to help a young boy who had recently lost his sister to cancer.
Unexpected kindness is a powerful thing, and it has a ripple effect. The ripple started by the Cricks team this month is something to be very proud of.
"I truly believe that what you are doing with Cricks 12 Lives is not only a great gesture for the person on the receiving end but also enriching for those who are exposed to it and have the opportunity to participate."
Life # 12 - Belly Harry, an 11 year old girl from Bli Bli
Last month, the Cricks team was trying to help Bella, a young girl form Bli Bli who was recently diagnosed with cancer in her knee.
Bella has spent a great deal of time in hospital undergoing chemo. It has been a difficult time for all of the family and we wanted to do something to make their life a little bit easier.
With the help of the Cricks team, we gave the family $1000 in petrol and grocery vouchers, to help with travel costs and general expenses. And thanks to Sam Nicholls amazing contacts, AFL Queensland Sunshine Coast donated 4 tickets so Bella and her family could see the Brisbane Lions play. As you can see, they had an amazing time!
Life # 13 - Marnee Millan from Rockhampton
Last month, Cricks was helping a 10 year old girl called Marnee. Marnee has been struggling for the last 18 months with respiratory issues and was diagnosed with Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma, or 'sarcoma', which is a cancer that develops from connective tissues in the body.
Since that diagnosis, the family's whole world has been turned upside down. Marnee and her mum were rushed to Brisbane, 700km away from their Rockhampton home, where they will be for at least the next couple of months. Her big brother, Rieck is at home looking after the dogs and house. While Marnee’s 12 year old sister, Lexie, has also temporarily relocated to Brisbane, and will be attending school at the hospital.
They have been thrown into absolute chaos, but are pulling together to do whatever they can to help Marnee get through this. We wanted to help take some of the pressure off Marnee’s family, so they can just focus on helping her to get better.
Thanks to generous support from Cricks staff, we were able to donate a $500 Virgin Blue gift voucher and a $500 Caltex fuel card. Thanks so much everyone. This will help them enormously with their travel costs and make such a difference.
Peter and Lauren from Rockhampton with Marnee's brother, Rieck
More updates on what we've done can be found in the Cricks Blog
Life # 1 - Keeley Green, an 11 year old girl from Caloundra
Keeley is a little girl that has been through a great deal. She was born with hemimegalencephaly, meaning the left side of her brain was malformed, causing her to have hundreds of seizures a day. She had surgery to remove the entire left half of her brain when she was just 13 months old. Since then, Keeley has had to undergo more than 15 surgeries and countless scans and procedures. She is not able to walk just yet, and needs a lot of help doing most things. But she is the most wonderful little girl, and despite her challenges she is always smiling.
Keeley has been through so much, and Cricks 12 Lives wanted to do something special to make her day.
Thanks to the generosity of Cricks staff, we were able to give Keeley a huge gift box filled with DVDs, toys, games, storybooks, activity books, a $30 Move Gift card, a $200 Coles/Myer gift card, and lots of Smiggle goods - hand delivered by Sam and David from the Caloundra dealership. The family also received donations from Cricks staff on their fundriaisng page.
Thanks so much everyone. What an amazing effort.
Keeley just LOVES all of her presents! Thank you so very much for organising this for her. She is one very very happy girl this afternoon!
Thank you for putting a big smile on my sweet girl's face.
Amanda, Keeley's mum.
Sam (Caloundra dealership) with Keeley and her mum Amanda
Keeley's parents were told she would never speak, but she is learning new phrases every day. Her mum sent this little thank you she recorded for the Cricks team....
Life # 2 - Jace Tyler, a 10 year old boy from Tweed Heads.
Jace was born 3.5 months premature, and sadly caught golden staph when he was just two weeks old. The infection ate away his hip joints, which left him in need of a wheelchair. He also has ADHD and a severe anxiety disorder.
Jace was in need of some sensory equipment and a new wheelchair.
The Cricks team worked together to buy two pieces of expensive sensory equipment for Jace (which will be delivered shortly).
In addition to the sensory equiptment, the family will also received some amazing funding which will change their life. The NSW Government and the Minister for Disability Services is donating $2500 to the family, in partnership with Cricks. It will enable them to buy the wheelchair and all of the other equipment they need to care for Jace.
Unbelievable. Thanks everyone.
The support we have been given is just fantastic. We couldn't believe what we were hearing. Jace is so excited and says thankyou to everyone for helping him!
Lisa, Jace's mum
Life # 3 - The Roberts family, in Rockhampton
The Roberts family from Rockhampton - Michelle and Shane, and their three children, Tyson, Harley and Cheyenne - have been going through some tough times.
One year old Cheyenne has had to face a lot of challenges for someone so young. She was born at 32 weeks and, when she was just two days old, Michelle and Shane found out she was deaf. Shortly after, they discovered Cheyenne had a hole in her heart and blood tests confirmed she had a rare chromosome disorder called 22Q11DUP, which requires regular treatment. Added to this, Cheyenne was recenty diagnosed with cerebral palsy down her left side. Her vision is poor and she also needs to wear special boots to help her walk.
The family has to fly to Brisbane every 8-10 weeks for check ups and treatment. The flights are placing a large financial burden on Michelle and Shane. We wanted to help ease that burden a little.
Thanks to the generosity of Cricks staff, we raised more than $200 - which Cricks decided to double. So this means we have sent Michelle and Shane a Virgin Australia voucher for $500.
Great effort everyone.
I would just like to say thankyou to all who have helped. This means so much to us and to my baby girl. You really are a blessing to my family.
The cost of going to Brisbane all the time has hit my family hard. This gift voucher for flights will make the next few trips a lot easier on our family. Thankyou all so much. You really do change lives, and have helped to change ours.
Life # 4 - Zane Brown, a 3 year old boy from Rockhampton and Brisbane.
Zane Brown is a little boy from Rockhampton, living in Brisbane temporarily so he can be closer to the hospital.
A few months ago, Zane was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (a type of cancer). His parents have been told he has a 50/50 chance of beating it.
It is obviously a heartbreaking time for the family. Zane is undergoing a great deal of treatment, which often makes him feel very ill - something that's very difficult for someone so young to even begin to understand.
When we asked what would be of most help to them, Zane's mum said they simply want to make his life as fun as possible, and fill it with as much joy as they can.
Thanks to the amazing Cricks team, we were able to give Zane and his family an Annual Pass to Australia Zoo, a VIP Day at UnderWater World (with thanks to UnderWater World and Merlin's Magic Wand) and a $250 Caltex fuel voucher to help with their transport costs. Thank you so much to everyone who donated. You have absolutely made this little boy's day.
Thank you so much. We have just received the gifts you sent for Zane. This will help us so much. Zane will have a blast and it helps us out so much.
Thankyou - we are so grateful to you all.
Kristie, Zane's mum.
Zane on a trip to Australia Zoo
"Thankyou so much for letting me be involved in giving the gift to Tara. I felt so proud to be a member of Cricks. I am blessed to have met Tara, and be part of her journey.
Suellen - Cricks Honda
Life # 5 - Tara Deacon from Currimundi
In August, the Cricks team wanted to help a Currimundi woman called Tara Deacon.
Tara and her sister were diagnosed with cancer on the same day. Her sister sadly passed away, leaving her young daughter in Tara's care.
Tara recently received devastating news that her own cancer has returned, and she may have just over a year left to live.
When we asked what we could do for Tara, she said she wanted to make some wonderful memories with her family. And thanks to the generous Cricks team, this is what we were able to give her:
1. A Whalewatching tour and use of a Cricks vehicle - supplied by Cricks Honda.
2. Accommodation in Hervey Bay in a 2 bedroom apartment - donated by Cricks Business Development team, Admin team, and another generous staff member.
3. An iPad mini and case, so they can make videos on take photos of their adventures - thanks to Cricks Group IT Department.
Thankyou to everyone at Cricks for such a great effort. It really will make a difference to this family's life.
Suellen from Cricks Honda and Amelia from Cricks Maroochydoore, delivering the gifts to Tara.
Anthony Green from Cricks Maroochydoore, presenting the gift vouchers to Trish
A thankyou note from Trish
Life # 7 - Paul Buttigieg from Tweed Heads
In October, Cricks heard about a 77 year old man from Tweed Heads called Paul Buttigieg, who had been through a difficult time. Mr Buttigieg had been on a bus on his way home from Tweed Heads Bowls Club, when he was attacked by two young woman.
He is visually impaired, so couldn't see clearly what was happening to him. He was punched and kicked, leaving him with injuries to his mouth, bruises on his arm and his glasses were smashed.
He was devastated by the attack and was in tears when he was interviewed about it, even months later.
We want to show him some kindness.
Thanks to the wonderful team at Cricks Tweed Heads, we were able to give Mr Buttigieg $110 in dining vouchers for his beloved Bowls Club, and we also arranged for a plumber to fix his washing machine - something he had needed help with for some time.
Thanks so much to everyone who helped. Sometimes gestures that may seem small can make a big difference to someone's life.
Crick's Tweed Service Manager, Ben Hall, and Dealer Principal, Jamie Wass, were very happy to present Mr Buttigieg with his gift vouchers.
Life # 8 - Abbey Anthony, a 3 year old girl from Brisbane.
Abbey Anthony was born with Rett Syndrome, a severe brain and genetic disorder of the nervous system which affects all body movement.
Abbey's parent's have been wanting to buy her an outdoor climbing frame and swing set. She craves movement and her mum says she would swing and slide all day if she could. Besides being a huge amount of fun, it will also help with her upper body strength, fine motor skills and problem solving.
Abbey turned 4 in November, and we wanted to give her the birthday presents of her dreams.
Wth the help of generous staff donations and some handy men from Cricks Highway we were able to buy Abbey an amazing climbing frame and swing set. Thanks so much to everyone who donated, and a special thank you also to Dean Pearce and Doug Buhagiar from Cricks Highway who arranged assembly and delivery of the climbing frame to Abbey. The smile on Abbey's face says it all!
"The look on Abbey’s face was priceless and something I will not forget for time to come."
Doug Pearce - Cricks Highway
Life # 9 - The Christensen family from the Sunshine Coast
Lisa and Bob Christensen and their four children, Jess, Conrad, Dana and Jordan have been through a difficult time.
16 year old Jess was born with severe cerebral palsy, and Lisa cares for her full-time. Last December, both Jess and her dad, Bob, were diagnosed with cancer within days of each other - Bob with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Jess with Leukemia.
The family needed to help their teenage daughter, Dana, to get her driving license - it would help Lisa, and also significantly improve her own employment prospects. Dana had noone to teach her and couldn't afford private lessons. Their car was also not in great shape.
With everything this family has been dealing with, we thought the least we could do was to help get Dana on the road.
Cricks staff members donated $300, which bought 5 professional driving lessons for Dana, and some of the team also volunteered their time for lessons. Staff also put together a special hamper for the family. And the team at Maroochydoore serviced the family's car.
"This is photo of Jessica and her Dad in front of the van that everyone there has so generously helped to get up and running.
With the help of Cricks Maroochydore, we were able to get it serviced and 2 new tyres as well as some driving lessons for Dana.
Jessica is doing well on the small amount of chemo she is receiving and Bob is making an excellent recovery after his stem cell transplant last year.
We are so grateful for what you have done for us and so many other people in the community. Thankyou all.
WHAT WE'VE DONE
Life # 6 - Trish Fitzgerald from Forest Glen, Sunshine Coast
In September, the Cricks team wanted to help change the life of Trish Fitzgerald.
Trish is a two-time cancer survivor, who has had to undergo many operations - both to remove cancer and also as a preventative measure. Mounting medical bills have put Trish and her wonderful family in a very difficult financial situation.
We wanted to give them a hand, and hopefully make their life that little bit easier.
Cricks staff donated a total of $250 in vouchers, and Sunshine Coast dealerships added a further $500, bringing the total to an amazing $750. In addition, the team at Cricks Nambour donated their time to repair the door of Trish's car - meaning she no longer needs to climb through the passenger side to get in and out!
Trish was overwhelmed by the kindness shown by everyone at Cricks - she said it has helped them more than anyone can possibly imagine.