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Sep 172013
Mum Johanna with daughters Sofia and Gabby. With Arch Downie of Carindale Rotary

Mum Johanna with daughters Sofia and Gabby with Arch Downie of Carindale Rotary.

Carindale Rotary has made a $2000 donation to Carindale’s Caldwell family.

The money will help provide much needed assistance with the therapy and related expenses of seven-year-old Gabriela (Gabby) Caldwell. When Gabby was three she had a four-day seizure which left her with a severe brain injury. She is unable to walk or talk and requires dedicated assistance eating. She is slowly developing her communication skills.

Carindale Rotary recognises that this local family desperately requires assistance from the community. Arch Downie, the Community Service Project Director of Carindale Rotary, today surprised Gabby’s mum, Johanna Caldwell, with the $2000 cheque.

“This makes us very happy, it means so much, thank you,” Johanna said.

Conductive Education is a key part of Gabby’s recovery and development but it is expensive. Johanna and her husband Kevin put a great deal of time and effort into fundraising activities, not easy on top of also caring for the day to day needs of Gabby and their youngest daughter Sofia. There are also further expenses with other therapies, medications, special equipment and the like.

Gabby has also had further setbacks. She had to have bone surgery on her legs and hips in November. It was a huge operation and there were complications afterwards that took months of recovery. While this recovery was happening she then broke her femur just above the knee (and was actually due to get her cast removed a few hour after we left!). She was also hospitalised with a chest infection. While problems like this occur, other important activities such as speech therapy need to be put aside until she can be more receptive to it and for the family to manage financial and health priorities. Johanna says Gabby is very determined and there’s been good news among the setbacks.

If there is anything you can do to help this family, big or small, financial or other practical assistance, please get in touch with them.

At the Carindale Connect book swap held at last year’s Green Heart Fair and this year’s Neighbour Day, donations were made by participants who wanted a book but didn’t have one with them to swap. This money went to Team Gabby. We’ll be doing that again at this year’s Green Heart Fair on October 13 and we’ll keep our readers posted about future ways to help Team Gabby.

Let’s all see what we can do to make life easier for this local family and to help them give their daughter the best possible recovery, development and happiness.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gen is the Founder of Carindale Connect (started in 2007). She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Queensland University of Technology and an internship from ABC Online. She's involved in a number of web projects, was the Website Manager for Chamber of Commerce and Industry QLD and the Editor of Wotnews (Australian news aggregator and search engine start-up). She also spent some time as a volunteer Community Correspondent for 612 ABC Brisbane. Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Gen now lives in Carindale. She loves her bicycle (but doesn't do lycra), the environment and art.
Genevieve Robey

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