Thursday, 16 June 2011

Jemimah's beautiful Speech : Saturday 11th June

The other day I posted my speech on Saturday night.
Here is Jemimah's xxx.

Hello and welcome to Amelia's Night.
Many of the people here have been part of our fundraising efforts so far - sausage sizzles,
cup cake stall, Maccas night, raffles, meetings and on fb, but for those of you that
haven't yet had a chance to be a part of the Amelia's Project journey, here is a
brief rundown of how we began:

Amelia's Project began after Amelia's stay at the Royal Childrens Hospital in
December last year. Whilst she was in hospital Amanda was regularly updating her friends on
facebook about how she was going, and the new diagnosis of A-T. Her facebook posts were
detailed, heart breaking and emotional, and her facebook friends were glued to their
computer screens waiting for her next post, each more devastating than the last. Many of us
are Mums and could only imagine what she was going through. Those posts made it feel very
personal for each and every one of us, and we felt like we were sharing in her shock and

However, from this experience something pretty amazing grew. When Amanda, Scott, Amelia and
Tom returned home a few of us cooked meals and dropped them around, with the thinking that
this is at least one thing they wouldn't have to worry about. Many others in the
community showed their support for the Nicholds family by leaving notes, gifts, calling and
dropping in. Something was growing, but we didn't know what.

A friend of Amanda's began a gift registry where people could donate gifts for Amelia,
helping to make her life as amazing as possible. We began discussing Amanda and Scott's
dream of taking Amelia to Disneyland, something that they had hoped to do in the future, but
which the A-T diagnosis had made a more immediate goal. We began Amelia's Project as a
way of making this become a reality.

A few of us got together one night at Amanda's and formed a committee so that we could
become a not-for-profit organisation. We held our first Amelia's Project meeting and
were blown away with how many people attended. Through Amelia's Project the
Nichold's family rediscovered many friends and family that they hadn't seen in
years, people who had heard about their difficult journey and who wanted to help. The
enthusiasm in the room on the night of our first meeting was electric - it was a community
coming together to support a special little girl and her family. It was Mums supporting a
fellow Mum. It was pure determination to make Amelia's life amazing.

We discovered BrAshA-T, an organisation raising funds to find a cure for children with A-T.
We resolved that the aims of Amelia's Project would be to get Amelia to Disneyland this
year, that we would support Amanda and Scott in being able to provide for Amelia's needs
in the future, and that we would support BrAshA-T because finding a cure is the ultimate

Amelia's Project continues to grow. We have a facebook page, Twitter account, and Amanda
is even keeping a blog. Our cause, and Amelia's story, has had much media coverage in
the last six months. Many fundraisers have been held and we have raised just over $10,000 to
date. We aim to raise $20,000 this year to get Amelia and her family to Disneyland in
October. We continue to have monthly meetings, and as Amelia's Project has become so big
(over 625 members on facebook now!) we are formalising the running of our group. What began
as a group of Mums helping a Mum in need has grown and grown. We are very proud of what we
have achieved, and we can't wait until Amanda is posting photos of Amelia at Disneyland
on facebook!

This is a brief rundown of what has been a very busy 6 months, where complete strangers have
come together for a common cause. People from different states and even different countries
are part of Amelia's Project now. We thank you for joining us tonight for our first
major fundraiser and for becoming a part of a group of people who are making a difference in
the life of a special little girl, who has been dealt a cruel blow but who is also lucky
that so many people, from friends to teachers to relatives to complete strangers, are all
rallying together to ensure that her life is truly amazing!    

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