Hummingbird House is Queensland's only children's hospice, and Bundaberg residents are now able to support the organisation and the families who use it through a special annual fundraising appeal by Coles.
With more than 5,700 babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions across the state, Hummingbird House is a home away from home, providing specialised paediatric palliative care services and supporting families like the McAlisters.
Bundaberg husband and wife Robert and Nadine McAlister said Hummingbird House was a safe place for their family to go for support during their daughter's medical care.
Matilda was born in 2021 with a hypoxic brain injury, which is brain damage due to lack oxygen.
This has also caused secondary health problems such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy and dystonia.
“We are infinitely grateful to be part of the Hummingbird House family,” Nadine said.
“They took us in at our most vulnerable point in our lives with open arms and welcoming warmth.”
Matilda has medical appointments roughly every three months in Brisbane.
The family use Hummingbird House for respite either when in Brisbane for the appointments or at least twice a year so they can get support looking after Matilda and spend some quality time with their son Oliver.
“From the moment we arrived at Hummingbird House, we knew there was no better place for us to be and they showed us that we were capable of withstanding life-altering circumstances,” Nadine said.
Coles customers in Bundaberg can help support families and children living with life-limiting conditions, just like Matilda, by purchasing donation cards at any Coles store.
Up until 27 September, customers can purchase $2 donation cards featuring four unique designs created by Hummingbird House families.
Hummingbird House General Manager Dr. Fiona Hawthorne said Coles’ fundraising this year would be vital for families who require support to care for a child with a life-limiting condition.
“The support from Queenslanders will help Hummingbird House provide much needed services and support for families both in their homes and at our hospice in Brisbane,” she said.
“Hummingbird House supports families through their entire journey caring for a sick child.
“Our specialised staff and support services are tailored to support every family member, whether through clinical or peer support, respite care or end-of-life and after-death care.”
Coles Queensland State General Manager Jerry Farrell said Coles was proud to be entering its ninth year as a fundraising partner with Hummingbird House.
“Our customers and team members have been passionate about supporting Hummingbird House since 2014 when the hospice was just in the planning stages, and over the past eight years we’ve raised $3.5 million together,” he said.
“We started fundraising for Hummingbird House at 60 Coles supermarkets across Queensland before it was built and we’ve now trebled our support by fundraising at more than 180 stores.
“This year, we hope local Bundaberg residents can help us raise more money than ever by buying $2 donation cards at the checkout.”
All funds raised will go towards helping Hummingbird House to continue providing family support services, physical and creative therapies, and care for children with life-limiting conditions, and their families.
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