Youth come with visions for the future, their visions should be encouraged and nurtured because everyone is born with an innate need to make a difference. This is one difference makers journey.
What do you say when your ten year old daughter looks you in the eye and says “Am I going to die mum…” This was August 1996 and so started a hazardous and painful journey to give Maggie back her life. Maggie had contracted a rare auto-immune disease that attacked her kidneys and each day this aggressive virus was sucking the life force out of our precious child by killing off her vital organs.
It was only through the dedication and love of the doctors and staff at the Royal Children’s Hospital that she survived, but it took six long years of hospitalization and sometimes flying blind as to what would help her get better because you see there is still so much vital research needed to be done to help kidney kids, just like Maggie. As the hospital became a second home for Maggie, her love and compassion grew for the other kids on the ward and she used to say:
“Mum it is just not right for kids to have to suffer like us.” When she was fifteen she announced to the nurses… “When I grow up I am going to be a famous model so I can make heaps of money and then I am going to fund research so kids never have to go through what I am going through…”
At sixteen Maggie was given a life saving kidney transplant and it was as if the past was behind her and a new life full of promise was starting to blossom. By the time she was eighteen, she had influenced people all over state about the importance of giving back. She addressed audiences at the Australian Kidney Foundation Balls, made a video for the Royal Children’s Hospital talking to other kids about going on dialysis and how to over come the fear.
She was photographed by the Kidney Foundation for an advertising campaign to help raise awareness of kidney disease. She spent time talking with other children who were scared of facing the prospect of a kidney transplant. But her biggest dream was just about to evolve, she had been given the chance to go to Italy for a photo shoot for a famous fashion magazine which would launch her career and help her realize her dream of funding research.
Tragically, Maggie never got the chance to fulfill her dream. Just when her life was given back to her Maggie died in a car accident. Sometimes it is hard to fathom fate, it all seems so pointless and she had suffered for so long only to seemingly lose anyway. But losing was never in Maggie’s vocabulary and the effect that she had on people both in Australia and overseas was awesome.
Inspired by her story, even people who have never met her, are picking up her dream and running with it. The power of one person’s dream can change the world and as a result the Magdalene Foundation was formed. The foundation is a non profit organization run solely by volunteers, dedicated to fulfilling one little butterfly’s dream of raising funds for research into kidney disease in children so they can have a life filled with hope, health and happiness.