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Mags’ Story: Inspired to change kids’ lives

30 June 2017 Stories of hope

A client of Wesley LifeSkills for 11 years, Mags hasn’t let her wheelchair stop her from realising her dream of reaching out to children in hospital.

Mags says, “This whole centre is like my second home. I do all sorts of fun stuff—go shopping, cooking, dancing, lots of stuff like that.” Along the way, she has also mobilised the Wesley Mission community to make a difference to children in need.

The inspiration came to Mags when she was watching TV and saw an appeal for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation. Soon afterwards, she approached Johnson Hassan, Services Manager at Wesley Disability Services, about raising money for the cause through a barbecue event.

“I was just sitting in my office when Mags and her mum came in and said they wanted to raise money for the kids,” Johnson says. Impressed with the idea, he put a call through to the foundation, who were excited to join in.

On the day, there was a sausage sizzle, games, and a two-dollar donation for entry. “There were staff, members of the local community, Mags’ family members, people who simply walked in—there was quite a good response on the day.”

Mags went in personally to the Children’s Hospital to deliver the donations afterwards, and says, “They told me, ‘You did a fantastic job for the kids.’”

Johnson says that for him, the event was about empowerment: “It’s not always about someone with a disability getting things from the community. Someone with a disability can also contribute to the society.”

Mags says the experience was unbelievable:

"I’ve never helped kids in my life before, but sick kids in hospital give me inspiration. I may be in a wheelchair, but I don’t worry about that. I was so happy that day, because my absolute dream came true."