30 Jun 2010



When Jane's daughter Kitty was born pale, limp and not breathing, Jane's world collapsed. It transpired that Kitty had severe CEREBRAL PALSY. "For the first ten days after her birth I thought she was going to die. That was the only thing I focused on, willing her to live," she says. kitty, now eight, can't talk or eat (she is fed via a tube into her stomach), process vision properly or control her body and suffers seizures, which means she can't be left alone at night. What's more Kitty's special school is a two-hour drive away.

Frustrated by lack of local facilities and support available, Jane set up Peapods, a charity to support families with disabled children "If anything, it was a help for me. It was a relief to talk to other parents going through the same thing." Peapods now helps more than 40 families in Workingham, Berkshire. But Jane didn't stop there; two years ago she started up the charity Building For the future to raise money for a purpose-built community centre. "It will be somewhere families can come and be completely accepted, have a break, a coffee, get information, make friends .... have a lie down if they need to - because we're all knackered"*

The charity needs £100,000 to reach it's target. "When I think about how  I balance it all, I honestly don't know - the housework definitely suffers! Obviously I have down days, but the children are such an inspiration. They smile and laugh and you realise you haven't got much to be down about. I feel like I want to match their efforts, to make it better for them. It's my life's work now." - SHE magazine.

* Knackered - extremely tired.

Other women in the series - THE HUMANITARIAN, THE SURVIVOR, THE CHAMPION. Next Week: The Innovator.

Inspired by Aine's Inspirational Women Wednesday @ THE EVOLVING SPIRIT


Arti said...

Children are Gods gift... And Kitty is no different... Jane is a brave woman and shows that she has her heart in the right place!
...Inspiring.. Your blog is inspiring too!Keep it going..Champ :-)

Short Poems said...

Your blog is inspiring..keep up your great work :)
Marinela x

Kelly said...

Blogger is playing games with me again. I almost missed this post and your one from yesterday since they didn't appear on my "dashboard".

Glad I found them....another very inspiring story!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Loved the last paragraph! It's hard to deal with it..but children are all blessed..life is a miracle itself!
~B xx

p.s. Trying to catch up on your blog.
..not missing anything :)

Jen said...

In the states, schools are required to provide an education to all children, including the ones with disabilites. Some do a better job than others. She is a brave woman. I don't know what I would have done if my daughter wasn't healthy.

....Petty Witter said...

We also must provide an education for all but , as you say, standards vary. Also there was a lot of controversay when the government chose to close many specialist schools catering for children with 'special' needs insisting they were better off in 'main stream' education along with children with no special needs.