Alecia Dimar 0000-00-00 00:00:00
<b>Building a Playground for Amber</b> Just one year ago, 7-year-old Amber Farlow was unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair. Today, Amber knows the joy of walking on her own, using a cane that she calls her “magic stick.” Her mobility would not have been possible without Lions. A new playground was constructed at Amber’s school, supported by Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and local Lions of Multiple District 201 in Australia. “Thank you so much, Lions, for what you have done for the school, my daughter and everyone there,” said Michelle Farlow, Amber’s mother. “It’s absolutely amazing. It’s made them happy children who enjoy their lives a lot more.” Amber has many medical needs. Born with breathing difficulties, she remained in the hospital for the first 18 months of her life and has survived 55 operations. She still requires assistance from a machine for a majority of the day and night to breathe. Despite all her medical complications, Amber radiates an unmatched spirit. When Lions approached the Gosford East Public School, which Amber attends, about building a special needs activity center, staff enthusiastically accepted their offer. Such a playground was previously a dream for the staff and children. But through support from Lions and LCIF, it quickly became a reality. “It’s just amazing to see that the work and money from around the world makes a difference all over the world. I never thought it would happen to our little community here,” said Graeme McLeod, principal of Gosford. “Lions do make a difference. It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing to make a difference. I thank all Lions.” Without funding from LCIF, the dream would have never become a reality for Amber and all the other special needs children at the school. The center cost nearly US$170,000 to construct, well beyond the local Lions’ funding capabilities. That is when Lions reached out to LCIF for support and received a US$57,596 grant to construct the playground. “I am just ecstatic about the playground. It’s probably beyond my expectation and I’ve been involved with it right from the beginning. But when you see the kids, particularly the kids in the wheelchairs and walking devices, it’s just a fabulous feeling to see the results of our work,” said Jeff Kukura of the East Gosford Lions Club. Lions are dedicated to helping disabled people. Through the efforts of LCIF, local Lions and the community, special needs children such as Amber are given the opportunity to experience a playground in the same way her non-disabled classmates do. Amber’s story inspires Lions to continue serving people with special needs. Still, LCIF cannot do it alone. We need your support to make even more sensations happen. Together, we can bring hope to all the Ambers of the world.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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