The following article ran in the Clutha Leader in South Otago on 8 January 2014.
South Otago Plunket staff have been left scratching their heads after an anonymous donation of a brand new baby-themed book before Christmas.
South Otago Plunket received a mystery donation of book the Super Power Baby Project on Random Acts of Kindness Day before Christmas. Who: Staff would like to know who their mystery donor, known only as ‘‘Jules’’, is in order to thank them. How: Contact South Otago Plunket on 03 41 0525 if you have any information.
Super Power Baby Project, dropped off on ‘‘Random Acts of Kindness Day’’, was one of six copies ordered by a Clutha resident known only as ‘‘Jules,’’ Plunket nurse Nicola Ryan said.
‘‘We arrived in the morning to find it just lying there on the step,’’ Ryan said.
‘‘The order sheet mentioned six copies and a ‘Jules’, but the bookseller couldn’t tell us any more than that, unfortunately. We’d just love to thank whoever it was if anyone knows more, because it’s a lovely book.’’
Super Power Baby Project was a photographic art book containing portraits of 72 children with chromosomal abnormalities, taken by awardwinning photographer Rachel Callander.
The book emphasised the children’s special qualities and life-changing powers, making it highly inspirational for Plunket’s staff and clients alike, Ryan said. ‘‘We wanted to share this beautiful gift with as many as possible, so we’ve sent it to our Dunedin head office where Plunket nurses from across the region will get an opportunity to read it over coming months and years.’’
Otago Plunket clinical leader Barbara Warren said the book had already had quite an impact on staff, and would travel round the region.
‘‘It’s a life-affirming book th a strong message that there is more to life than challenges, anxiety, grief and difficulty, and that children have much to teach us about ourselves that is to be celebrated,’’ she said.
From the Christchurch Press, 7 Jan 2015
Evie Callander is an unlikely superhero.
She lived just two years, but inspired a book, a change in how disabled children are viewed and a remarkable fundraising campaign to empower other kids like her.
Evie was born in 2008 with a rare chromosomal disorder.
Sam and Rachel Callander were told their daughter would have developmental delays, would never walk or talk and "would not thrive". But they decided to celebrate what Evie could do rather than what she couldn't.
They invented a "new language" that described their daughter's "super powers", including an ability to draw people to her like a magnet.
They didn't use words like disability, abnormality or retardation.
Evie died in 2010 but her legacy lives on through the Super Power Baby Project. A fundraising campaign for the project on PledgeMe in September 2013 raised more than $85,000 in 35 days.
The money allowed Rachel, an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer, to hit the road and photograph more children with genetic abnormalities in their home towns.
More than 70 Kiwi kids, all with their own "super powers", have now been enshrined in the Super Power Baby Project book.
Since its launch in August, Rachel has shared the ideas behind it with thousands of people.
She spoke to 2500 people at TedX Auckland, an "amazing opportunity to share so passionately about what I believe in", and 150 paediatricians - "the ones in the front lines" - at a conference in Napier.
"Often the first thing paediatricians will say is, 'We're sorry' or, 'We should have seen this coming', and it just puts that negativity straight away into the parents' minds," Rachel said.
"They are [now] rethinking how they phrase those first encounters to make the journey as positive as possible."
Rachel said health boards were buying copies for their clinics and schools were getting copies for their libraries.
She and Sam still missed Evie every day, but it was "a different kind" of sadness. "What she has taught us and allowed us to share is beyond incredible. We're so proud of her."
in the Media