It’s Easy to Do Good

More than two years ago, Irisada’s founder, Tara was thrown into a state of confusion and anxiety when her daughter, Hedi was diagnosed with profound hearing loss. What did that mean? She was not sure. Her first thoughts were if Heidi would be able to communicate with her family, who did not know sign or if Heidi would have a future.

A few months later, Heidi went through a 6 hour surgery to receive her bilateral cochlear implants. This is Heidi after the surgery.

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A month later, Heidi was ’switched on’. This was Heidi on her first day of ’cochlear implanted hearing’ (if we do not consider the period she was fitted with hearing aids). Just a side note, she has a birth age and a ’hearing age’. Heidi is three now so her hearing age is about two years old. Look at the video and you can see that she was a little disturbed by the sound stimulation. She probably is not used to that amount of stimulation. However, every kid is different and might or might not respond similarly.

Fast forward two years later, she is now able to speak three languages. She is also able to articulate fairly complex english sentences. It has been a challenging but amazing journey. With alot of support from therapists and kindergarten teachers, family and friends, Heidi has progressed leaps and bounds. Therefore, during her third birthday, mom and dad decided to do three things, for each year of blessing,  to give back to the society.

Heidi donated a part of her birthday money to Children’s Cancer Foundation of Singapore (https://www.ccf.org.sg/donate.htm) . Mom set up a Give.asia campaign (https://give.asia/movement/heidi_raising_funds_for_other_kids) on her behalf and collected some funds from friends and family. Both the donating and campaign set up process was very straight forward and quick.

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Mommy donated her hair to a Florida organisation called ’Locks of Love’ (http://www.locksoflove.org) that makes wigs for children with any medical condition who need hair pieces. The Singapore version of such an organisation no longer accepts hair so her hair travelled across the globe and thankfully will benefit another kid in need. This process was easy too, except having to sit through 2 hours in a salon with a not so skilled stylist, her usual guy was not available that day. She did not waste her time though, she picked out all her grey hairs from the ponytail, which was alot from caring for such a strong-willed little imp. Here is the certificate of appreciation. Mom was overjoyed when she received it in her email.

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Daddy donated blood at the bloodbank in Westgate. It was a fairly quick and convenient process. It was a quick registration and a simple checkup to make sure he was well. The environment was really nice and clean with panoramic view of the Jurong area. This was his #needleface. He refused to show how much it hurt, male ego at stake, need we say more.

And that was what Heidi and her folks did for her third birthday, and of course there was a big party since we should celebrate every happy thing in life! Time to brainstorm what fun stuff for Heidi’s next birthday. This time its 4 and it gets more challenging each year! 🙂

Note: To those who would like to donate their hair, do take note that there are certain criteria to fulfil. To those who would like to donate blood, there also are some criteria to fulfil, therefore do check them out before you make a trip down to the blood bank.

 

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The Purple Parade

Things have been pretty purple in Singapore this last week. The skyline has been lit up with 19 buildings going purple in solidarity with the purple parade movement. If you haven’t seen them you can check out the photos here http://www.purpleparade.sg/purple-light-up. All the hype has been leading up to the purple parade, a gathering to show ability and inclusion of those with special needs here in Singapore.

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Our first impression of the parade was simply WOW it is busy! There was a sea of purple shirts and purple hats, around 10,000 people according to the strait times. It felt like this movement deserved more space than they had, you could have taken over a whole block with the parade alone. We turned up just as the parade started, shouts and drum beats filling the air as people held their banners high and marched forward.

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The parade ended a short while away at an outdoor stage where there was a mixture of speeches and performances. A number of top politicians were there too, including the deputy prime minister and mayor of central Singapore district. The performances showed the talent of the special needs community, with musical performances including a percussive group and a modern interpretation of flamenco. Quite a mix!

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After viewing the performances we moved on to the shopping. Stalls were set up to showcase handicrafts, baked goods and art created by the special needs community. Even salted egg crisps! (which if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived). We ended up buying some rather delicious cakes.picture4

The atmosphere in the parade was great, there were areas set up so people could sit and watch the shows on a nearby screen if they’re tired, swing bench’s wreathed in flowers, and a lady entertaining the kids with a large bubble net. There was even a small area for boccia, a game I’d never seen before a bit like boules but for wheelchair users.

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All in all the parade was great and showed how many people here care about the special needs community. I’ve no doubt next time it will be even better.