Supporting Cody and his family through tough times

When Ami Hodgkinson’s first child was born, nothing could prepare her for the challenges that lay ahead.

“Cody was only 2-years-old when we found the tumour in his left eye” says Ami, “he started treatment shortly after which continued into the following year.”

Cody spent his third birthday in hospital and due to the aggressive treatment, he became deaf and lost one eye. He also suffers from anxiety as a result of long hospitalisations and traumatic hospital procedures.

Throughout this extremely difficult time, Very Special Kids helped Cody and his family by providing emotional support and guidance from a trained Family Support Practitioner named Peggy.

“Peggy has been an incredible support” says Ami, “there were days where I felt like I couldn’t do it and she was never judgemental. She has been great at putting the normality back into how we’re feeling.”

Very Special Kids also provided trained volunteers to support the family whilst they were in hospital.

“There was a time Cody was in hospital for 13 weeks straight and having extra support from the volunteers was really helpful and meant I could take a break. They would come in, sit with him and made him feel more comfortable at what was a very difficult time.”

Now 9 years old, Cody is a survivor of extra ocular retinoblastoma. But while his story has a positive ending, there are many children that Very Special Kids support who do not make it.

“These kids who have a terminal condition are really dealing with the pointy end” says Ami, “if people don’t support these kinds of services then there’d be a whole lot more families out there in crisis. I’m very thankful for the support.”

How you can help support families in need

On the 26th February the ‘13th Beach Osteopathy Kondak Triathlon’ will take place involving a 400m swim, 14km cycle and 4.4km run – the perfect distance for competitors at any level.

The funds raised from the Kondak Triathlon will provide families in the Barwon region with a full 12 months of services from Very Special Kids. This includes 24 hour specialist nursing care at Very Special Kids hospice in Malvern, trained family volunteers and all year round support from a Family Support Practitioner based in Torquay.

Register now!

If you have already signed up, you can begin fundraising here.