” My name is Karina and I’m writing to you to give a huge Thank You  to the Variety team.
Firstly I’ll introduce my self and my amazing girls, my family and I lived in Darwin for many years up until about 4 yrs ago . I have 3 girls and two of them have special needs . And Variety have helped us now with both of them, Firstly Hannah she has a rear form of epilepsy and has many seizures daily she now has also been diagnosed with autism and sensory issues and is looking to have and intellectual disability, and with the help of Variety she was given the chance to progress amazingly.

A few years back Variety NT assisted her in getting an iPad and also a special support pram to help her access her community. Still to this day we use the pram as her seizures are taking there toll. But Hannah has developed her speech with the support of her iPad it took many yrs using the sign language programs to help her develop her words. And she has now started at school in a Main Stream classroom with the help of an Aid.
And then there is Jamie she has another complex disability but mainly autism and an intellectual disability as well.

And the reason I’m writing this is all thanks to your support with a program that you still support in the N.T to this day. Both of our girls were part of the Variety N.T Star Fish Swim Program, and we wanted to personally thank you for helping Donna continue this program.

It truly is an amazing program for our special needs children and it has changed our whole life as a family.

And Starfish was the start of Jamie’s life changing experience. We tried many different sports before I had even tried to have Jamie do swimming lessons in a groups session but they were never successful it wasn’t until Jamie was given the one on one support through the Starfish program that she has decided swimming was for her and I can’t say how much it has changed her life not only to the competition side but her living skills, and speech, and her once what were extreme behaviors 6hr meltdowns rooms up turned and destroyed are all lower due to the demands of her swimming sessions and the assistance it has provided for her to help her self regulate she is a totally different little girl.

Sadly we have had to move from Darwin our life home for medical assistance but now our family has yet again been been supported by Variety NSW with Jamie recently being approved for a grant to assist her in reaching her goals with her swimming!
Jamie is only 12 and has big dreams recently she attended a NSW MC Short Course Meet in Sydney and took out the under 12 champion and she will now be attending the NSW long Course MC meet this month.
With the support the program gave both our girls to start with they have both have able to continue there swimming in our small country town. Recently we revisited Darwin and Donna yet again went out of her way to catch up with with her little starfish swimmer, Jamie even had the opportunity to get back in the pool with Tahnee and hear about her success of traveling with swimming.


But I can’t say how grateful we are that both our girls were able to be part of this program, Hannah even with her large amount of seizures is now part of a small group  swimming program and she is loving her pool time, making friends and expanding in all different areas with her life skills and well Jamie is living proof that the program helped her find her footing in a crazy world sure we still have tough times, but for now swimming is Jamie’s life and it has strengthening her in so many ways that I would have never have even thought.

So we just wanted to give a huge Thank You to everyone who makes our girls dreams come true and for allowing us to take part in such amazing programs.

Karina ”