Red Balloon Foundation Warriors
To date, through donations and the sale of our mascot teddy “Skapie”, we have been able to:
Help multiple Children receive ABM NeuroMovement Intensives (1 week intensive rehabilitation sessions of 2 sessions a day for 5 days per child)
Offer Cortical Visual Impairment assessments for 13 Children from the Joburg General Hospital and Red Cross Hospital in Cape Town. The children each received a 2 Hour Assessment, Intervention report and strategies as well as a gift bag with tools to use at home to start helping their child learn to see better and use their vision.
Host 3 x CVI Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) workshops to educate parents, caregivers and therapists on CVI and how they are able to help their children at home, school and therapy learn to use their vision.
Educate parents on how they can implement the ABM NeuroMovement essentials into their children's daily routines through the ABM NeuroMovement Parent and Caregiver Workshop.
Below are the stories of 8 of these beautiful children:
Ofentse’s mom was HIV positive, on antiretrovirals and had TB. She also drank for the first 4 months of her pregnancy. Ofentse was born with Microcephaly, has global developmental delays and is considered legally blind due to Cortical Visual Impairment. He also gets seizures daily. Ofentse mom passed away when he was 8 months old and his dad was not able to look after him alone as he is studying and needs to work.
He is now with his wonderful foster family who is doing everything to find out how they can help him be the best he can be. They put an appeal out on facebook for help as they have already adopted 4 children and need help to care for Ofentse. Foster-mom, Nicole, has said:
“I would like to thank the Red Balloon Foundation for responding to my Facebook appeal – I felt at the time that I was drowning and was so scared that I had taken on more than I could cope with and therefore let both Dad and son down. You gave me hope at one of the scariest moments in my life; hope, not only for Ofentse, but in mankind and our country – for that I am forever thankful as without hope, I wouldn’t have the strength to have this adventure with Ofentse. Angles are not only spirits, they are people like you who help and guide others in need. You stopped what you were doing and took the time to get involved in Ofentse’s life. You are our angles in our time of need and we thank you sincerely for your selfless deed. You made a difference this week and taught us that there are no limits.”
Likhon iThemba is a young charity based in Kwa-Zulu Natal who do extraordinary work to improve, and at times save, the lives of underprivileged children.
Their mission statement is to “provide a safe home and family environment for children awaiting adoption or reunification.” “With a special interest in expanding HOLAH baby house to specifically be able to care for children with special needs.”
The Red Balloon Foundation has provided for 4 of their disabled children to receive 2 intensives per annum at their home in Durban.
S – He came to HOLAH when he was 5 years old. He had spent 11 months in hospital after being abandoned and no other home would take him without a birth certificate and a wheelchair. HOLAH agreed to meet him and fell in love with him instantly. He is cheeky, fun and has a great sense of humour. Unfortunately having been in a hospital bed for so long S has many physical challenges. ABM has helped him address these physical challenges. He is a smart, sweet kid who attends a small school setting for children with CP which he thoroughly enjoys.
M - He does not stop smiling. Always happy and always on the go. M was abandoned at 2 years old and spent some time in other similar homes but due to his needs was unable to stay in those homes. When M came to HOLAH he was unable to sit unaided, he can now stand holding on to something and has learned how to position his legs so he is steady.
He is a very active boy and through his NeuroMovement lessons has learned to focus for longer periods of time.
L - is now 3 years old and has been with HOLAH since he was 18 months. L was abandoned in hospital and spent 9 months there before finding a placement with HOLAH. Leanne from HOLAH says " When we first visited him in the hospital we found him in the corner of the room and all the families that were there with their children were saying how he cries all night. We couldn’t help but love him and feel an instant need to protect him and provide him with love and affection. L is an uncomfortable boy, but we have found through his NeuroMovement therapy weeks he becomes more comfortable within himself and we even get a few smiles from him."
Leanne Lorrance and Kim Brown the co-founders and directors of Likhon iTemba have this to say:
“We just wanted to send a small letter of thanks for taking our 3 beautiful boys for ABM therapy. Your commitment and love towards these 3 boys does not go unnoticed.
I am sure you could see the enjoyment in all 3 boys and the progress they made over the week with you.
We could not continue to do what we do within our organisation if it wasn’t for the support from people and organizations like you”
Holah Home for Abandoned Children
Brodie is an almost 3 year old boy, who sustained severe brain damage at birth when Mom Louise's placenta burst at 36 weeks. Brodie has been diagnosed with CP, Epilepsy, Cortical Visual Impairment and other chronic illnesses including a Lung Disease due to severe lung aspiration which left him on permanent oxygen.
Brodie needs around the clock care and his mom has taken on the critical task of caring for him at home.
"Since we started doing Abm Therapy with Brodie, he has definitely improved his health, and he initiates movements which is so good for Brodie because of his weak lungs and we actually got him off permanent oxygen. His head control has also improved so much and he can sit now for a few seconds without support and we can see that he is incorporating the things that he learns at ABM therapy. Brodie does also now roll to each side on his own as well.
Brodie loves his sessions with Terry and Antoinette and you can definitely see how he concentrates when they teach him. Brodie's eye sight has also improved so much with all the tools and exercises we have learned from Antoinette.
We are so grateful for Terry and Antoinette, they are such amazing ladies with a huge passion to work with our special kids. Brodie is a different child when he is with them, so calm and you can see he is willing to learn what they teach him
Thank you to The Red Balloon foundation and Neurogenesis for creating this opportunity for Brodie and believing in our son."
Jordan has a special place in our hearts as he was born at the same time as Maxim and they spent time together in the NICU.
Jordan was born via Emergency C-section at 30 weeks gestation period when his mom went into Pre-Eclampsia. He spent 115 days in the NICU and during this time he contracted Septicemia and Meningitis. He is tube fed and fully dependant on his mother who takes care of him full time. She is a single mother and relies on donations and his grant in order to look after him.
Jordan has been diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic CP, CVI and he has seizures which are controlled through medication.
Jordan is now 7 years old and he has recently undergone surgery for dislocated hips and lengthening of the muscles in his legs and feet.
He is a very determined little boy who loves doing NeuroMovement sessions and has shown great improvement in his awareness and vision.
Teresa, Jordan’s mom has this to say:
“Thank you, so very much, for being the Angels in Jordan's life, helping him to learn how he can move and continue to improve. Jordan is always more comfortable and relaxed after his ABM Intensive sessions. He used to be very stiff and unable to move, but since he started with the ABM NeuroMovement session I have been astonished at the progress he makes. Thanks to the work and dedication and love that Antoinette and Terry from Neurogenesis have been putting in the Anat Baniel Method has changed Jordan's and my life for the better. Thank you for every minute you have put Into Jordan's lessons. It really has made a big difference.”
Sihle arrived a tenacious teenager in a wheelchair. Smart and brave she attends school and tries to not let her diagnosis of hemiplegic cerebral palsy hold her back. Raised by her single dad, she is full of smiles and humour and desire to succeed.
2019 saw her rise out of her wheelchair and she now walks aided by crutches although she can be enticed to walk a few steps independent of any aids.
Eddy Msimango – Sihle’s dad :
“ Sihle is my 11years old daughter living with a condition called cerebral palsy
She never walked from birth till the age of 11years. She used to move around with her wheelchair or crawl around the house.
She attended Neurogenesis every 2nd month through a R33,000 donation acquired by Red balloon 🎈 foundation. She started last year 2018’ October by then she was using a wheelchair and she couldn’t walk.
Her therapists are Terry Vallet Sundstrom and Antoinette Harvie who stimulates her and help her brain to communicate with her body. Yesterday 13-April-19’ she started to slightly walk around the house. Today when she woke up she was walking throughout the house from the lounge to the kitchen and Kitchen to the bedrooms etc.."
Siyabonga was a healthy, typically developing baby, then at 6 months old he needed an urgent laparotomy to repair an obstruction in his intestines. Sadly he suffered a severe hypoxic injury post surgery. This means that he did not get enough oxygen and this lack of oxygen led to a brain injury.
Siyabonga lost his newly developed ability to roll and sit unassisted. He also lost his ability to babble and to grasp objects. Since his surgery his mother has reported that he is very irritable and cries constantly. This has been very traumatic for his family and they had not been optimistic that they would be able to continue looking after him.
From Siyabonga’s mom after his 1st NeuroMovement Intensive:
"Thanks for everything you did for my son. He has really improved in a big way. All you ladies did was a big blessing to me and my family. You where angels sent by God to us and still are. I cry every day when I see my son doing a lot of different things he has ever done. May God continue to bless you with lots of wonderful things. Thanks a million."
Sadly Siyabonga passed away Aug 2019 just after his 3rd birthday.