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Thank you for supporting Minda!

It is thanks to the generosity of people like you that Dale has been able to achieve the things he has.

Will you please give that gift to more people with disability by donating today?

Read Dale's Story

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Dale's Story

As my husband, Greg, and I began approaching our later years, we started to think about how we would enjoy our impending retirement, planning holidays and how we would spend our time together. Little did we know that everything in our lives would change in 2004.

In a matter of weeks, we went from doting grandparents to legal guardians of my seven-and-a half-year-old grandson, Dale. Instead of planning holidays and easing into a comfortable retirement, we found ourselves packing lunchboxes and buying clothes for school.

Adding to the trials of re-living parenthood so late in life was an additional challenge – Dale has an intellectual disability.

When Dale was an infant, it was clear he wasn’t developing as expected. He was hitting key milestones far later than other children his age. After various tests, he was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay.

Dale with his grandparents, Greg and Kate.

Global Developmental Delay affects cognitive development, as well as motor skills, speech, social and emotional development. It can also mean children living with the condition struggle with daily activities, such as eating and dressing. From the moment he came into our care, Dale required full time support.

We had to set boundaries for him, which he often liked to push. While he was generally a mild-mannered boy, he was highly active, always on the go, which was exhausting, both physically and emotionally.

We had very little idea of what services were available to support us and Dale, and the frustrations we endured while attempting to find desperately-needed funding, and fighting legal and bureaucratic barriers certainly meant it was not an easy road.

Like most families supporting someone with intellectual disability, we not only want Dale to survive, but to thrive and live a long, fulfilling life.

My constant worry was for Dale’s future – would he be able to get a job? Where would he live when we got older? And our greatest fear: who would support him when we no longer could?

We were fortunate. Dale undertook work experience at Minda’s laundry services while he was at school and has been working there since. He also lives in a beautiful home in the community, not too far from us, supported by Minda.

It is a huge relief to know he will be in an environment that gives him the independence he craves, but also the necessary support to help him get by on a day-to-day basis.

Dale is also supported by Minda in a range of activities to further his development – like most young men, he is mad about sports, especially soccer, computer games and car racing. He swims regularly and enjoys weekly ten pin bowling.

Such support can be a lifeline for families and for myself and Greg, Minda’s support has given us peace of mind that Dale will continue to live a happy and full life.

We feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to watch Dale grow into the wonderful young adult he is today. Most rewarding of all, his future is looking better than ever. I hope you will help paint a brighter future for someone with disability.

A message from Dale’s grandmother, Kate