It’s been another busy month. Matthew attended the Pride of Australia awards in Sydney, where he met more amazing people doing great things. Congratulations to Natalie Cook, who took out the Courage Award for her work with the Sammy D Foundation. The awards are very much about everyday heroes. The whole family attended, and it was a great experience for the children – especially to see other children being recognised for awards of bravery.
Matthew’s currently in Melbourne for another round of surgery. Unfortunately it’s not going to be his last, because scans revealed that his arms weren’t ready for the extensions (Kate-speak…it’s not really quite this simple). However, the good news is that his leg stumps have been completed. After seven hours of surgery on Saturday, Matthew is recovering well. We’re tag-teaming – Diane and Emily flew Matthew down last Friday, and returned on Sunday. Our Dad (Roy) flew down on Sunday and will be there until next week when I go down for a few days. Matthew says he’s feeling pretty good – better than he thought he would be feeling at this stage.
A week earlier, Matthew and the family had been guests of Cricket Australia on the first day of the Ashes test. Matthew is the co-manager of Ben and Will’s cricket team, and all three boys play cricket now. The interest is genetic. When we were little, Mum (Christine) and Dad used to take us to the cricket while growing up in Sydney, and day/nighters at the SCG in the days of Lillee, Border and Marsh formed the foundations of being lifelong cricket tragics. Matthew and Di often refer to the boys as LBW, and there’s no sign of the passion abating. Luke did not miss one ball all day.
In addition to Luke, Matthew was accompanied to the Gabba by Rachel, Mum, Dad, Diane, Emily, Ben, Will, and Jason (brother-in-law, being my husband). The boys in particular got to be part of the pre-match anthem ceremony and participate in the MILO in2CRICKET training session before the game. Emily managed to last the day (which was impressive for a three-year-old), and Matt, Di and the boys were able to meet the Australian cricket team, which was amazing. Even more special was the fact that Michael Clarke cleaned out his backpack and gave it to the boys to share. It’s difficult to express in words the appreciation we have for such generosity of time – the willingness of the team to share a moment with the boys is something we know LBW will never forget.
A really huge thanks to Cricket Australia and Sabrina de Palma for organising everything. It was a great experience.
Finally, today is International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), which is a “United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being” (http://www.idpwd.com.au/). Our experience has been overwhelmingly positive in terms of people’s spirit and willingness to help. In a future post, I’ll outline what Matthew’s been doing in the background to improve the way people with a disability are considered in terms of policy. He’s been quite busy, but there’s more to come in this space.
Until next time.