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  Annual Report 2009

Annual Report 2009

I must open by apologising for the lateness of this Annual Report which is usually published around July. Circumstances beyond our control did not allow us to provide this timely but here it is and we expect to be able to publish 2010's Report much earlier next year.

As such, 2009 seems like such a long time ago but we are pleased to report that during the year in question, The Trust disbursed $184,200 in aid to our special children. The Wheelchair Clinics which we hosted and subsidised comprised our largest spend followed by our pamper drive and this is indicative of the fact that these needs are huge. The Clinics impacted greatly on improved positioning for the children which allows them to be comfortable enough to spend more time in their chairs thereby reducing the possibility of further physical problems arising such as worsening scoliosis, shortened tendons and deformed hips all of which will require orthopaedic surgeries "down the road". Pampers are an expensive necessity and even though we can only provide one case per month to each child, this I know is a tremendous financial ease on the parents of these children. We hope one day to be able to provide a full month's supply of pampers for all of the children.

The remaining disbursements speak for themselves and I am pleased to advise that Brianna Skeete who is the recipient of the largest school fees expenditure, visited with me recently and her improvement is tremendous. This little girl's mobility as well as her speech and fine motor skills are testimony to the fact that with the means to give these children what they need in terms of education and/or therapy, they have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The Because of Jenna Trust continues to work hard at its annual fundraising efforts and through increased awareness and understanding of our work, we are pleased to report that support of our cause has continued to grow. Towards the end of 2009, the Maria Holder Memorial Trust pledged a substantial sum for which we are most grateful and which will allow the Trust to funds certain special projects. To all of you who continue to support us at our annual Valentines Ball, Golf Tournament and through Covenants and donations, we thank you on behalf of the children.

In closing, I will share a note which I received earlier this year from the Mother of a severely brain-injured child whom I have known now for the past 3 years. Little Justina became ill and was taken to hospital with pneumonia when she was a normal 4-year old. Due to something going very wrong while in hospital, Justina was starved of oxygen for a period of time and is now severely brain-injured, almost vegetative. This is what Andrea, her Mother, wrote to me and in reading this I think you will better understand the challenges which these children and their parents face and how each and everyone of you are making a difference in their lives:

"February 4th, 2010
Dear Anna,
It's been a while we have not spoke. I got your number from Yvonne at the Center. I need some help for Justina. I'll just give you a list of the things I need and you can let me know what you can help me with. Dr St. John at the hospital wants to change Justina's G-tube to a button and she is telling me that I have to pay for it but I do not have the money. I barely have the money to pay for the medical supplies that I order from Island Medical, right now I owe them fifteen hundred dollars and change. As soon as I pay off something I have to get something else and it is getting harder. Sorry I am straying, anyway I need the G-tube for her, suction catheters size 10 or 12, suction canisters and tubing, gloves, gauzes, 60 cc syringes, pedisures, saline solution, trach collars, trach masks. These are the most important one. Please let me know what you can help me with as soon as possible. Thank you."

The Trust paid off Island Medical's outstanding invoices and for Justina's G-tube button. Most parents daily meet the needs of their children such as food and clothing, books and toys and yes, some medical supplies but few, if any, truly understand a list of needs such as decribed in Andrea's note above. Thank you for making it possible for the Because of Jenna Trust to meet her needs and the needs of the many other brain-injured children on this island.

With kind personal regards and all good wishes to you and yours for Christmas and the New Year......

Anna Clarke
Trustee


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