Elena’s story shows how Elena’s mum, Leona was able to access financial support through the Family Fund to buy a washer dryer and outdoor play equipment. This helped improve the day-to-day quality of life they as a family were able to experience.
Elena is two years old, and lives in Dundee with her family. “Elena has got Down’s Syndrome as well as a congenital heart defect, so she is two years old and can’t stand or walk by herself at all,” explains her mum, Leona.
Her heart condition puts her at risk of infections, if she gets ill it can affect her heart. She gets things like colds really easily and they will last a long time because of her weak immune system.
Family Fund is a really great charity that provides things that families are in great need of. The application process is so much easier than other ones too, which is nice, because I have found some applications to be very stressful.
We found out about Family Fund through a Down’s Syndrome Facebook group, and the first thing we applied for was a washer dryer. My daughter has bad reflux, so she is sick several times a day, and we always have to put on a lot of washing. We don’t have room for both a tumble dryer and a washing machine, so a washer dryer was a good solution to get bed sheets, and other things that we need, cleaned and dried.
Our most recent Family Fund grant was for a swing and a slide. I used to take Elena to the park quite a lot, but I would always have to take cleaning wipes and clean everything in case there was a risk of infection, and taking her to the park was hard because she finds it very uncomfortable being in her pram. Now she has got her own swing and slide, so she can just go outside and be out on that every day.
We definitely wouldn’t have been able to afford a washer dryer or play equipment by ourselves. It would have been impossible to get the garden equipment, and we would still have to travel to the nearest park and use my cleaning wipes to try and protect her. The washing machine is something that I needed, so I imagine I would have had to try and borrow some money from somewhere.