Kristine & Maree
NDIS customer and her Mother/Carer
I always tell people that we ‘fell’ into becoming parents.
In August 2001, I attended an information session about providing weekend respite for children in need. My husband and I planned to start a family and just a few short months later we found ourselves full time parents caring for not one, but two children, both with special needs. It quickly became evident that we were meant to be together, and that this caring commitment would be for life. We decided together that this was the family we were meant to have. Our daughter was then 8 years old, but her intellectual functioning was much lower. As she grew older, this remained.
My daughter, Kristine, is now 28, and whilst intellectually she functions much younger, her emotional development and life experience has allowed for a recent increase in understanding of self-worth and self-image. She now works part time in assisted employment and is surrounded by peers who often discuss appearance. Over the years she has seen me struggle with weight management and its resulting health effects.
Last year I had a health ‘wake-up call’ and began a slow journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
Suffering from type 2 diabetes and a congenital heart condition, I knew I had to start doing ‘life’ differently if I was going to be around to help her transition into adulthood. Attending fitness sessions, I made the decision to be the best role model I could. Now struggling with weight management herself, during Sydney’s recent lockdown, Kristine and I found ourselves home together 24/7. I was presented with an unexpected and unique opportunity to help her start a healthy eating plan and the opportunity to enrol her in online fitness sessions with a wonderful organisation who assist young people with special needs.
Prior to lockdown I was always on the go. I have a full-time job in the Public Service, I’m a private Singing Teacher and a working Performer. Kristine would attend my gigs at local clubs, with her support worker, dancing and proudly pointing at me onstage, often to complete strangers! But I’m not ashamed to admit that our relationship could have been stronger, but time just never seemed to be enough.
Then Covid changed all that. We started walking every day together, bringing us closer and allowing me to understand her on a different level. Not being able to read and write, I wondered what indoor activities I could do to help fill her days. Believe it or not, I rediscovered the joy of colouring in. It was something she could do while sitting with me at the table as I worked online, or we could do together. What about Online shopping you say? We did that too! She even made her first ever online purchase – a pair of purple ‘roller skate’ pattern tights that she won’t take off!
I am proud to say that Lite n’ Easy is one of the tools I have used many times over the years to demonstrate healthy eating and lifestyle.
I began again recently and was delighted to discover that Lite n’ Easy is now aligned with the NDIS. This wonderful discount means Kristine will be able to afford to do the program alongside me. We honestly love the food you provide. It is so convenient, educational, and tasty. I really enjoy the dinners, especially the Beef Stroganoff, whilst Kristine loves the Asian style lunch options.
I won’t lie, there’s been a lot of tough days, months and even years. This December we will be celebrating 20 years together as a family. Lite n’ Easy is a wonderful choice to help our journey towards a healthy lifestyle, and Kristine asking me to be her mum has truly changed our lives.
*Individual results may vary