Ivy and Noah


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When charity really does start at home.

Yesterday I put up this photo  on my Facebook page:

with this status update:

This morning we told the kids that it would cost around $2000 to buy the pump for Ivy’s subcutaneous immunoglobulin
(Which our health fund should reimburse us for after purchase) and that things would be a little tighter for a while.
Instead of grumbling about how much they would miss out on they got a jar and then fished through their piggy banks to donate to the pump fund.
$24 so far.
It just goes to show you how amazingly giving and understanding kids can be.
P.S. I love my children.
What happened next was a cascade of amazing friends and family wanting to donate to the “pump fund”.
Can I just say here that the kindness and generosity of people leaves me in awe, every single day of my life.
That people want to help others, when I came from a father who was constantly telling me that
he ‘did it tough’, so I should have to as well and having lived like that
and struggling with accepting help from anybody,
it just blows me away.
Somehow it feels wrong to accept.
Tonight I have listened to all of the different perspectives, read a million offers of kindness and still I cannot wrap my head around it all.
Ivy will need a pump for her subcutaneous immunoglobulin.
The hospital will hire one out to us temporarily and supplies should cost around $90 to get her up and running.
We need to buy a pump, pay for it up front but our health insurance should reimburse us eventually.
Truth is, we don’t have that money right now.
In fact, after the last eight to  nine weeks of hospitalisation, we find ourselves in a very big financial hole
and it would be so easy to say yes, in some respects
but I don’t think I could
or should.
I honestly meant nothing more than to tell the world how proud I was of my kids.
A teacher at Ivy’s school suggested a trivia night and that is something that I could see as an opportunity to give something in return for the donation.
I thought if I could ask friends to donate goods and services that would be okay.
I would feel okay with that
and then one friend said  that if I saw a need and I could I would help (which is true)
and then another friend suggested giving the money raised to a charity, once we were reimbursed for the cost of Ivy’s pump,
which, when I thought about it is a fantastic idea.
Pumps for the subcutaneous program here in NSW are few.
What if I could raise money for more pumps, so more kids like Ivy, who don’t have health insurance, could then get onto the program.
That would be wonderful.
Pay it forward in some way.
I’m still not sure what I’m doing.
I’ve said yes to the trivia night
and people are already offering things as prizes and things for raffle.
Aside from thank you, I honestly don’t know what to say or how to express my gratitude.
Friends are asking their friends and once again, I get the feeling that we could achieve something remarkable, something extraordinary
but what do you think?
Would you donate your craftiness for a cause?
If you were in the position where you needed help and people were offering, would you?
I know when I started Team Ivy and asked for donations to the ward that Ivy stayed in you all did amazing things in only three months
but that was different – it was for someone else, a cause,
a way to help others.
This seems like a charity all too close to home.
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33 Responses to “When charity really does start at home.”

  • Melissa (42 comments.):

    I have nothing to offer but my love, prayers and money. It won’t be a large sum, but I think that a lot of little sums add up. I’m sorry if it’s not something you’re comfortable with though.

  • Bri:

    I know it is often difficult to accept help but if people are offering it means they want to do it. Some of us can’t drop a casserole around for your family or do the washing for your family when you are away with Ivy or whatever other little thing someone close by might be able to do to help ease the load. So we offer to contribute financially or by way of items for prizes or whatever. I am sure if we were in your situation you would want to help us and would do what you could to do so. Please let us show our love for you, Ivy and your family by allowing us to donate either time, money or some other item or service. Please consider putting pride away for just a moment and let love and graciousness take precedence so we can show how much we care.


  • Kelly:

    I think in times like these, you have to let people bless you and just say thanks. Make sure you pay it forward when you can. But that’s the joy of life, helping others and being blown away by generosity when people help you!

  • mary:

    Paying it forward is such a great idea, especially when some of the money will end up helping someone who would otherwise not be able to have the pump at all. And as Bri said, gives us far away a method of essentially bringing you a casserole or providing transportation for the Noah or the other kids or the many other things folks in the same area can do. I know that at our raffles and games things from overseas often are valued — is it true there? Please contact me and I’ll let you know where I am in the US and if something from here would be good.

  • Tricia (169 comments.):

    I am not in a position that I could give more than my prayers and encouragement right now but I am going to share some things I have learned through the years.

    There is a joy in giving that far surpasses that in receiving. Sometimes I have in the past refused offers of help and later learned how selfish and prideful that was of me.

    Especially now, I don’t think it is something you should refuse. Ivy needs it.

    And if you choose to donate the money that your insurance reimburses you later for a similar cause that would be OK. But for now, Ivy needs this.

    If you feel like turning it into a charity program and raising even more money, that would be grand. But that might also take energy that you do not currently possess with all of the long hospitalizations.

    Your babies, all of them, the healthy and the sick, need to have the opportunity to be amazed by the goodness of people so that they can grow up trusting in what is so hard for you to accept as truth: that people are generally good.

    In whatever you choose, take care of you and those babies and don’t worry about what others might think.

    As always, I am praying for you all.

  • Laura Smith:

    Ok, this may sound crazy, but if you will be using the Freedom 60 pump, I have an extra and will gladly send it to you. We are doing IVIG and it is just sitting in the box. :)

  • Jackie:

    I had to learn to accept help Tiff, I grew up with a father with the same mindset as yours. Allowing people to do something good in this World Tiff, this world needs that. I know that it’s different from donating blood – but I think it’s similar – you wouldn’t be accepting help for personal greed as this is a hand-up versus a hand-out.
    I think helping others fund pumps for Sub-cut is a wonderful idea. With Ivy’s Immunologist being one of the doctors who works very hard for approval of sub-cut for her patients in NSW; I believe that she would be very helpful in identifying families in need and IDFA could help facilitate such a fund and in turn connect sub-cut families and patients.
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend at home. X

  • debz:

    I would take the help, and I would give help any time I can. As you would, Tiff, everyone here knows that you would give the shirt off your back. Ivy needs help, and it is not your fault or hers. Take the help for your girl, pay it forward when you can. Who knows, perhaps she will be the brilliant scientist who cures PID (or the common cold!!) when she grows up healthy. You guys have had such a rough go lately. Accept some grace and let it help you recover.
    So sayeth Deb :)

  • AmyS (2 comments.):

    By you accepting charity, it is just one single aspect of you simply doing all that you can to help your family. I have no doubt that you will pay it forward – evidence already shown in the fact that your precious children immediately gave up their own money to help out their sister. While having a spirit of giving is a beautiful thing and a lesson that all parents should teach their children – so is humility and accepting charity with grace when necessary. Don’t be too proud to accept that which is being offered… never let be afraid to be humbled by the outpouring of love and support towards your family. Graciously accept it and simply continue to pay it forward as you have been all these years.

    It is a wonderful lesson to show your children that while you do help others whenever possible, there is no shame in accepting help when it is needed for yourself.

  • andiejaye (12 comments.):

    wow! laura smith’s comment above blows me away! am praying that it will work out for you that way. otherwise, i do make prints. i have one that i think would be perfect. if you’d like a few to raffle off, just let me know and i’ll mail them to you :)

    even though i’ve never met you and your family, and don’t comment much. i read every post and love you all so much. little ivy is a topic in our family often. my husband even asks how she’s doing.

    let me know dearest.

    hugs and prayers,
    andie jaye from 365

  • andiejaye (12 comments.):

    and an addition to mary’s comment above… if items from the US are a bonus, i’ll send whatever :)

  • Hall:

    All I can say is that if there was a donate button here, I’d push it. I wouldn’t be able to give a lot, but I would be grateful to do something to help with a situation that seems so hard.

  • Heather (4 comments.):

    It’s not easy to ask for money, especially when it feels like it’s for yourself. But what I’ve learned is that sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone is to give them the opportunity to help in a way that they are able to. In a pay-it-forward kind of way, be gracious, accept what others can do, and someday, pass it on! I love the raffle idea, and that the extra could go to helping other kids get a pump. Go for it, don’t think of it as charity, think of it as a way to help your little girl and hopefully someone else as well!

  • Watershedd (58 comments.):

    Tiff, if I was there I would pop round a help you do some aspect of housework while I could chat to you or take you out for a coffee os perhaps just a walk by the beach. At present, I can’t do any of that for any of the people I care for and whilst I don’t have much in the way of time or money, I can donate a small amount toward Ivy’s pump or some other cause in that name. The offer of the pump from Laura above is a gift – don’t be too proud, it’s about people caring about each other. From the perspective of someone who’s seeing the world though very harsh eyes, the softness I see here is a welcome relief. Ask, receive, share. Everyone will do what they can. Let us all know when and where to donate. My GOFA and I will give what we can. X

  • frogpondsrock (295 comments.):

    I will donate something. I have been making these platters that I really like and I have also started to make puzzle treasure boxes that are really earthy and fossily (I LOVE them)

    So Miss, when is the Trivia night. I need a date to have to work all ready and posted up to you.

  • Danielle (4 comments.):

    Thougts that from time to time we all need a little hand. We are a mother, daughter,son,child oopps a daddy.
    A friend even stranger .. But little Ivy is a princess , your family need help today and tomorrow it may be one of us.. Life with a dick child is a constant .. Open an account in trust for ivy and this will not be your only need.. Your local bank can help with that tell them her story… It is my belief Tiffany that you would do the same for us if we asked .. Let’s get this pump .. People could auction on your page on Facebook bids last 24hrs then they pay it posted .. Love and you know with a face like your princess who wouldn’t want to help see that face shine .. Dan xxo

  • Rachel:

    If Keira.lee needed a pump, I know you would help in every way you could, or any of our children.
    So yes I am definately going to help in any way I can also. (last wkend of may I have my brother 30th.. Pls
    Let it not be this time lol).
    I can see ivy getting her pump and for sure pumps for the hospital could be on the cards too.
    When we first realized we needed help a couple yes ago, a friend said to me…. You have given your heart, your time, your experience, your own short change to many in the community, from swimming club to friends in need…….. It’s now your turn, what goes around, comes around! And it was true.m
    So tiff n family, it’s your turn! Let people help, show their generosity n support in any way they can.
    I have had offers of donation already n people wanting to come too. This will be fabulous!

  • tiffany day (17 comments.):

    Oh Tiff – I am adding my donation from here – praying all the money raised multiplies for more pumps!

    Its hard to accept help but its a human need to give AND to receive — I have been on the receiving end lately of so much and its hard, so i am learning to just its ok for now and my time to give will come – back and forth – around and to the side – over under – if it all keeps going – it will make the world better!!

    thinking of you often – hoping we can connect more soon!

  • Karan:

    Tiff, you are not asking for money or accepting charity. You would be accepting a gift for Ivy. A girl can have only so many stuffed toys , balloons that go down or flowers that die and get chucked out. It may only be $2 or 5 or as much a friend wants to give her but its all a drop in the bucket that will fill it. Most of us can’t drop buy with a care package or don’t know what to give. We give because we want to. KNOWING that you would do the same for any of us if you were able to do it is the SAME as having the opportunity to do it. Giving not only helps Ivy but it makes us feel good about ourselves too.
    Save the trivia night idea for another rainy day as it will be weeks/ months to get a lot together. Gives us time to get crafty etc. Maybe an online auction to bid on goodies in case some can’t make it to a night. It feels like going the long way around when the solution is already at hand. Group message us your BSB and account details and wait for the surprises. Even when your health fund reimburses you, put that aside. Don’t feel compelled to pay it forward straight away. There may be something else to make Ivy’s recovery easier. The chance to pay it forward will come when its time. xoxo

  • Karen:

    Hi tiff
    I think it is a good idea but just be careful when claiming back on your health fund when the money raised was from a fundraising event.
    I think you should have the fundraising event purchase your pump and keep the rest of the money raised to help you in any other way just don’t claim back through the health fund
    Have a ivy night all funds to your family
    If you need help let me know as I am happy to help
    Good luck with it and I am sure you will have lots of support

  • I have been thinking about this post all morning, wondering what I could say to help you understand how much helping means to us. Here goes –

    I understand how difficult it must be to consider accepting help, especially financial help, from others, but consider the situation from our perspective.

    You give us so much Tiffany. You invite us into your family circle, into your life with no expectation of getting something in return. You share your thoughts and feelings here on your blog, your little corner of the internet, and you make it possible for us to get a glimpse of a family that is doing it tough with such grace and generosity and strength in the face of adversity that you, all of you, are an inspiration.

    You remind us that we have so much to be grateful, not just our health, but our own families and the small joys that are part of everyday life, tangled admidst the busyness and appointments and homework and financial concerns. You remind us that there can be joy in small gestures of kindness, in hugs, in focusing on special moments and memories. This is a gift you give to us.

    You share your photos – artworks of beauty and insight. I am struck anew with each photo at how well you capture the personality of your subject and that ‘something’ that captures the mood of the moment. Your photos aren’t just random happy snaps, they are special moments frozen in time. You have a gift and we are grateful that it is one you share with us.

    As we watch you face the many challenges that come your way, we feel powerless. We can’t make Ivy better. We can’t force doctors and hospitals to make decisions and see Ivy as a person and not just a number on a medical chart. We can’t be there to hug you in the middle of the night as you sit watching a monitor or listening to Ivy’s laboured breathing. We can send meals and words of comfort and encouragement, but it seems like so little in the face of the big challenges you have to deal with. We can visit, but it seems like so little when you don’t have the same option that we do to leave that hospital room at will.

    Now there is an opportunity for us to repay you for the kindness you show to us. To do something for you and your family that will help us to feel that we are giving back to you in return. Please allow us to help you. We love you and Ivy and your gorgeous family. We want to help. We need to help. We are not being co-erced or guilted into this. After all that you have given to us, we want to feel that we can give to you as well.

    Love to you all Tiffany. Sending cyber hugs your way and looking forward to seeing you again soon so that I can give you a real hug. xxxx

  • Mum:

    What goes around comes around. Yes. So now it’s your turn!

    Team Ivy has raised funds for JHH, you & Ivy have found the time to represent the Aust. Red Cross in their campaign for blood donations and in so many other personal ways you have always given of yourself whenever you could. So the universe has seen fit to give something back through the generosity of others.

    Accept gracefully, this does not mean that you, the family or Ivy are charity cases. Lots of great ideas here to choose from and there will always be a way to repay in kind, if that’s what you feel you need to do. xoxo

  • Michelle:

    I would donate/contribute without blinking. You’re not standing there with your hand out to buy fancy baubles — you’re looking to improve your daughter’s quality of life. It’s so clear to me from reading your blog for the last year or so that you give so much to so many.

    There are many things we *can* do in this life without help, but it doesn’t mean we must.

    I have every confidence that whatever is done for you you’ll pay forward in some way one day when you can.

    And you know what — even if you didn’t, I’d give. Because it’s the right thing to do.

  • Melissa @ Bright Side up (5 comments.):

    This is a great opportunity to get Ivy the help she needs, but also benefit others, as you said. If you are having trouble accepting people’s generosity, just think of what a great feeling they are getting from donating to help Ivy. You have invited us into your world, and we love being a part of it. No matter how far away we are. Let us look after you for a change.

  • Dianne Nunn (38 comments.):

    Tiff, if I can donate a small piece of my art/craft work I would consider it a privilege.

    Others have said what you need to hear.

    Email me if I can send something for the raffle or trivia night or some other purpose.

    best wishes. Dianne

  • Tiff (118 comments.):

    Thank you everyone very much. There are some really wonderful comments here and I am so grateful for all of them. Thank you to everyone who has offered things that we can use in the trivia night. My email is tigga_m@hotmail.com if you wouldn’t mind emailing me, I will send you an address to post things. If you have a website or a business card, could you let me know so that I can give you the worlds biggest shout out. I wanted to let you know that there is a point of donation here too: http://mylittledrummerboys.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/ivys-immune-deficiency.html you can contact Trish (her email is under her about me page) for password. Please, don’t feel obliged at all and please, no emails telling me what an awful person I am for accepting. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I will pay it forward, in more pumps for the hospital.

  • Tiff (118 comments.):


    I wanted to thank you very much for your kind offer. Unfortunately the pump that Westmead hospital uses is different but thank you. I know the expense of these machines and for you to be happy to give yours away for Ivy means a lot.

  • river (194 comments.):

    “…..struggling with accepting help……Somehow it feels wrong to accept….”

    I’ve been this way all my life too, yet I find it so very easy to offer and give help to others.
    I’m gradually learning that accepting help doesn’t mean I’m a failure.

  • Lise:

    You have no idea the relief it is to be able to finally HELP in some way. I was excited to read the other day that Ivy has a new treatment option, and to help that happen in some small way is a privilege.

  • Claireyhewitt (9 comments.):

    $2000 is lots of money for one family.

    But Tiff, a few dollars here and there for people will add up really quickly. Maybe the donations could go into a Facebook page auction so that we can all be part of buying them and it will be fun for lots of us. Or maybe even both,your trivia night and an auction, because maybe the school really want to help and be involved too.

    If/when you get the money back from the health fund, I am guessing there will be another item/bill to pay so I don’t think you should feel stressed to ‘pass on the goodwill’ so much…just yet. That can happen in time as I am sure you already do more for people than you realise.

    And believe me, people won’t donate if they don’t want to, if it doesn’t make them feel good…but it does, it makes us feel helpful and part of a solution and that makes us feel positive.

    As for the angry people, if they even pop their heads up, just forward their emails to me, I shall happily be the email door bitch on this one and respond appropriately to any of their comments.

  • Jess (18 comments.):

    Oh I wish I could donate but we are just can’t at the moment.
    Not that I really have anything worth giving anyway, but I wish I could.

    Don’t feel bad Tiff. It makes others feel better to help you out. Xxx

  • Abby:

    A little bit times a bunch of people can mean a lot of help.
    I can only help a little, but I found your blog (don’t remember how) a while ago and can’t help but have a heart for your Ivy.
    I work with a family who have 4 kids, 3 of which have had significant medical needs, but they are fortunate and have a lot of resources. I often wonder what their lives would be like if their resources were more like a normal family, and what that added stress would do to them. If my little bit can help ease your family’s stress, and if that pump can keep Ivy healthy and at home with the whole family, how could I say no?

  • Jodie (2 comments.):

    I have watched my nephew go through so much in his 10 years and how it has affected my brother and I can understand a little how hard it is. I would love to donate something to your Trivia night for a prize. Please email me as I would love to do this little bit for you.

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