The Story Behind Cards for Bravery
Hi everyone! My name is Katie, I’m 21 years old and I am the founder of Cards for Bravery.
I have a number of debilitating chronic illnesses including a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), meaning I spent a large majority of my childhood in hospital as well as continuing to have many other hospital stays.
My conditions have a huge impact on my daily life. I struggle with a range of symptoms including frequent joint dislocations, chronic pain and chronic fatigue. As I mentioned previously, I have other conditions along with my EDS, including a condition called Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction. This is a condition that affects my stomach and bowels and the condition that affects me the most. Because of this, my stomach and bowels don’t work properly and I’m not able to digest/absorb what I eat or drink. It causes me horrible daily symptoms, and I have to rely on a line to receive nutrition via my bloodstream (called Total Parental Nutrition).
Despite having these conditions, I try my best to have a positive outlook and Cards for Bravery is something I can be truly passionate about!
Cards for Bravery was founded in May 2015 during a four-month-long hospital stay when I was just 13 years old. I was having a difficult time and one day I received a card from a friend which helped to brighten my day and made me smile. After a lot of thinking and a long talk with the head play specialist at my hospital, I decided I wanted to start making positive handmade cards for other hospitalised and seriously ill children. I had been wanting to do something to help other unwell children for a while and this just seemed like the perfect idea. From then on, I started my journey of creating Cards for Bravery to brighten the days of other hospitalised and seriously ill children and young people in a similar situation as mine.
I understand how difficult it is to be a kid or young person in hospital especially for long periods of time as you can often feel isolated, forgotten, lonely or scared as the world goes by and you are missing out on most things other children would take for granted such as going to school or hanging out with friends.
A handmade card is something so simple yet can help an unwell child feel positive, happy and remain strong as well as really brighten their day and remind them someone is thinking of them! We are starting new projects all the time. Most recently we have started organising Activity Packs for hospitalised children and teens. We have distributed thousands of cards and every day it makes me so happy that I can make a difference to thousands of hospitalised and seriously ill children and young people.
I am always amazed by the massive amount of help and support I get from the public for this organisation - we would not be able to run Cards for Bravery without your support! Together, we can and will make a difference to hospitalised and seriously ill children.