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The mother of three says job for children with disability: Tell them what they did can and they blossom open

Antwerp Doordenkers and go-getters, knuffelaars. These are some of the talents that Hilde Guedens (44) and her husband Peter Vervoort (46) discover that childre

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The mother of three says job for children with disability: Tell them what they did can and they blossom open
Antwerp Doordenkers and go-getters, knuffelaars. These are some of the talents that Hilde Guedens (44) and her husband Peter Vervoort (46) discover that children with a disability. Two of their children contend itself with a serious limitation. “And yet, they are ‘happy kids’. Tell them what they do, and they bloom open.”

As Hilde and Peter during a holiday in the USA together with their three children, Julie (13), Daan (13) and Mila (10) over the Grand Canyon in Arizona watch out, they realize: it is stráf that we have here. “Mila is suffering from a bone disease with chronic pain and dwarfism which makes them a lot less mobile,” says Hilde. “Daan has multiple disabilities, both physically and mentally. Just to say that the trip to Arizona for us, far from obvious.”

There, with the Grand Canyon at their feet, decide Peter and Hilde that they want to do more for children with disabilities. And not only for those of them. “Despite all the restrictions, the hospital visits, rehabilitation, endless therapies with the physiotherapist and speech therapist, we have happy kids. Mila underwent major operations, but every day singing. Also Daan and twin sister Julie are really happy. That they perhaps because we keep them encourage to go in search of their talents, to everything that they happy are, where they are energy. We want other children and their families to help.”

Job cancelled

And so let Hilde her job for what it was and she started the vzw Goudhaantjes. “For those children with a chronic illness or disability, piece for piece: goudhaantjes”, says Hilde. “Together with their parents, brothers and sisters, we are going to look at what they do, what their talents are. We let them see how they can sparkle and inspire.”

The talents to be sought in what the vzw Goudhaantjes ‘fonkeldagen’ calls. “This is the start of a journey that does not revolve around the care or restrictions, but around what is possible and where the entire family can enjoy. “Also the parents, brothers and sisters get talents behind their name. Sister, Arwen, was of Hint Rune to hear that she is quite smart. Even though Arwen herself that she was in her study every time her own boundaries. She was speechless. Mommy Martine brought tears to the eyes after this unexpected recognition of her son.”

“During our first meeting, we learned the ten-year-old Kobe know”, says Hilde. “He has a motor disability. His friends go to play football, but he can't. During the workshop, was that he, despite everything, do have a go-getter. That talent, go-getter, it means a lot since then for him. On the umpteenth visit to the physiotherapist of the week, he says now: "I am a go-getter’. Children draw much strength from.”

Music for life

The importance of Goudhaantjes also underlines Stijn Verhulst, head of the department of UZ Antwerp. “It is my philosophy and that of our service that we try to ensure that the care does not stop at the ziekenhuismuren,” says Verhulst. “That's about different initiatives: scientific research, revalidatietrajecten, the setting up of a Kinderraad which advises us how we care for our patients are better able to organize, but also the support of for example Goudhaantjes. They have a nice program built to chronically ill children in the spotlight. Therefore, we have also a part of our Music for Life activities on this non-dedicated.”

“We have seen how important that is, even at our son Daan”, says Peter. “He can sometimes be a little lazy. Since he helped with the organizing of a fonkeldag he is every day at 6.30 pm and covers he the table. That little responsibility, that little bit of recognition for what he can, embraces each and every day. That is so beautiful to see. And there is also to make the world a better place, child by child.”

Who is the vzw Goudhaantjes want to support all of the information on www.goudhaantjes.be.

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