What matters…

Last year our friends the MacDonalds visited us in Australia for a week. It was lovely to have them over and we were very touched by how protective the two elder sisters were of Michael, their wonderful and courageous younger brother who was born with a congenital brain injury.

It also made me realise something – we had moved to Australia with the attitude that we wanted to get back to basics, reconnect with nature and focus on the family. We felt that Singapore was just too materialistic, bratty and urbanised a place to bring up the children in.

But the MacDonalds came over and reminded us that it’s not so much where you are but what you put in that matters. Gillian quit her job and homeschooled the children for years. Colin is one of the most hands on dads I know.  They have amazing children who respect their heritage, do Irish dancing and compete in rugby, care for each other and are equally comfortable speaking Chinese, Singlish or Irish-accented english. I would give part of my kidney if my kids were to turn out like theirs have!

Now they are are raising funds for the Downs Syndrome Association of Singapore by participating the Singapore Army Biathalon and I do hope that you’ll support them if you can in any way. The link to contribute is https://www.give.sg/TeamGIVE/GillianMacD/gillians-swim-and-run-for-downs

Gillian’s message:

When our son was born, we were informed that he had sustained a congenital brain injury. The doctors were unable to commit as to whether he would eventually be able to walk, talk, or advise as to the extent of his cognitive abilities. Through the early intervention of dedicated therapists, the unfailing determination of our remarkable little boy in facing innumerable hours of hard work and challenges, and with the grace of God, Michael is today not only walking and talking, but swimming, running, cycling, attending mainstream school and, like any other 8 year old boy, keeping his two amazingly protective yet exacting older sisters always on their toes with his spirited humour.

Throughout these years, we have been blessed with “angels” to help and guide us along the way. And throughout, running, and in more recent years swimming, has been a constant in my life in maintaining equilibrium. With the passing of years however, it is now time for me to take up something kinder to the creaking body like………yoga??! But before I do, I will be participating in the Singapore Army Biathlon (1.5km swim in the sea followed by a 10km run) for the final time on 3rd March 2012 and would very much like to pay it forward and raise funds for the Down Syndrome Association of Singapore so that other families whose children are born with a brain injury may receive the support and resources to help their child.

I hope you will support me in my bid.

– Gillian Macdonald



The MacDs at the Enchanted Maze at Arthurs Seat



Michael sure loved dismantling my car….



Irish funny races




One thought on “What matters…

  1. Gillian – I applaud you! A truly inspiring read – What an amazing family you have godbless you all and I would love to sponsor you :-)) hope to see you soon.

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