Turning 30

Erin is a mom, wife and avid writer and was diagnosed with Carney Triad at just 27 years of age. Here is her perspective on turning 30…

The Cancer Aspect



A good friend of mine asked me what it felt like to turn 30. This is what I wrote:

30 Years…

Time is such a fickle thing. We rush around doing our daily routines often wishing there were more hours to the day. In the same breath, we wish the week would hurry up so that we can enjoy a weekend or get a paycheck all the sooner.  As children, we wish to be older to enjoy the adult things. As adults, we wish that we were yet children to enjoy the child-like things. So when I faced my 30th birthday – all but seven months ago – I looked back on past chapters of my life and pondered on what time has given me thus far.

I first made the mistake of comparing myself to friends that were also 30. At a glance, they seemed to have…

View original post 432 more words

The Human Spirit

Recently I was drawn to two articles in the media and in particular the first which featured on ABC Australian Story this month ‘Cracking The Code’: http://www.abc.net.au/austory/specials/crackingthecode/default.htm.

Stephen and Sally Damiani’s first born baby son Massimo had a type of Leukodystrophy, the only problem was this was an uncategorised form, and most cases are genetic. This lead the father Stephen on a pain-staking long journey to delve further into human genomes, and to map his genome and his wife’s. With the help of a Genetic Scientist here in Australia, after four very long years this lead to a most remarkable discovery.

This story is a case of a father’s undying love for his son, his wife and his quest to find answers, a diagnosis and potential treatment for his son and other children. An amazing breakthrough which may just change how people are treated for many other types of diseases in the future.

For more information go to Mission Massimo Foundation


Australian Leukodystrophy Support Group Melbourne


‘4 in 3’ The Mason Minniss Fund


The next story hits home in a big way, especially when it is a disease that claimed your child’s life!

Evander was just one day old when he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. Six months of Chemotherapy shrank the tumour, but there was damage to his spinal cord, now Evander is likely to be a paraplegic. His family have set up a fund to allow donations to continue to provide equipment and therapies for Evander and other children. His family are continuing other forms of intensive physiotherapy like ‘Locomotor Training’ as Evander also has a spinal cord injury but does not qualify for the government’s ‘Better Start Initiative.’


Both of these families highlight my catch phrase which is ‘ordinary people doing extraordinary things’. They have pushed the boundaries with their hope, spirit, courage and persistence as they continue their journeys to find better outcomes for their children.



Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day October 15th


I fell pregnant during Luke’s treatment in 1998. It was a normal pregnancy, but having a sick son to deal with certainly kept me occupied.

It was during my second trimester, that things went pear-shaped. Luke was undergoing some tests at the hospital, when I mentioned to his nurses that I hadn’t felt any movement!

They sent me off for an ultrasound and I was shocked by the news. Our baby had no heart beat…I had suffered a stillbirth at 26 weeks gestation.

Unfortunately I needed to be induced so that I could go through labour and deliver the baby.

My obstetrician was able to induce me at the hospital and some hours later on 02/09/1998…Cody Alan came into and subsequently left this earth.

There was no fanfare, just alot of sadness and grief that out little son never had the opportunity to open his eyes and meet us. Nor…

View original post 78 more words

Fundraising for a Cause

This Sunday my daughter Tayla and I, along with a dear old friend and her hubby and kids will join us for our second

Sunday Mail City to Bay Fun Run. Last year Team Spirit raised $1400.00 for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation.

This year our goal is $2000.00 and we are slowly reaching our target.

The funds raised will aid the Paediatric Palliative care Service and help with their ongoing projects in supporting children with life-limiting illness.

If you would like to donate to our cause here is the link: https://city-bay2013.everydayhero.com/au/team-spirit

Last weekend an article featured in the Sunday Mail here is the link to that story as well: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/south-australia/adelaide-mother-jackie-barreau-taking-part-in-sunday-mail-citybay-fun-run-to-raise-money-for-women8217s-and-children8217s-hospital/story-fnii5yv4-1226714396645


The Soul Project

TSP banner

The Soul Project  will be a collection of stories and poems written by other bereaved parents that have also suffered the loss of a child through illness, stillbirth, neonatal loss and early pregnancy loss.This will culminate in the Women’s and Children’s Paediatric Palliative Care Service (PPCS) 15th year of service. This book needs contributors for it to go ahead.

I will be on the look out for Beta Readers and other input for the book as well. The title of the book is yet to be decided.

*NB This book will be focusing on bereaved parents whose children have been patients or the families have received support from the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide.

If you would like to find out more please sign up below to keep in the loop. Or you can email me direct jackie_barreau@live.com.au for more information on the submission process.

Shattering the silence on stillbirth

Return to Zero is a new feature film produced by Sean Hanish (writer/director/producer) and is based on his own experience of stillbirth after his wife lost their baby son in 2005. The story centres around a successful couple whose baby dies just weeks before the due date.

The movie’s cast includes Minnie Driver, as mum Maggie, and dad Aaron is played by Paul Adelstein. In the US alone over 36,000 stillbirths occur each year, and it seems according to Hanish its time to break the silence on stillbirth! Currently it has been shown at movie festivals and Hanish is currently looking for a distributor for the film.

A strong presence via social media including twitter https://twitter.com/return2zerofilm and facebook https://www.facebook.com/returntozerofilm is spreading a strong message to Hollywood. Through it’s Local Leaders around the world this movie indeed is the platform and there is an audience ready to support and view it.

For more information on the film click on the link below:



*As reported in 2011 via http://www.news.com.au more than 2000 stillbirths occur in Australia every year and the rate is more than 50 per cent higher for indigenous Australians than non-indigenous, latest research shows.

Around the world between 2.1 to 3.6 million stillbirths occur every year, 98 per cent of them in developing countries. There are more stillbirths than children killed by AIDS and malaria combined.


Gillard Govt slashes federal funding for palliative care services

This makes my blood boil…I don’t like to get caught up in politics but on this occassion I need to vent! Thanks to The Gillard Govt who have literally slashed funding of $1.6 billion to public hospital services this financial year. The $500 million worth of funding to the Palliative Care Program is due to expire at the end of June. Do these pollies have any idea just how this will affect families & more importantly patients. We are an ageing population, these services are a necessity, just remember there are children that also have terminal illnesses & need support through these services and organisations….what a bloody disgrace!

As a bereaved parent/carer, I know I speak for literally thousands of families that would be lost without these services.



What do you think, do you have a family member currently receiving palliative care, and how would you manage without this fundamental right as a human, to die with dignity and with the right support and services in place?