Through a grant from Te Karaka Foundation to help purchase telescope and camera equipment, one donor has made dreams come true for a young New Plymouth man with partial paralysis, vision loss and epilepsy due to a stroke in utero.
“We had a significant shortfall from our fundraising and I thought Chad wasn’t going to be able to realise his dream and then Te Karaka stepped in,” says Mum Sandy Campbell.
“My life has been on hold and now it feels like it is just starting,” says 18-year-old Chad Campbell who recently received the new astronomy and camera equipment.
“I’ve always been interested in astronomy and astrophotography and hope to make this my career,” says Chad.
Chad is a hands on, visual leaner and completes his schooling via correspondence. Due to his disabilities many mainstream learning and career options are not available to him.
“The grant to purchase this specialist equipment has allowed Chad to carry on learning and one day become self- sufficient,” says Mum Sandy.
“The generosity and vision of our donors is incredible and we know the impact of grants like this can be transformative,” says Te Karaka Chair Ken Horner.
“Seeing the enthusiasm and anticipation on Chad’s face when he unpacked the equipment has been amazing, his whole physical demeanour has changed – it makes it all worthwhile,” says Sandy.
Chad already spends time with the New Plymouth Astronomical Society, including recently catering for their working bees. This equipment opens up more opportunities and connections with other like-minded people.
“There are astronomical camps and all sorts of opportunities available to Chad now – it’s great that the door has been opened and now he just needs to walk through it,” says Sandy.
Sandy is Chad’s biggest supporter and says: “Once a child finds their niche, grab it with both hands and go to all possible lengths to help make it happen. If you believe in them, gradually they begin believing in themselves and that in itself is life changing all-around.”