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Lisa Pearce is a lovely woman who has been coming to scosa for years at our West Croydon Hub. Lisa was born with congenital toxoplasmosis, a disease that occurs when the fetus is infected with a parasite that is transmitted from the mother during pregnancy. She is 44, lives with intellectual disability and is non-verbal, however she has a constant smile on her face and is a very social person.
Lisa lives with her mother, Heather and father, Doug at Flinders Park and she has three sisters, Michelle, Tracey and Angela.
We asked Lisa why she liked coming to scosa, and immediately her face lit up and she articulated, through hand movements and facial expressions, that seeing all her friends was the best things about scosa. Then she pointed at Sogna and it was very clear that they are best friends who love doing everything together.
Best friends at scosa, Sogna and Lisa
Lisa then went on to communicate, together with help from Heather, that her favourite activity was Pub Lunch, which takes place every Friday at the Challa Gardens Hotel. Heather said, “Often the group will go for a drive down to the beach before heading to the pub. She really enjoys fish and chips, but she now has a lot of difficulty swallowing, so the chips have been replaced by veggies.”
Lisa then reminded her mum Heather that she also loved Wednesdays at scosa, as the theme for the day is arts and craft, and she loves to paint. scosa’s Team Leader at West Croydon, Sharon Bain, noted “For people who have trouble communicating, art can be so important in terms of encouraging creativity and self expression. We have a fantastic art therapist, Chrissy, who joins us each Wednesday and Lisa and many other participants love working with her.”
Heather then asked Lisa what she liked doing on Thursdays, and she responded with another of her heart warming smiles and gestured to the church across the road, where on most Thursdays Lisa and some of her scosa friends join up with members of the local community for Friendship Group over morning tea.
Learning is also an important part of our activities program at scosa and Lisa was keen to point out that she really enjoyed learning how to cook spaghetti and vegetable bakes during the recent cooler winter period. She also highlighted that she really enjoys using the iPad and exploring the different opportunities that this provides.
As a mother, Heather also highlighted another side of scosa that is sometimes overlooked. “To be honest, scosa is as important to me as it is to Lisa. It provides me with vital respite time, as I am essentially her full time carer, while my husband Doug is also not in the greatest of health. Just like Lisa loves catching up with friends, having some time to myself means that I too can have lunch with my friends or sometimes, I simply need some time alone for my own wellbeing. This wouldn’t be possible without scosa.”
We are so grateful for the support that scosa has provided to our family over a long period of time. It has been life changing for all of us.
As you think about how you can make a difference this Christmas, we would like to kindly encourage you to make a donation to scosa, so that they can continue to help many hundreds of families like ours in South Australia.
The Pearce Family
Lisa and her mother Heather
We invite you to make a tax deductible donation to support our life changing services at scosa.