A Tale of 4 Children and the Hummingbird House

hummingbird house
Photo credit: hummingbirdhouse.org.au

Through the years, Hummingbird House in Chermside has helped hundreds of children with life-limiting conditions. Read all about four children whose lives have been touched and their families helped through their stay at the Hummingbird House.


Barely two years old when diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, Clara is a little fighter who underwent months of rigorous treatments and tests. When her family learned that her cancer was palliative, they went to stay at Hummingbird House, where they spent her final days and had some quality family time that will be cherished forever. 


The van der Giessen family (Photo supplied)

Jack was diagnosed with Anencephaly, a neural tube defect, and passed shortly after being born. His parents, David and Elizabeth van der Giessen were referred to the hospice, which provided the family with care, compassion, and support when they needed it the most.

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Johnny was diagnosed with Vanishing White Matter Leukodystrophy, a rare genetic disease that affected his motor and cognitive function. The hospice is a very special place for Johnny, because it’s where he can be most free and be himself. He gets to enjoy his art therapy and music therapy at the hospice, helping him develop the skills he loves.

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McKenzie was a 14-year-old sassy little soul, who suffered from a rare movement disorder caused by a mutated gene known as GNA01. In 2015, she was the seventh person to be diagnosed with GNA01 in the world.

McKenzie spent her last five years at the hospice, where she loved the arts and crafts, the music therapy, the hydrotherapy, discos in the pool, parties, and simply watching the sunsets from the rooftop.

About the Hummingbird House

Photo credit: hummingbirdhouse.org.au

Hummingbird House is the only children’s hospice in Queensland and one of the only three children’s hospices in Australia. 

With more than 5,700 babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions across Queensland, Hummingbird House is a home away from home, providing specialised, paediatric, palliative care services and supporting families.

To help Hummingbird House and the families they support, Coles launched a fundraising program, where customers can purchase $2 donation cards at Coles stores across the state, featuring four unique designs created by Hummingbird House families.

Jack’s Coles token (Photo supplied)

Coles Queensland State General Manager Jerry Farrell said Coles was proud to be entering its ninth year as a fundraising partner with Hummingbird House.

“Our customers and team members have been passionate about supporting Hummingbird House since 2014 when the hospice was just in the planning stages, and over the past eight years we’ve raised $3.5 million together,” he said.

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Coles’ fundraising efforts for the hospice will run until Tuesday 27 September 2022. To see all the specially designed tokens, visit hummingbirdhouse.org.au