Maddison wins “Australian 2014 Victorian Young Achiever Award” for EDS Awareness

Australian sisters, Maddison and Kayla, raise awareness and fundraise during EDS Awareness Month and all  year long.

maddison“A year ago, Maddison Parker, left, launched a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of Ehlers Danlos syndrome, a debilitating syndrome that affects her and sister Kayla. Picture: Kylie Else  Source: News Limited

MADDISON Parker has been recognised as one of the best, bringing home the 2014 Victorian Young Achiever Awards Saward Dawson Community Service & Volunteering Award.

Nominated for the second time this year, the enthusiastic 11-year-old from Caroline Springs was recognised for her work in raising awareness for the debilitating disability Ehlers Danlos syndrome, which afflicts both her and her sister Kayla.

She is determined to see statewide clinics established across Australia for those that suffer from connective tissue disorders, and for EDS to be a recognised and understood condition.

Maddison started her campaign more than two years ago when she wrote a letter to the world, asking why she and her sister don’t matter.

And despite constant chronic pain, daily dislocations and fatigue Maddison has raised more than $10,000 to help those with connective tissues disorders.

Up against a strong field of nominees double her age, Maddison said she didn’t think she would have a chance at Friday night’s awards.

“I said to my mum (Kathy) I haven’t got a chance, so when my name got called out I was stunned. This is such a huge honour and a huge surprise.

“My fellow nominees are all doing really great things and for me to win was just wow, I am blow away.”


Sisters Kayla, 7, and Maddison, 10.

Sisters Kayla, 7, and Maddison, 10. Source: News Limited

Never one to pass up a good opportunity Maddison said she used Friday’s awards night to create even more pathways in her bid to secure five minutes with Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

She has always maintained all she needs is five minutes to make the Prime Minister understand why what she is doing is so important.

“I got the chance to have a chat with the Honourable Ryan Smith (Youth Affairs Minister and Award Patrons) who said he would write a letter to the Prime Minister about a meeting so that’s really exciting.”

Maddison was presented with her award and $2000 prize money by Saward Dawson partner Peter Shields.

She said she planned to use her prize money to combine a family holiday with an upcoming EDS conference in Sydney and the rest would be donated to research.”

Let’s follow the children’s lead and find more opportunites to promote EDS Awareness.

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