Super Mum + Grandma: Judy Ward
Judy Ward is a mum of four and grandma to nine.
On Mother’s Day, she enjoyed lunch at the St Ignatius College Football Club, where her two granddaughters Adele Czechowicz and Lucy Roberts play.
At age 21, Lucy is Judy’s eldest granddaughter and the older sister of Sam Roberts.
Many familiar with the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation (WCHF) know Sam’s story. In 2005, just before his fifth birthday, Sam passed away from Niemann Pick disease type C, a very rare genetic neurological degenerative condition.
In memory and to honour their son, grandson and brother, the Ward and Roberts families established the Sam Roberts Family Fund and charity bike ride ‘Cycle 4 Sam’.
As mother to Michelle – Sam’s mum – and a grandma, Judy has shown unconditional love and support to her family. She is very modest about any praise saying, “it is only what any grandmother and mum would do”. Judy has also been a proud advocate for the WCHF Beach House.
Judy shares her story with us, as part of our Mother’s May campaign.
“When we first recognised that Sam was unwell, I was lucky enough to be able to take as much time off work as needed to help Michelle. I feel very lucky that I was able to be there, to support Michelle and be with my grandson.
“Together we went to so many appointments, which were especially continuous when doctors were trying to diagnose Sam’s condition.
“Michelle had just given birth to Charlie and I remember running along the corridors of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. I was pushing Sam’s pram and Michelle was following with Charlie’s pram.
“I would sleep overnight with Sam, to provide Marty and Michelle a break, and together Margaret Roberts, Marty’s mum, and I would help with the running of the household.
“Michelle has expressed her gratitude many times for the support the whole family provided her and Marty.
“One of the most special times we spent together as a family was during a holiday on the Gold Coast.
“There is a lot of pressure and tension within families during times of illness and to be able to break that routine is important for everyone.
“As wonderful as our times at the Hospital were, the experience of having time together with Sam away from the hospital environment, was so special for our family and is why the Beach House will be so important for families.
“Places like the Beach House can make all the difference for families because they can create good memories and have quality moments together that provide strength to get through the tough times.
“Sam was gorgeous; he always will be. We have all taken him with us and we just hope that through his story and the Beach House other families will create wonderful memories and find the strength to support each other.”
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