Beth and Katie Cooper-Wares at the launch of the Our Kids calendar.
Beth and Katie Cooper-Wares at the launch of the Our Kids calendar. The Northern Star

Our Kids stars of new calendar

THE star for the month of March in the Our Kids 2009 Calendar is described as a 'bright, cheeky girl with brittle bones'.

Beth Cooper-Wares, 5, certainly looks like a bright young girl in the calendar as she is photographed about to munch cheekily on a ripe tomato.

But young Beth has suffered a brittle bone condition since birth and has had to endure 22 bone breaks, extensive surgery, and has spent months in plaster and traction.

Due to her condition Beth has had to spend up to six weeks at a time in the children's ward at Lismore Base Hospital in her five short years.

Yet despite all of this, she never fails to give you a smile.

Beth's mum, Katie, said she had been waiting for years to be asked to go in the calendar and was so happy to finally appear.

“Our Kids is so important to a regional hospital where we lack the funding and we often see the new equipment bought for the hospital. It has probably saved lives thanks to Our Kids,” she said.

The Our Kids 2009 Calendar was launched at The Left Bank Cafe in Lismore yesterday by mayor Jennie Dowell, Dr Chris Ingall and Rebekka Battista.

Dr Ingall said the calendar was the most important thing in the community.

“It gives children confidence and validates parents in the work of bringing up special needs children, as well connecting sponsors with these families,” he said. “Our Kids is the conduit that brings all these people together.”

For the past seven years, Our Kids has published a calendar filled with beautiful photos of children for each month of the year.

But these are no ordinary kids. Each one suffers from an affliction with names such as cerebral palsy, ectodermal dysplasia, leukaemia, ataxia telangiectasia and tuberous sclerosis.

Yet despite these terrible health challenges they all manage to produce a brilliant smile for the photographer, The Northern Star's Jacklyn Wagner.

Ms Wagner has been donating her time each year to bring the true spirit of these kids to life to raise money to help local children receive local care at the special care nursery or children's ward at Lismore Base Hospital.

This year the calendar comes with a special Christmas 2008 CD performed by students of the Northern Rivers.

Our Kids 2009 Calendar is available from Lismore Base Hospital and other outlets.



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