Creating a Nail Snail® with a purpose was always a part of Julia Christie's vision. When the time came to choose a new colour to add to the Nail Snail® collection, Julia knew that she would also give this new Nail Snail® a special partner. At Christie & Christie® HQ we face the dilemma “Which colour next?”
After running some colour samples (which we still have for prizes and donations – we keep our waste to the absolute minimum) the beautiful Jacaranda Purple was chosen.
Wanting to give back and support the community, Julia was unwavering in her decision to donate an amount from each sale from each limited-edition colour release to a chosen charity, and there was no doubt in her mind which would be our first cause to support.
After meeting Catherine and Greg Hughes from the Light For Riley Project at a Parenting and Baby Expo, Julia was so impressed with their unwavering dedication, and eager to help in any way possible. Catherine and Greg have turned a personal tragedy into such a positive force to help and educate others, it is truly inspiring. On the 13th of February 2015, the proud parents along with their daughter, welcomed their beautiful baby boy, Riley, into the world. Their time together as a family was precious and sadly, short-lived, with Riley passing away 32 days later from Whooping Cough.
Even amidst the unimaginable grieving process, the Hughes family were determined to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family, and created an amazing legacy for their little boy, The Immunisation Foundation of Australia - Light For Riley Project. They campaign to ensure every child, pregnant mother and family member not only has information about the importance of immunisation but also access to vaccinations.
With Julia’s husband Arrlann a Doctor, vaccination is a subject that they are both extremely passionate about and in strong support of.
Supporting Light For Riley is personal for the Christie family.
Here at Christie & Christie®, Julia Christie's mother Dianne, recounted for us snippets from their family history. These snippets of family experience give insight to just how devastating the effects of childhood diseases were pre-vaccination and the long term impacts of the many diseases now almost eradicated in our developed world.
Let’s begin with Polio. Julia’s Nanna lost her favourite sister aged just 11 years old to Polio. Her Nanna, who was only 5 years old herself at the time, sat by her bedside and rubbed her arm to try and help relieve the pain and to comfort her. She died within a week. It was devastating for the entire family and for her Nanna to lose someone so dear to her and her favourite sister, who was so full of life and used to fill the home with song and laughter. Absolutely heartbreaking.
Next was German Measles. Julia’s Great Aunt Betty conceived her first child when, in her first trimester, her husband contracted German Measles. Although Betty did not have any symptoms herself, her baby girl was born severely disabled. Because she had to devote so much time to her care, she chose not to have any more children and aborted another child as a result.
Betty was the Dux of her High School, plus she and her husband were champion dancers and tennis players. Their life offered so much promise, and they did love their daughter dearly, but caring for a severely disabled child sadly affected their entire lives.
Julia herself has deafness in one ear is due to a family member visiting with a child who had measles when Dianne was in her first trimester of pregnancy. Terrified that she too could have complications, Dianne considered having an abortion. Thankfully when visiting her Doctor, her immunity levels to Rubella were high (she had always kept her vaccinations up to date). The Doctor assured her that there was no need to be concerned. Dianne continued with the pregnancy and Julia was born. Dianne adds “I could not imagine life without her.” It wasn't until age two that they discovered that she was profoundly deaf in one ear, as a result of exposure to the measles.
Mumps is another childhood disease Dianne remembers all too well. Dianne had them - twice. Dianne also had Chickenpox, which then reappeared as shingles later in life. Dianne was unfortunately in her final year of university. The shingles were so terribly painful as they appeared around her eye. Fortunately, her vision wasn’t affected, but she did go on to have surgery to remove some of the facial scarring they left behind. (And to think parents used to have “Chickenpox Parties” to get this disease out of the way – crazy!)
Listening to the devastation that these now preventable diseases caused to young lives, it is unbelievable to think that anyone would refuse to vaccinate their children. Julia (and the entire team at Christie & Christie®) firmly support vaccinations and the amazing work of the Immunisation Foundation of Australia – Light for Riley Project.
Whooping Cough And The Nail Snail®
From every sale of our limited-edition Jacaranda Purple Nail Snail® $1 is donated to this extremely worthy cause, so very close to our hearts as parents.
With only 3,000 ever made, the Jacaranda Purple Nail Snail® truly is limited-edition and selling fast – we are down to the last few boxes now!
We have been so proud to have worked with this amazing organisation and would like to say a BIG “Thank you” to you, our customers, also for your support.
Co-Authors: Summer Vrhovac & Julia Christie