By Michaela Kennedy
I’m so proud to be sharing the story of knowing and working with Marie Tesoriero and her loving family. I have had the privilege of knowing the Tesoriero family since 2016 when Mum, Santina attended our preparing for the NDIS workshops, funded by ADHC. At this time the family had worked hard supporting Marie to move into her own unit under ADHC’s Supported Independent Living fund.
Transitioning to the NDIS was difficult, getting the funding right to support Marie in the lifestyle she loves took a few years. Getting the support team of workers and therapists collaborating to ensure Marie gets the best support took some effort and time.
Now Marie is living a full life achieving her dreams and giving back to the community. Marie loves fundraising for her favourite charity – The Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Earlier in 2021 Marie and her team developed a Social Enterprise – Made by Cool Marie – making Boo Boo Bunnies, they are handcrafted, made from face washers in the shape of a bunny. Inside the bunny is placed an ice cube to make it into an ice pack that can be moistened to place on bumps and bruises. They make having a minor injury more soothing and healing for people, especially children. This enterprise has reached friend’s from around the world, getting donations from people in Berlin and London to buy more materials for stock. Marie’s first round of Boo Boo Bunnies sold out in a short time. The community are embracing Marie and supporting her efforts to give back to the community. St George bank are excited to help her fundraising efforts.
Thanks to Marie’s amazing family and funded supports, Marie has made the most out of the COVID pandemic.
She really needed to lose weight, before COVID many things had been tried and nothing seemed to work. Her scoliosis was getting worse, and everyone was doing their best to avoid another risky back surgery.
Persistence paid off; active support staff, a proactive exercise physiologist, started slowly with kind encouragement, saw the best results. Marie now walks 10km a day, including the hills and stairways around the eastern suburbs. She has lost 14kg, strengthened her inner core, straightened her spine, reduced headaches and migraines. Marie’s overall health has improved and she can now wear clothes with minimal alterations. Her doctors are so impressed with her achievements. Friends are noticing how great Marie looks and she is loving being able to wear clothes that are more fashionable and age appropriate.
Marie is so sociable, friendly, caring and loving. During COVID she would often stay in touch with her friends, online and hosting small gatherings at home and other people’s places. These events have strengthened Marie’s relationships with her local community and their extended families.
Late 2020 a family member was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease – Marie has now got a Go Fund Me page to fundraise for Parkinson’s research – walking to raise money for this charity is her latest passion.
Marie continues to inspire her friends to achieve what they thought they could never do. Living independently, working, getting fit, giving back. Keep it up Marie, you are an inspiration to all!!!