Launched in honour of both their mothers, Maxine Aquilina and Angie Amato hope Jays of Sunshine will help make children and young people’s dreams come true at a difficult time.
With the worst news, come very dark times. Maxine Aquilina and Angie Amato know this only too well, having both lost their beloved mothers to cancer over the past few years. But, now, they hope to bring some sunshine back into the lives of young people who are also battling this cruel disease.
Through Jays of Sunshine – an organisation named in honour of their mothers Jackie and Josette – Maxine and Angie will provide a ray of sunshine in a very cloudy time. They will be spending time, playing and making memories with patients at Mater Dei’s Rainbow Ward, as well as helping to make their dreams come true however they can.
“We understand how valuable and important making memories with loved ones is,” says Maxine. “These are memories the children and their families will cherish forever.”
Maxine and Angie first met in 2012 when they worked together at Giggles Nursery and Daycare, and instantly became firm friends. When tragedy struck them both, with the death of Angie’s mum Josette on 31 August 2014 and of Maxine’s mum Jackie on 12 September 2017, they grew even closer, taking a bereavement course together.
“Losing our mums has created a very special bond between us,” continues Angie. “It also means that we both understand how difficult the process can be: the initial shock, the highs and lows, the hope and then the lack of hope, the tragic news of ‘no more treatment options’, the loss and the grieving journey after that.”
Using their natural gift with children and their individual strengths, they both agreed that they could give something back, make a change and help others, through the launch of Jays of Sunshine.
Jays of Sunshine has already sent wish lists to the children currently undergoing treatment in the Rainbow Ward, so that they can share whatever they dream of doing, from watching football to riding in sports cars – and they’ve already received some back. “We want to launch as soon as we can so that we can get going with making dreams come true,” smiles Maxine.
Working closely with Puttinu Cares, Jays of Sunshine has already started planning a number of experiences in response to the children’s requests, including getting hold of a signed t-shirt from footballer Dybala for a 13-year-old girl, a trip for a boy and his mum to watch a Juventus football game, and a ride in a sports car for a young boy.
For more information or to get involved in any way, visitors are invited to contact Jays of Sunshine at firstname.lastname@example.org.