Sometimes it pays to simply tell a story as it is. Early this year we received this heartfelt account of Sarah Tizard and son Koria’s journey to finding Big Buddy Wes. Read more about how it has transformed their lives.
‘Koria and Wesley were matched just over a year ago. It has been the best thing that could have ever happened for Koria. He has grown in maturity, confidence and become a completely different kid.
‘After their first outing any fears I had were gone when Koria came home and said that “we are a perfect match.” Wes couldn’t be a better fit for Koria. He is outgoing, young, calm, kind, patient and most of all, committed.
‘Having their weekly outings has given Koria something to look forward to and shown him what it is like to have a male role model in his life. He has not seen his dad since he turned one. It has caused, and continues to cause, huge issues in his life and has held him back significantly. Having Wes in his life has given him the confidence to assert himself, try new things and go out of his comfort zone. As a child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), going out of his comfort zone is something that does not come easily to him. His school have seen a huge difference in him, as have I.
‘When Wes came into our lives my grandfather had passed and my mother was terminally ill. She passed two months after they met. Wes was a tremendous support to Koria who had suddenly lost two of his soft places to fall. I was not myself, I wasn’t in the best head space. His great grandfather had been his male role model and it hit him very hard. Having Wes was a huge help in Koria not feeling that void so hugely and helped him process his grief in so many ways.
‘Wes has given Koria a whole new lease on life. A new way of looking at things. Unconditional acceptance and an all important outlet doing male bonding things. They have done so many activities: swimming, soccer, scooting , movies, mini golf, super cars, bowling, beaches, checking out luxury cars, boat shows, day trips – the list is endless. As a mum with anxiety, [I am so relieved that] Wes is able to do many things with Koria I have not been able to. This has been a godsend for me and for Koria.
Big Buddy has been a life changing experience for us. One I will be forever grateful for. Steve and his team are exceptional and the job they do is so important. I had no idea what a change this would have but it sure has been a fantastic experience. We look forward to many more years with Wes and Koria going off on adventures and discovering the world together.’
SARAH TIZARD, AUCKLAND MUM.