© Copyright 2018 The Orange Pigeon 

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ABN 39 155 797 231

info@orangepigeon.org.au

PO Box 964

Melton Vic 3337

The Bucket List Foundation©
for seriously ill adults
Brenda's Heartfelt Evening With Oprah

Brenda has ALS/MND her wish was to see Oprah’s show with a possible meet and greet. We are so happy to say Brenda got her wish.


Brenda has had a difficult life, she endured childhood physical abuse and sexual abuse from a very young age that was ongoing for many years. She left the family home at a young age and had her daughters at a relatively young age, eventually raising them as a single parent for many years, a job she did extraordinarily well.

In 2002 Brenda decided to give her friend Patrick (a friend of 28 years) a chance to go out on a date. This date went well and the friendship turned into a loving companionship and married in 2005 and still to this day are a total inspiration of an image of devotion, commitment and love. Brenda has had a few health issues the last 10+ years ranging from a bad back to Hashimoto disease. These conditions made her incapable of working and Patrick had to leave work to care for her due to inabilities to care for herself.

Christmas 2014 was normal for Brenda’s family. Brenda and Patrick always do Christmas breakfast, however her children noticed slight weakness in Brenda’s right hand needing assistance to open bottles and jars she once could open. Brenda put this down to a pinched nerve on her spine it will sort itself out. This condition went for about a month before the family noticed it worsening and by early February 2015, it looked like Brenda had had a stroke her right side was not very functional she was dragging her foot and not walking well.

.In March 2015, Brenda saw a Neurologist who diagnosed Brenda with ALS + suspected FTD. This is a form of MND (Motor Neuron Disease). The diagnosis hit the family very hard. Brenda’s daughter Nicole said “since diagnosis mum had gone from the most beautiful, vibrant, smiley, happy, very positive spiritual person anyone would ever meet, to the most dependant person that is unable to move, talk, eat, etc, yet still had the biggest smile on her face and manages to laugh all the time.”

The family were just recently told that it's very unlikely Brenda will celebrate another Christmas with them, so they decided to bring Christmas forward so Brenda could be a part of the 2015 Christmas celebrations. The family celebrated this day as they normally would on 31 October 2015.

Brenda’s daughters wanted to do something special for their mum who is their inspiration and knew just what they needed to do. Try to get Oprah to meet their mum. Nicole said “If you spoke to anyone of us girls we could tell you how much of our lives consisted of watching her show. The discussions we had as a family whilst watching her show or after. The movies she was in that we watched with our mum. Mum saw Oprah as a large inspiration to her. When our mum’s world was dark and gloomy it was you that helped guide her back to the light. Our mum loves Oprah and we know what it would mean to our mum to meet her in person, with us girls by her side before she left this life from a really horrible life debilitating disease that to date has taken almost all of her but her beaming smile and faith. We believe Oprah would appreciate seeing her smile as much as we do if she met her in person.”

The Orange Pigeon could not resist and wanted Brenda’s wish to come true. We organised tickets for Brenda and her four daughters to attend Oprah’s “An Evening With Oprah” show in Adelaide on 4 December 2015. Unfortunately, when we called we were advised that all of the Access seating had sold out so decided to call the Adelaide Entertainment Centre to see what could be done for Brenda. She just had to be there. With thanks to Josie from the centre a wonderful comprise was organised and we were able to get Brenda there. We organised transfers with Access Adelaide Taxi’s who were incredibly patient and so very helpful.

Then we had the enormous task of getting Oprah’s attention. Oprah Winfrey Oprah is a mega star who is incredibly busy. The goodness of her is so underestimated. Some people talk the talk, but Oprah certainly walks her walk, in abundance! Once she found out about Brenda she quickly agreed to meet her during her sound check and spoilt Brenda and her girls with being Oprah’s special guests with a reserved space where they could order from the menu to their hearts content! The fact that Oprah stopped and gave Brenda her time and was so incredibly kind, it means so much to the family at this time whilst they are facing such devastation. The warmth in their hearts now will help them get through the weeks to come. Nicole said it simply “My heart is full.” This photo speaks volumes of the joy and happiness Brenda experienced and of the deep compassion Oprah has for people. She is truly an angel placing her hand on Brenda’s heart. Thank you Oprah,Thank you.

Thanks to the tireless work of Brenda's daughter Nicole her beautiful mumma's wish came true. Be very proud of your efforts little one xx

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