In 2009 my ‘Ruby Star’ was born. She graced this world with such ease and beauty and not a concern in the world. A couple of months later things started to change, and an unsettling feeling started to simmer in every bit of my body. I knew something wasn’t right. Ruby developed seizures, extreme and uncontrollable pain, gut discomfort, stopped sleeping, started screaming 24/7 and this all snow balled in to a very dark and lonely place for three-and-a-half years. There was no explanation for what Ruby was going through, no doctor had an answer. I was told to take her home and enjoy the next year-and-a-half. I was told she’d live until two.
Then the screaming stopped.
Through this time, I found myself in a black hole. I didn’t know who I was, who my daughter was, I couldn’t be the mum I wanted to be for Ruby’s older sister, Sophie. I lost the career I once had, the family home, friendships, social life, interest in anything other than finding an answer for what Ruby was living with. I lost myself.
Then came the turning point.
In 2012, when trying to find an option for childcare, I was shocked to find that there was nowhere who would support both Sophie and Ruby. I needed a place who would just give me that respite time, a place to honour Sophie’s developmental and emotional needs, whilst providing the care and support to Ruby. I hit a brick wall. Me, being me, decided this wasn’t good enough and there needed to be an option/ a change in the ‘system’, which led to me opening my doors to a family day care service. I teamed up with a couple of educators and together we welcomed families, living similar experiences, and soon enough we had four children per day.
The need grew.
A year down the track, it was evident this was bigger than anything I thought. We needed more space, I needed to find support and assistance to continue and ensure this service remained sustainable and financially viable. So when I saw a TV ad pop up for an investment opportunity – I jumped at it. The opportunity was Network Ten’s, Shark Tank! Not only was this a chance to share a sound business idea and demonstrate a big vision, but also an opportunity to speak for many other parents and caregivers navigating the challenges of supporting a child with differing needs, and all that comes with that.
After several weeks of planning, meeting producers, zooming in to Sydney, hair, make-up, interviews and repeating our story over and over, we walked down that under water tunnel and went for it! An hour and a half in front of the ‘Sharks’, we were done! We walked out in complete shock, completed more interviews, were whisked off in a taxi, landed at home and back to our lives we went! This experience was exhilarating yet exhausting at the same time, and from there we had no idea where we’d be heading! What an experience and an opportunity this was to share my personal story and be an advocate for many other families experiencing similar brick walls and deep dark holes.
Fast track to today and Ruby is 13 this year!
Ruby and Ollie’s currently supports more than 200 children, across five locations and soon to open more, allowing us to welcome and support more families. My whole vision has been to provide a holistic service to families. Supporting every child, no matter their varying abilities and differing needs. We are here to honour the beautiful and unique relationships siblings have, and also the parents and caregivers. I know first-hand the challenges faced when supporting a child with a disability and want to be able to provide that glimmer of hope, that person to call when feeling lost, that place to go where your child feels a sense of belonging and the feeling of finding yourself again.
Everything is possible!
This is Rebecca Glover’s remarkable story. Come hear her in person at our Source Mama Live in Brisbane on May 5. Get your tickets at: https://bit.ly/SMLIVEBRIS