Siobhan Wilson, 13 year old founder of Our Pixie Friends, supporting children with medical conditions
My name is Siobhan. I'm 13 and I'm the founder and owner of Our Pixie Friends. I was born at 27 weeks - that's 3 months early! I weighed 843g and I was being resuscitated 3-4 times a day until I had open heart surgery when I was about 1 month old. As a consequence, I have a range of medical conditions, including bowel/bladder dysfunction, sensory processing disorder (dyspraxia) and NVLD - Nonverbal Learning Disorder. I also have allergies, anaphylaxis, eczema, asthma, and surprise, surprise- Generalised Anxiety Disorder! I have also experienced PTSD, depression/obsessive thoughts and had suicidal tendencies after some medication. I used to think, "Why am I the only kid with all this?" I'd get upset when other kids didn't want to hold my hand in line, or their parents wouldn't invite me over because they were afraid I'd have a medical emergency. When I was 6, I realised I wasn't the only kid in the world with medical conditions and I decided I would start a business to help other kids not feel alone and isolated, and encourage other kids to be kind and inclusive. That's when Our Pixie Friends was born. On a trip to the allergist for another round of scary skin prick testing, I brainstormed all my ideas, and by the time I came home, I had an outline of my website, ideas for books and merchandise, and a dream of raising $1 million for medical research and one day having my pixie characters in ambulances so kids experiencing trauma have one of Our Pixie Friends with them. Mum didn't know how to help me, so she just encouraged me to write my ideas down. It wasn't until I was 10 that I finally met a wonderful lady, Sharron Pountney from SLP Consulting, who said she would help me. She registered my companies when I was 10. In July last year, phase one of my website was launched (and I was notified that the character blogs on the website would be added to the Radio Lollipop global playlist for kids in hospital all over the world) and my first book was published. I have 2 more books coming out this year, and I have been working with a haematologist at the Sydney Children's Hospital to develop a pixie with a bleeding disorder (who should be appearing on the website soon). I have also been invited to a number of speaking events including author talks and creative character development workshops at schools, the YES Summit, where I was on the panel to help over 400 high school students and I will be speaking at a Redlands Women in Business event in September. But the best part of my life is when I have an impact on young children. I love seeing their faces light up and hearing how my ideas are helping them.