Elsa and Lineka – A gift in memory of a childhood friendship

Elsa and Lineka – A gift in memory of a childhood friendship
Posted on Tue 31 May 2022

Elsa’s connection to CP begins in the Netherlands, where she grew up. One of Elsa’s very close family friend was a young girl named Lineka, who lived with CP.

Elsa and Lineka adored each other and developed a very close relationship, in spite of a 10-year age difference. Lineka lived with CP and had very limited mobility, but had a lively, active mind and loved singing. When Elsa’s family visited, Elsa would sing to Lineka, something which they both enjoyed very much. The girls remained fast friends until Elsa and her family relocated to Australia when she was 19.

Many years later, when Elsa returned on a holiday to the Netherlands, she visited Lineka at a home. 

Lineka was now 11, and as bright-minded as ever. “Don’t worry about this,” she indicated to her body lying down on a bed, “I’m alright here,” pointing to her head. Her honesty made Elsa and family feel comfortable.

Lineka had no siblings, but became very close with a little girl Annie who lived next door. Their friendship lasted many years and Annie was later appointed Lineka’s executor.

Elsa had planned to leave a gift in her Will to CPA, however is now choosing to give her gift in her lifetime instead, to help other children living with CP like her childhood friend Lineka. This has given Elsa a great deal of joy and will make a tremendous difference to the lives of many children living with CP.

Guest blogger Laura Pettenuzzo reflects on her experiences at school. She was an academic student and loved school; it gave her something to control, somewhere she could be capable and strong. The predictability of high school was the antithesis of life with physical and psychosocial disability. 

In 1993 Sandra first came into what was then The Spastic Centre in Ryde, unable to walk, talk or use her hands. Following years of therapy, she’s independent, and recently wheeled into the Ryde office again, this time as an employee.