Challenge Accepted: Create a Kickass Indiegogo Campaign

I don’t know about the rest of you but having to ask people for something makes me feel a bit sick in the stomach. Particularly when it comes to money.

As a result, in the past, I have always self funded projects or waited until I was asked to do something that I was interested in. The only problem with that way of thinking - there was a hell of a lot of important stories that are going untold - simply because I have felt too awkward putting it out there.

Well, no more. I was recently told by an amazing woman in Australian film “People actually want to be a part of something incredible. By not sharing what you are doing and how they can get involved, you are actually robbing them of that opportunity.”

So, I am challenging myself to do just that - I am going to create an amazing indigogo campaign for a story I have wanted to tell for well over two years now - and I can’t wait any longer to tell it!

What's the story?

Three years ago almost to the day, a beautiful fair haired little boy came into the world, our second son and brother to William, we named him Alfie.

Apart from a couple of hiccups, the first few months of Alfie’s life were a breeze. He slept well, got stronger and stronger and we knew from pretty early on, that he was going to be a happy and cheeky little fella.

Around the three months mark we noticed his eyes were doing some random and irregular movements that we hadn’t seen before.

During his four month health check our fears were confirmed that there was something ‘wrong’ with our perfect little boy and not long after that he was diagnosed with a vision condition called Nystagmus.

I don’t need to tell you that having a child with a disability is just something you never expect to happen, but I like to think that my husband and I are pretty positive thinkers. We immediately started researching how we could help him do the best in life, started alternative therapies at the age of 5 months and joined a number of support groups to better understand the road that was ahead for us.

It was one of those support groups that actually gave me the biggest fright I had received.

During my research I found the website for the main Nystagmus support foundation in Australia to be quite intimidating and overwhelming in the information they decided to share on the landing page. Instead of empowering both people with Nystagmus and those supporting them, it was actually as if they wanted to scare them even more.

“People with nystagmus are often ridiculed, bullied, abused and embarrassed all their lives because of eye and/or head movement, causing many to become shy and introverted, not discussing their condition with other members of society. As one of the minority disabled groups we are not recognised by either Australian Federal or State governments as people needing help. Which is why nystagmus is known as the SILENT DISABILITY.”

I was devastated. Not only was Alfie going to have to deal with having vision difficulties his entire life, but now he was also going to live a life of shame and humiliation because of the way he looked and was perceived by others.

I ended up writing the foundation an email asking them to reconsider including such an intense paragraph in their opening lines, but instead to perhaps offer a ‘support for bullying’ section in another area of the website. The response I received was inline with the website unfortunately: ‘This is reality for Nystagmus sufferers, as a parent of someone with this disease you are better off preparing for that fact.’

Sure, people may get treated differently for having Nystagmus but they can also get bullied for their weight, race, sexual orientation, colour of their hair - the list is endless.

I refused to believe that Alfie’s diagnosis of Nystagmus also came with a social diagnosis - or a prediction into the way his life would pan out.

It became a mission of mine to at some stage produce something for Alfie, and all the other children out there that may be in the same boat with different conditions. Something that teaches him that although there may be challenges out there, the bigger they are the more mightier the accomplishment, and that he can do anything he wants to do.

Enter Jessica Gallagher.

I am constantly on the lookout for amazing stories and people that inspire me. So, when I came across an article titled ‘20 Young Australians On The Cusp Of Greatness’ a few months ago, I took a look straight away, not sure of what I would find.

What I found, it turns out, was an introduction to the PERFECT person to inspire Alfie and so many people out there. And it all came down to one line “If one person takes something from my journey to help their own world, it is an incredible experience to be a part of”.

Jessica Gallagher’s story is an incredible one. She is a legally blind Australian olympian, and is the first and only Australian athlete (Olympic or Paralympic) to win both Summer and Winter Paralympic medals.

What?!

Amazing.

Oh, and get this… one of the sports Jess is an olympic medallist in is alpine skiing. I am a snowboarder and it astounds me that anyone could do this already terrifying sport with barely any vision? It would be like getting blindfolded and dropped off at the top of a black run. Again, she’s amazing.

Jess has graciously agreed to be a part of this project and we have had some great conversations around her story and what she is doing now already - it is going to be an extraordinary film to share that will make a big difference.

So, what now?

Good question. Research, lots of research. There are some really great articles around on how to best launch an Indiegogo campaign and I plan to give this project the best start possible.

I will be tracking what I discover and the plan that I think is going to work best over the upcoming weeks, with a view to launch this campaign early November.

I do know that I will be including a campaign video that shares our personal story and why this is so important to make. I will be doing this with the support of a couple of amazing filmmaker friends I have and will be shooting over the next few weeks.

If you are interested in supporting the project, or would like to share the journey of getting this up and running, please add your details below and I would happily share my progress with you.

‘Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.’

- Mark Twain

Diana Fisk