NOFASD Australia would like to acknowledge the contribution which Bonnie Buxton has made to the world of FASD over many years. Sadly, Bonnie, Brian and family are facing a serious challenge due to Bonnie’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. A letter from Bonnie’s husband Brian Philcox is below, because Bonnie has many friends throughout the FASD world who will be saddened to hear of this news.
The Founder of NOFASD Australia, Sue Miers, credits Bonnie and Brian with her knowledge and inspiration following the contact she made with them more than 20 years ago. Sue was sure that her foster daughter was living with FASD, but at that time in Australia there was no-one able to provide her with any information about the condition. Bonnie and Brian facilitated Sue’s early FASD education, networks and ultimately a diagnosis for her daughter.
NOFASD, the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Australia, credits Bonnie and Brian for this guidance and support. We hope that Bonnie and her family draw some comfort from the knowledge that they have changed many lives around the world. Additionally, Bonnie came up with the idea for the 9th of September as International FASD Awareness Day. This day of recognition and awareness raising for FASD is now a global movement which extends across the whole month of September.
For those who know Bonnie there is a chance to send her your thoughts. For those who did not know Bonnie, she is a FASD pioneer and we acknowledge her legacy and contribution. Please read Brian’s letter below.
Bonnie Buxton has been my companion, my mentor, my partner in parenting and the love of my life for over half a century. As the writer of television plays, print articles about the human condition, award winning travel and food reporting, and as a radio and television reporter, Bonnie has brought new insights to the public throughout her professional career. Her skills as a writer have only been matched by her passionate caring as an accomplished wife, mother of Cleo and Colette and grandmother to Kenny and Vicky.
For more than twenty years, Bonnie has been a formidable advocate on behalf of children and their parents who struggle with the devastating results of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. Her incisive articles and keynote presentations over these years have touched the hearts of many families and given them the hope they need to carry on. Her book, Damaged Angels, continues to provide guiding themes for parents and professionals alike. As a co-founder of FASDay, now celebrated every year on September 9 in over 62 countries in every time zone around the world, Bonnie has given us an advocacy challenge for FASD that is hard to beat.
However, the latest chapter in the Bonnie saga is, unfortunately, not an encouraging one. In October of 2016, Bonnie was diagnosed with Dementia. Typically, she raged, “What the hell is this? I’m not an axe murderer!” But the memory deficits and other confusions were the precursor of Alzheimer Disease. For a couple of years she was able to work on her memoirs and lead a relatively normal life, sharing social events, travel and conversations with friends and family. More recently, the disease has reached a stage where much logical discourse is not possible. However, it’s not too late should you want to reach out to say hello. She has been touched by so many wonderful friendships that it would be a shame if I did not let you know that there is still time to have a gentle farewell.
Please let me know if you would like to call or send her a note – my email is at your disposal (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you for your friendship.