Community kicks in for Cerebral Palsy wedding duo Vaughn Akinin and Marina Tadej

Response has been overwhelming to Marina Tadej and Vaughn Akinin’s wedding. Support worker Vickie will be with them, congratulating them.


With carer Vicky Shuldt. Pics Ian Svegovic

VAUGHN Akinin is a pretty resilient young man, but he “bawled and bawled” when he realised his wedding to the love of his life could go ahead thanks to the generosity of the Macarthur region’s community.

Almost 40 individuals and businesses rushed to offer their services and expertise following a story in last week’s Macarthur Chronicle calling on help for Vaughn and fiancee Marina Tadej to organise their wedding. They both have cerebral palsy and are confined to wheelchairs.


Vaughn, 29, of Campbelltown, and Marina, 30, want to marry on November 17, 2015, but are unable to work and save for their dream wedding.

Northcott support carer Vickie Schuldt stepped in to assist the couple after hearing Vaughn talk about his plans, but she did not anticipate the overwhelming response to the couple’s story.

“I cried with Vaughn in the end,” she said. “I think he went into shock. It was probably stress relief.

“Can you imagine where your whole life has been a struggle to get your point across … then this happens?”
Ms Schuldt was glad she had the opportunity to do something for the couple.

“I’m so glad I did something; I’ve been able to make their dream come true,” she said.

Ms Schuldt said she would sit down with Marina and Vaughn in the coming weeks and go through the generous offers of help in order to get the wedding plans up and running.

Northcott CEO Kerry Stubbs praised Ms Schuldt’s commitment to her work.

“Every Northcott staff member like Vickie is committed to helping the people they support (in order to) achieve their goals and live their lives the way they choose,” Ms Stubbs said.

“So whether it’s getting married, finding work, studying or anything to do with pursuing your passions, Northcott staff will do all they can to help people achieve their goals.

“Northcott is a person-centred organisation, where the people we support are placed squarely at the centre  of everything we do.”

Ms Stubbs said Marina and Vaughn were Northcott Person Centred Champions.

“Our champions talk about their journey and how they have created a stronger voice, more choice and greater control in their lives,” she said.

“They present at conferences and facilitate workshops for other organisations to support cultural and organisational person-centred change.”

Couple Vaughn Akinin and Marina Tadej both have cerebral palsy, just got engaged and are keen to get married. But they don’t have any money. They are asking for sponsorship to help them get married.
People offering assistance to Marina and Vaughn.

■ Jennifer Egan (celebrant)

■Sarah (

■ Tracey Katralis (money)

■ Elizabeth Brennan (venue, Kelvin Homestead)

■ Caroline Wilson (celebrant)

■ Sarah Ewing Little (Camden Florist)

■ Nadene Clarke (venue, Gledswood Homestead)

■ Tiffany and Debbie Heggie (photography)

■ Holly Fleming (bridal hairstylist, makeup artist)

■ The Disability Trust (honeymoon accommodation)

■ Christie Duff (handmade crochet flowers)

■Katie O’Sullivan (event stylist)

■ Julianne Lye (organisation, cakes

■ Joanna Ayad (flowers)

■ Anglicare Campbelltown (wedding dress)

■ Samantha Lysaught (celebrant)

■ Betty (candy buffet)

■ Kiara (photographer)

■ Joanne (cake decorating)

■ Brian Gammage (celebrant)

■ Dannielle-Lea Connelly (help)

■ Maggie Hope (money)

■Maureen Thorpe (celebrant)

■ Shannan Truman (photographer or PA/AV)

■ Judith Hannan (venue)

■ Pari Perras (catering)

■ Amy Oram (headpiece)

■ Kathy Gibson (dress)

■ Kay Gale (ribbon)

■ Debbie Sukkar (wedding dress, assistance on the day)

■ Sheila McAtamney (cake)

■ Jessica (hair and makeup)

■ Teresa Catania (invites, bomboniere, decorating, cake)

■ Amy Keedle (makeup artist)

■ Jenni, Macarthur Floral Creations (bouquet, buttonhole flower)

■ Cheryl Dale (photographer, bakers/cake decorators)

■ Glenda Cartwright (donation)

■ Virginia (any assistance)

What  a wonderful response to this amazing story! I am so impressed by the generosity and community spirit on show here!

November 3, 2014 6:11am
Vera BertolaMacarthur Chronicle Campbelltown



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