Great New Fund
REST
Please support Max's Rescue Rangers now - great rewards to be had - see below!

03/10/2014

The Max's Rescue Ranger Fund begins today!

The fund name originates from a young boy named Max Ledger. Max loved animals. Regardless of what species they were, if Max saw an animal in need, his first instinct was to save it. He would heroically "make a plan" to save the creature, afterwards announcing yet another success of the 'Rescue Rangers'. This is exactly what REST does. We save every creature in need and do our best to care for, and hopefully release it, back into the wild. Even little common pigeons are rehabilitated and released, as each animal that comes in, was saved by 'someone'. Via REST, that 'someone', is shown that their efforts gave dignity to that animal's life and we believe that this philosophy and action then teaches others that each "save" is important and worthy, regardless of the species. Sadly, I never met Max. He died tragically in 2013. This fund has been started not only to honor his memory, but to continue his actions. Below is Max's story and how REST and Max's family and friends teamed together to help rescue animals in need. PLEASE JOIN OUR TEAM!

Max's parents married in South Africa and he had four wonderful trips to Africa before tragedy struck. This fund will be never-ending and begins by supporting our greatest need for the past year - that of a newer double cab truck that is dependable enough to reach far and remote areas. Most of our Facebook followers know that our old vehicle was no longer reliable and in the shop quite often. We wrote grant after grant for a sponsored vehicle (one local dealer even said yes before a change in management reversed their decision). Finding the funding became a frustrating exercise and more and more urgent as September 2014 came closer. September begins the "season" when mama pangs like Roxy may start giving birth, making it easier for poachers to catch them, much more stressful for the animals and much more difficult for us to rehabilitate a mama and her newborn pup. I was in desperation mode and searching the internet for car deals. After hundreds of calls, I found an amazing three year old VW double cab truck.Rescue Rangers Vehicle The owner was selling privately and I was even able to go to the dealer and get a full history on the vehicle. It was a deal to begin with and then the seller upon hearing of REST's need, even gave me a further discount. All I needed then was money to buy it. I was able to borrow some money without interest to be repaid, and I took a leap of faith. REST now has a stunning truck for a price way below that of what an older cheaper brand would cost, and my goal now is to repay the loan as soon as possible. I sleep so much better now at night knowing that if I get a call this week to rush to the rescue of a mama and pup pangolin, I can DO IT.

Before, as I was worrying once again late one night on how to fund a truck, I received an email from Max's parents sharing that they had lost their son and wished to honor his love of animals and had somehow found REST on the internet. They asked if I thought we could somehow work together on a project. As a mother of two, the loss of their son so early, broke my heart. As we started writing and sharing ideas, the Max's Rescue Ranger Fund was developed. Max's parents generously contributed the seed money to launch the fund and once the vehicle is paid off, we will continue to raise funds for Rescue Ranger missions and let the public know how and what animals are saved with the donations.

Now it is up to us all to launch it successfully and keep it going. The "team" so far has really pulled together. Gordy, the webmaster (whom I still have never met) has designed this dedicated page. Donna, his partner (who is one of REST's angels that I have never met) is allowing REST to run its PayPal donations through her organisations account without charging us any fee. My "university days" friend Laurie, has put together the awards for support and managed to get some of the coolest gifts for our supporters. My staff and students just keep everything going while I sit at the computer, and now all of you can help by contributing funds towards our work.

Below is a bit of Max's and the Ledger family history. I somehow know that Max would be excited and proud. It is a story of hope, success, tragedy and courage. I hope that it touches you as it does me.

Max's Story

Max was born on 28/11/2003. Our only child. Right from the beginning, part of Max’s routine was to be pushed in his buggy to feed the ducks close by to where we lived. He was introduced to lots of different water-foul, moor hens, coots, heron, and from a babies perspective, gigantic swans. He loved them.

Aged four, Max was on his second trip to South Africa. Max in South Africa His Godmother Gill lived in Bloemfontein and was a good base for us and Gill to travel around for three weeks, seeing the sights and passing through game parks, beaches (collecting shells and looking in rock pools, and generally exploring.

Our chalet outside of Durban, was invaded by an enormous dragonfly, disorientated and distressed, we all helped usher it out in to the open. Max in South Africa "Yeah, a rescue", high fives all round. This was not Max's first rescue. Back home our garden would be invaded by hedge hogs (underweight and out in the daytime) needing nursing at a rescue centre 'Tiggywinkles' before being released. Baby birds, house spiders, wet caterpillars ..... it all got looked after.

As we continued our holiday it was now apparent that Max's eyes were open to anything else that may need a hand. At the swimming pool at Breaking Waves, a mole was clinging to the cleaner hose. The pool net assisted the rescue and we took him/her off to recover in a sheltered spot. We were now .... Rescue rangers and Max would hold his fist in the air in triumph.

Aged seven, Max adopted "Eggy" an ostrich egg left abandoned in the middle of the road. He came with us for the rest of our trip on a nest made out of a blanket in a bucket.Max in South Africa Unfertile, Eggy became a souvenir and a Symbol for Max's Rescue Rangers, sitting proudly back home on Max's wardrobe.

We'd been to the Kalahari and on returning, emptying out our equipment (and sand) from the vehicle we'd acquired by accident a colourful gecko. Max in South Africa Eight hours drive to take him back to his home? He needed the Rescue Rangers!

Max's most special rescue came on an innocent walk to a lake on a residential area in South Africa. A baby vervet monkey sitting low in a tree by the lake. Nothing special, apart from it not clambering away as we got nearer, and nearer. Around its leg was fishing line, wound around and around, knotted and tangled. Max in South Africa I lose my T-shirt to cover and darken things down for the distressed little one, a handy penknife goes to work (tricky) and the soothing voice of nursemaid Max "There, you’ll soon be with your Mum and Dad ". Success!

We were due to go again to South Africa in 2013. "Don't you want a holiday in Disneyland, and go on some rides and stuff?", "No" Max said, "I want to go back to Africa ".

In January 2013, after being "unwell" with different symptoms, headaches, loss of appetite, tiredness, Max was taken for a scan. The 'shadow' seen on Max's scan was described as 'not sinister'; not a tumour. Although scary, the course of treatment / surgery was delicate but routine, and the success rate was very high. A week after being admitted, he'd had his operation. It was a success. His neurosurgeon was pleased. We took photos of the long line of stitches through his hair line so he could see the result (which he was impressed with). He was completing his second day of recovery.

On that morning, Max had a seizure. The crash team responded and after theatre, we waited for Max to wake up in Intensive Care. We sat with him watching his favourite cartoons and films. His granddad read the weekend football results and his family took turns in re-telling stories of things they’d done with him. Max never woke up. We sat with him for five days, hoping. We had to say when the respirator was to be removed. Our Max had left us already; it was up to us when to let his body slip away. A strong nine year olds body was going to carry on .....

Max in South Africa

Two days later, on the 6th February 2013 Max James Ledger had gone. Gone from this world, but not gone from us.

Andy & Angie Ledger
Max’s Mum & Dad

Max, Mum and Dad

Great rewards on offer!

Donation rewards

£4 / $5 or more
Virtual hugs and high fives, and a thank you on our Facebook page.

£7 / $10 or more
A limited edition pangolin line print note card by artist, Christina Nick.
Plus all previous goods.

£15 / $20 or more
A pangolin temporary tattoo, image courtesy of artist, author, zoologist, Jonathan Kingdon.
Plus all previous goods.

£25 / $40 or more
A silicone ‘Save the Pangolin’ wristband.
Plus all previous goods.

£50 / $75 or more
Receive a personal thank you email with a pangolin anecdote and a pangolin digital photo from REST Founder, Maria Diekmann.
Plus all previous goods.

£70 / $100 or more
A REST baseball cap.
Plus all previous goods.

£125 / $200 or more
Have your name written on a brick used to build our new pangolin research building.
Plus all previous goods.

£200 / $300 or more – LIMITED QUANTITY – ONLY 5 AVAILABLE
Receive an autographed copy of the popular children’s book "Roly Poly Pangolin" by author, Anna Dewdney.
Our thanks go out to Ms. Dewdney for making these available to us.
Plus all previous goods.

£300 / $500.00 or more
Have your name stickered on the truck door as one of our Max’s Rescue Ranger major donors.
Plus all previous goods (not including the autographed book).

£700 / $1000 or more
You will be able to name one of our rehabbed and released pangolins. This name will be used in all tracking and research reports that REST might publish.
Plus all previous goods (not including the autographed book).


Many thanks to the following for their wonderful donations...