Meet the Team

The Founders

The Founder

James & Kristy Thomas are the founders of Feel the Magic.

Giving grieving children a voice and providing them with the education, support and tools they need to succeed in spite of their loss, has become their life’s mission.

Both James & Kristy know first-hand how hard it is to deal with the loss of a loved one. This is why they are both so passionate about the cause.

Children who have lost a parent, sibling or legal guardian all report feelings of isolation and a range other strong emotions. Feel the Magic aims to eliminate this feeling of isolation by providing children with a skill set that allows them to explore and understand their grief with peers who empathise, to continue to grow, develop resilience and succeed in spite of their loss.

 

Meet the Team

Talk Time Leaders

Talk Time Assistants

Founder’s Stories

James Story

Read the story

James Story

My Dad was diagnosed with bowl cancer in 2003, just 12 months earlier both Mum and Dad retired after 40 plus years of employment and moved to Queensland from Sydney to fulfill a lifelong dream. My father fought hard for a further two years until the cancer got the better of him. Dad passed away in April 2005, I was just 25 years old.

I remember at Dad’s funeral consoling my emotional mother and thinking how is this fair? Dad worked so hard all his life and just three years into his retirement he was dead. In that moment, something shifted in me. My life up until Dad’s death I wasn’t taking too seriously, I lived for the weekends and had no real drive or purpose. Dad’s passing was the catalyst for change. I decided right then and there that as an only child I was going to grow up and take care of my widowed mother.

One day I wrote out a goal and that was to buy a dream home in a beautiful part of Sydney big enough to house my girlfriend Kristy (who is now my wife) our future children and my beautiful mother. To achieve this I knew I had to increase my income. With a trade background, I started my own business. I also had a passion for property so I began attending property seminars, I read every book I could find and before I knew it I started to build a property portfolio. My goal of buying that dream home soon became my obsession; my WHY was to make my Mum proud.

After five long years, my goal was realised. We put a deposit on a beautiful place to call home in the North West of Sydney. My life was completely different then it was five years earlier. Material objects became my drive and achieving them became my drug. I lost sight of what was truly important.

Settlement day was July 29th, 2011. Not only that it was my 31st birthday.
With removalist booked, friends and family locked in to help and within hours of picking up the keys, my beautiful mother dropped dead from a brain aneurism. This took me completely by surprise and absolutely floored me.

I’ll never forget the night before hugging my mother good night a little voice inside told me that I should have hugged her longer. I wish I acted on this advice.

The pain I felt after losing Mum was almost unbearable. As a 31-year-old man I was now an orphan and felt completely alone. I didn’t know anyone who at age 31 had lost both their parents. Trying to put a handle on this thing called grief felt impossible. Getting out of bed each day was a struggle and I developed a hatred for everything I had worked so hard for in my life as it no longer meant anything. After twelve months, my head was a little clearer from the fog of grief and I asked myself this one confronting question, If I were to die tomorrow would I be happy with the life I have created? my answer was NO!

A year and a half after Mum had past I took my wife’s advice and decided to sell my business. I had nothing to give anymore, my passion was gone and I was done! Once the sale was complete Kristy and I booked a month-long adventure around the United Sates where a magical experience at Disneyland would soon change my life’s path forever and allow me to discover my true purpose in life.

Since creating Feel the Magic I live a truly fulfilled life. I feel blessed and honored to work with such inspiring families on a daily basis.

 

 

Kristy's Story

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Kristy's Story

Growing up I knew I was different. When ever people would ask me how many brothers or sisters I had, I found it difficult to answer. I always felt awkward and embarrassed to share that I had lost my brother. I felt bad for making them feel uncomfortable. I knew that someone from my family was missing and although I didn’t have clear attainable memories of my brother, I truly missed him in my heart and in my life. The event of him leaving I believe shaped my future relationships with others and relationship with myself.

Corey James Redhouse was born on 4th July 1976. He had blonde hair and big brown eyes. He was my best friend. I was two when he left.

Mum says she remembers the day he was diagnosed with Leukemia, the doctors at Westmead Children’s Hospital said he was close to death. His fight with Leukemia was long and at one point Mum and Dad believed he had won. The time and energy spent by my parents to support their child through chemotherapy and many days spent in hospital took a toll on the whole family both emotionally and financially. We relied heavily on family and friends to help us through tough times.

When I was 20 years old I gave birth to my son Isaac. Staring at my beautiful child made my heart break for my parents and how painful it would be to lose a child. That was the moment I truly appreciated just how big an impact Corey’s death had on my parents, sister and myself. Losing your child and surviving such tragedy is so brave and courageous. He lost his fight just after his 6th birthday on 16th June 1982.

When I met James in 2001, we both expressed our deep desire to go to Disneyland. We talked often about going ‘one day’. That one-day came and what a magical moment it was. I felt like I was a kid again, I was there with the people I loved most and I will cherish that experience for the rest of my life.

The grief of losing a loved one changes us forever, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. Holding onto grief can affect us negatively; this is something I relate to. I look forward to helping families see the brighter side of life by going on an adventure to Disneyland. I hope it helps them find some happiness, connection and honour the one they lost.