Zaidee’s Story

Zaidee Rose Alexander Turner – aged 7 years and 22 days died suddenly on 2nd December 2004 from a burst blood vessel in her brain called a Cerebral Aneurism. Zaidee’s parents, Kim and Allan, founded Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation not long after.

At the time of Zaidee’s death the Turner family had been registered Organ and Tissue Donors for 5 years. As a result Zaidee donated her Organs and Tissues at the Royal Children’s Hospital, as were her wishes at the time. From this gift, the lives of 7 people (6 children and 1 adult) were improved and, in some cases, saved.

Zaidee was the only child in Victoria under the age of 16 years and we have been told one of the youngest Australians to donate her organs and tissues in 2004. She was only 1 of 6 children nationally to donate their organs.

Zaidee’s Story is directed towards both children and adults so they can think about others who are waiting for a life saving operation and a suitable match for an organ or tissue. Think about giving this gift to others so they can live a better life and in some cases, have a second chance at life.

Zaidee’s gift of her organs to others will allow them to have another birthday. 1 in 5 people on the transplant waiting list will never get the chance to have another birthday if people do not become registered donors.

The symbol is representative of hope; after every storm the sun shines and there is a rainbow. For those people on the transplant waiting list, the rainbow symbol offers them hope. At the end of their rainbow is an organ or tissue to improve their life – or in most cases – save their life.

In 2004 130,000 Australians died. Only 218 were Organ Donors.

Concept of Shoelaces

Zaidee’s Rainbow Shoelaces were developed by Kim and Allan Turner, parents of Zaidee, to raise national awareness of organ and tissue donation. It is their goal that Zaidee’s legacy and memory will deliver a national message.

Zaidee’s Poem

When Zaidee was taken in for her final operation to be an organ and tissue donor.

She did not need her bright blue eyes to see

Her lungs to breath

Her little heart to pump blood around her tiny body

Nor did she need her kidneys or liver again

You see she had died.

All Zaidee needed to take to heaven was the love from her Mum, Dad and brother Jaz.

But other little children just down the hall in the same hospital did need her heart, her liver just to live life again.

These kids are now home with their mums and dads, brothers, sisters and friends again.

Two little kids got to see properly again, to see the faces of their Mum and Dad when they each received one of Zaidee’s cornea’s.

A new born and an infant got a second chance for life from parts of Zaidee’s heart.

What Zaidee gave in death was life to other children and a mother because we as a family discussed this before a death in our family years before just in case.

Our little girl Zaidee gave the greatest gift of all, her organs and tissues, she is now our angel in heaven who we are so very proud of for what she achieved in her short 7 years and 22 days of life that many of us will never do and that is to give life to others.

Zaidee’s spirit and her memory will live on and on.

Written by Zaidee’s Dad.

76 Responses

  1. Zoe
    Zoe at |

    I was at the maryborough hospital and i read a little plark thing about zaidee and after i read it i was touched so i ran back to my mum and said i want to donate every organ in my body when i die. Zaidee did a very brave and inspiring thing.

    1. A person
      A person at |

      Good on her for being strong

  2. Sara hitchcock
    Sara hitchcock at |

    this is amazing

  3. JC
    JC at |

    Hi Sara and Zoe,
    Thank you so much for the feedback. It’s always wonderful to hear that Zaidee is making an impact on people.

  4. Angela
    Angela at |

    Thanks guys. Saw your name on the apple bag. Sure put organ donation at the front of my mind and got me to talk to my child about it (7y, 19d).

    1. JC
      JC at |

      Great to hear Angela! That’s why we are here – to “Inspire Discussion” 🙂

  5. Tyler Barton,
    Tyler Barton, at |


  6. kirk webster
    kirk webster at |

    i am a WAFL umpire and last week every league player, umpire trainer and coaching team wore the rainbow laces for Zaidee and the foundation. Her story was very inspiring and it was great to see so many people contributing and wearing the laces!

    1. JC
      JC at |

      Thanks for the feedback Kirk. Zaidee’s Day at the WAFL was a huge success for the Foundation and we look forward to coming back for bigger and better things in 2012. Thanks for your support mate.

  7. kiara
    kiara at |

    Wow I’m from Nambucca Heads Primary School and I was so touched about Zaidees story I bought the laces and if i’m not wearing my shoes i will take the laces out and wear them on my head and/or wrist. Every night when I lay in bed I think of Zaidees story and almost every time it makes me teary. To think that she had only just decided she wanted to be an organ and tissue donar and then months later she died I’m glad you made Zaidees rainbow donation beacause before you came to our school I had never heard of it and i’ve been very interested about it and your family.. Hope your getting on okayy :)…..o

  8. Racheal Clarke
    Racheal Clarke at |

    Soooooooo sad xoxoxox

  9. Liddy family
    Liddy family at |

    My dad had donor corneas to improve his sight, I nearly had to have blood transfusions 2times to save my life and my 11yo son recently nearly needed tissue donation during surgery to fix his knee after an accident (he learnt why u don’t jump on beds) because we have almost needed help from organ/tissue donations we want to say a very big thank u to zaidee and her family our whole family is now donors too cause zaidees story means we’re not scared to talk about organ donation

  10. Zaidee Jackson
    Zaidee Jackson at |

    I remember the day I saw the news and heard of Zaidee. Such a brave young girl with a priceless gift to give so many. In particular as I share my name with her and as you know it is very rare it was even more pronounced. Zaidee-Louise is my full name so
    parking behind the car the yesterday on La Trobe St yesterday in Melbourne in reminded me of the importance of donor programs and how it can bring life to others that may not necessary have chance. I am spruiking your website to continue bringing awareness through my network.
    Congratulations on the amazing work you continue to do bringing the awareness to the fore so that the issues are spoken of and regarded in a very real way by taking action and others becoming donors.

  11. aerial
    aerial at |

    this was all so very inspiring she is so brave and a fully warmed-hearted angel and may she rest in peace and so i am older tha her when i grow up i want to be just like her RestiNPeace honney

  12. Kerryn
    Kerryn at |

    Watching the cricket and jumped on to see who they were supporting. What an inspirational story and important message for every family. Hope the cricket increases the exposure and message.

  13. Kaitlyn Kesson
    Kaitlyn Kesson at |

    Zaidee was my best friend in primary school I practically run away from any sites of photos of zaidee ( after i donate money) because I know it makes me cry she was an amazing person I was so up set when I missed her funeral, I remember painting a rainbow on a wall at primary school with a biggish garden underneath it..
    Just remembering everything puts me in tears 🙁

    – I miss you Zaidee rose Alaxandra Turner xxx
    Ilove you heaps <3

  14. dylan russell poskitt
    dylan russell poskitt at |

    i say i miss zaidee

  15. Rosalie Quinlan
    Rosalie Quinlan at |

    Hi, I have just learned of Zaidee’s story after picking up an aldi brochure advertising her rainbow laces. Thank you so much for she has given the most precious gift. I know because my brother received a heart transplant when he was 19 and that gift gave him back his life and also gave him back to us but sadly he has been put on the waiting list for a second heart he was lucky the first time but donor rates have not changed much in 19 years. He is still a young man and he has a 8 year old daughter. I am doing the sunsuper conquer cancer bike ride at the end of this year but really I was looking to do something for organ donation do you know of any events coming up. Thank you because out of your most dire despair and grief you said yes to giving people like my brother a second chance for that we the receipients are eternally grateful.

  16. Kathleen Carol Whelan
    Kathleen Carol Whelan at |

    You are very courageous parents to have started this initiative in memory of your beautiful young daughter. In spite of your tragic loss you have managed to get on with your own lives and to keep Zaidee’s memory alive so she can continue to live in everyone’s heart.
    I have been an organ donor for over thirty years, and have told my family that this is my wish. It is also written in my Will.
    It was not a difficult decion to make. As you said in your poem we do noy need our bodily parts after our death, and if others can benefit, then we should make a positive effort to become organ donors.
    I believe that organ donation should be mandatory, and that people who do not wish to do so, should then opt out. I believe this is the system in some overseas countries. Makes good sense to me,
    Congratulations to you on setting up the Foundation.
    I will put your info. on my Facebook page to help spread the word.
    Bless you all.

  17. Patricia Falco
    Patricia Falco at |

    What wonderful parents you are to keep Zaidee’s memory alive with the Rainbow foundation.I’m so glad I picked up that Aldi brochure. I also, will try to spread the word on my face book page.
    God Bless, Patricia.

  18. Jay
    Jay at |

    I have often seen rainbows painted on the windows of businesses in Shepparton with Zaidee’s across them, and wondered what they were for. It didn’t take long to find out and now after seeing the laces on Aldi’s website I have found myself here crying after reading Zaidee’s poem. I have always told my family I wish to donate my organs and in such an event that my youngster leaves before myself, I would hope our organs could give others life. What a beautfiul way of paying tribute to your dear little girl.
    Bless you all and may she be looking after and over you, wherever she is.
    She is dancing in full colour.

  19. Rosalie deVisscher
    Rosalie deVisscher at |

    On 6 Dec 2003 we unexpectedly lost our 19 yr old daughter Jasmine also to a brain aneurism. She died in her sleep and therefore we were not able to donate her organs. I was already registered on the organ donor register and I know that Jasmine’s organs would have been donated if we were able to. It is a wonderful thing that you have done and her memory will live forever. Angels flying high forever

  20. Louise
    Louise at |

    Zoe you brought tears to my eyes with your comment.

    I wish i had the opportunity to that the family of the angel who saved my life 14 months ago.

    I had a kidney transplant and if wasn’t for the selfless gift they gave I would not be here today.

    Zaidee’s story has moved me to tears. Very proud of what the foundation is doing.

    You are truly inspirational. 🙂

  21. Edwina
    Edwina at |

    I think that what she did was amazing and is now one of my new romodles.

  22. Edwina
    Edwina at |

    role models.

  23. Rachel
    Rachel at |

    Zaidee’s story has brought tears to my eyes and inspired me to become an organ donor. I am already a blood donor but its time to register my organs too!

  24. cristie collyer
    cristie collyer at |

    i went to the same primary school as zaidee and i just remember everytime i saw her she had a big smile on her face and nothing could take that that smile away 🙂 but then when i found out what happened it was like it wasnt true it was really hard to beleive that it was really true.. you just sit back and think that it could never happen to you but it does happen. i hear about everything that has came out of that day and it seems like it was a big eye opener for people across austraila just seeing a little girl go though ll that she did but i know now that she is a really big inspiration and its really a good thing what zaidees family are doing…..
    so i just want to say that the foundation has my full suport and just keep going the way yous are going because its really changing peoples way of thinking!!!!!

    we all really miss you zaidee r.i.p and never loose that wonderful smile 🙂

  25. Jude
    Jude at |

    I lost my dearly loved husband Tim due to a cerebral bleed on March 31st…just three weeks ago. Our daughter and I knew we would donate his organs to help others. We saw Zaidees plaque on the wall of the ICU waiting room. It helped us to feel not so alone during a very difficult and sad time. Although I am heartbroken, I am proud that my Tim has helped others lead a more normal life.

  26. Ged Sweeney
    Ged Sweeney at |

    I found out about Zaidee when I bought a Rainbow wristband from Flyactive. Your story is inspirational and I hope that out of your tragedy you find solace and comfort from your hard work. With best wishes, Ged

  27. Erin
    Erin at |

    My brothers play for the Rovers in the EFL. One of them needed to find his Zaidees laces and my other brother ‘s were on the table. I read the back of it and saw the website. I immediately got onto the website. I was so sad when I found out what happened to Zaidee, but when I saw that she was an organ donor, I realised she was such a brave little girl. I wish I had a pair of Zaidees laces so I could put them in my netball shoes! From the moment I knew what happened, I wanted to become an organ donor. I can’t believe she saved 7 peoples lives! Sad that she wasn’t here to witness this. I’m sure she would be smiling right now if she knew.

  28. Maddie
    Maddie at |

    Hi im Maddie im 10 years old….I saw Zaidee’s rainbow laces at a footy club that my brother plays for. I read the back and i was suprised at what she had done at 7 years old and saving 7 peoples lives. Soon as i read it i said to my mum dad and brother i want to donate my body parts when i die to the ones who need them. Mum & Dad said they would do the same but my brother disagreed because he beleives you should be left to rest in peace and i get his point and it does make sense.Anyway Zaidee was and always will be a brave little girl. Her short years and days will always be remembered.Zaidee inspired me.

  29. Tania
    Tania at |

    In 2010 my then13 year old son was diagnosed with a Giant fusiform Brain Aneyrisim . The children’s hospital told me to spend quality time with him because there was nothing that could be done. They said he would not make the end of the year because the speed ur was getting bigger. Every headache, every morning I thought would be his last. I had heard of Zaidees story and had the hardest conversation of my life with my son. He decided that if he could not be saved he would donate his organs to save someone else. During this time I had meetings at a few hospitals and FINALY found a surgeon who would at least try to help my son. He had a 16 hour operation to Graft a vein in his brain to bypass the aneurism. It didn’t work so he underwent a second graft and it worked. He is now 15 years old and has only memory loss as a side effect from surgery..Dr Laidlaw and The Royal Melbourne hospital saved my son… But through your daughters story all my children have decided to be donors and I have 6 children. Your daughter and your family are inspirations to us all..

  30. Bianca
    Bianca at |

    Im sitting in the waiting room at royal Melbourne hospital and couldn’t miss this big smile and plaited hair at the corner of my eye-I was captured by it, to get up and see who this beautiful, beaming, content girl was. After reading her plaque, still here, I decided to get my phone out to look up the rainbow shoelace foundation. What a great way to open peoples minds. The little angel is defiantly in this room tonight. RIP.

    1. david
      david at |

      Hi Bianca,

      We have a number of Zaidee’s Plaques in ICU and Emergency departments hanging on the wall in Hospitals around Australia – a slightest message for those that could be in a position to become a organ and tissue donor or for a family to start a discussion and be inspire by Zaidee’s message which they may never have thought about before until their time in a hospital.

  31. Elise
    Elise at |

    This is very moving story and I think it is important that everyone helps this foundation. That is why our school is doing a 24 hour relay for it. We’re aiming to raise $30,000.

  32. Tiff
    Tiff at |

    What a very sad but beautiful story what a coragous family. And such a brilliant little girl to be so selfless.

  33. Lucy
    Lucy at |

    I think Zaidee is such an inspirational little girl and her story is so moving. Rest in peace Zaidee.

  34. anastacia
    anastacia at |

    i just read about zaidee story and i carnt belive what she has done she is an amazing little angle she has changed peoples lifes i am 14 and so amazed bye what this little girl zaidee has done i am happy for her family for being such amazing people i love you zaidee r.i.p the little amazing l girl that you had become you are an angle!!!! <3 <3 <3 you will be in my heart forever and ever

  35. Nicky
    Nicky at |

    My daughter was drawn to Zaidee’s picture on the pack of her rainbow laces, so be purchased a pair. That was a few years ago now, and we’ve kept them in a special spot, as my daughter didn’t want to use them yet. Periodically we’d pull them down from the shelf, look at Zaidee’s picture, and talk about her wonderful gift. Today my daughter asked to put Zaidee’s laces in her shoes. We again talked about your daughter and sister, and thought we’d pass on our gratitude, and promise, that she will be remembered and talked about with love by our family.

  36. Courtney
    Courtney at |

    I’m taking part in Mckinnon Secondary Colleges 24/7 relay challenge and when Allan came and talked at our assembly I was so touched. When I told people about Zaidee’s foundation and her story they were all so inspired. Little Zaidee has changed so many lives. Thank-you so much for setting up this amazing fondation!! <3 <3

  37. Cassandra Treverton
    Cassandra Treverton at |

    Me and my friend are so inspired we are going to start fundraising at our school! We want to make a difference and zaidees’ legacy shall live on. Everyone should know about this brave little girl 🙂

  38. camden NGPS
    camden NGPS at |

    Hi guys
    you were at our school yesterday i was moved the zaidee donated her organs.
    From Camden

  39. Casey
    Casey at |

    Just watching the cricket and jumped online to see what Zaidee’s cause was. How inspiring, yet interminably sad. I’m so pleased the cricket side has embraced this – the commentators are giving it a huge plug too! All the best with your task. I’ll be doing my bit to help you along.

  40. Brett
    Brett at |

    As an organ recipient, kidney, I will never be able to express enough thanks to my donor and their family.
    The more that can be done by wonderful groups such as yours to promote organ donation the better.
    I wish more people could and would donate so that more lives can be saved and changed just as mine has been.

  41. Krish
    Krish at |

    Zaidee’s story is absolutely beautiful & she is a very special little girl. I’m sure Zaidee’s guardian angels are taking very good care of her in heaven. 1 year ago I was told that I will require a double transplant within 3 years. After reading Zaidees story it has brought hope to me and I hope after the storm that I am about to go through, That there is a rainbow at the end for me.

  42. Chris
    Chris at |

    Our family has been aware of Zaidee’s wonderful gift for some time and we discussed organ donation with our kids at an early age. I too will donate my organs. I know all too well what the gift organ donation would mean as my mother has end stage kidney failure and not a candidate for a transplant, my husband too has kidney disease and maybe one day he will need one.
    Thank you Zaidee for your gift and making us all see how important organ donation is.

  43. Rylee Monique Bolejko
    Rylee Monique Bolejko at |

    I only just heard about what happened to zaidee it is so kind to donate her organs to other people. It’s heart breaking to have lost zaidee. I read it over and over again so I decided to buy some zaidee laces. Rylee Monique Bolejko.age 8.

  44. Tracey Rose
    Tracey Rose at |

    Thank you for sharing Zaidee’s beautiful story – I have a child with Cystic Fibrosis and while I hope she never needs an organ transplant, it’s possible. I am grateful for families like you who help give others a 2nd chance … xxx

  45. Kristy
    Kristy at |

    After my son received Zaidee shoelaces in his auskick bag and asked me what they were, we came straight home to look it up. Although I was aware of Zaidees cause, I wanted to explain it to my six year old right. What a great way of getting people talking about organ donation. What an amazing, selfless family you are.

  46. Michelle
    Michelle at |

    Just wanted to tell you my 8 yo son has been wearing Zaidee’s laces to school since receiving them at Auskick. He is today sharing Zaidee’s story with his class in Memory of Zaidee and his cousin who passed from cancer around the same age as he is now.

  47. sallyt tousaint
    sallyt tousaint at |

    Today we had a game in Pakenham where all Senior players wore the shoe laces in their boots. Allan you gave a talk today and very moving speech to the boys after the game. Zaidee’s story touched us all and hope this will continue as a yearly event. I am from the Pakenham juniors and we will promote this to our kids as much as possible in the next few weeks and years to come. Thanks again and look forward to joining this amazing cause.

  48. Jordon Bowlan
    Jordon Bowlan at |

    The first kidney transplants between living patients were undertaken in 1954 in Boston and Paris. The Boston transplantation, performed on December 23, 1954, at Brigham Hospital was performed by Joseph Murray, J. Hartwell Harrison, John P. Merrill and others. ;`’;

    Best regards

  49. Trevor Faggotter
    Trevor Faggotter at |

    Thank you. I only learned of this today, through the Port v. Hawks game, and the story of Chad Wingard”s friend, Alex Aunger. May there be many more who are effected for good, through your family story, and Zaidee’s life.

  50. Susan
    Susan at |

    Thankyou for sharing your inspirational story. I had heard of your story back in 2004, and noticed the plaque at the Royal Children’s Hospial Koala Ward. What a wonderful gift Zaidee has given to others – the gift of life!
    I remember hearing of Young Talent Time’s Juanita Coco death in 1993. Her organs were donated also (she was 17 at the time of her passing).

  51. Cathie
    Cathie at |

    Good Morning – I’ve just heard you on 3AW. I will do what I can to spread the awareness of your delightful Zaidee’s story. What a great little face she has. Kind thoughts to you all.

  52. Brooke
    Brooke at |

    My husband and I are both donors and have discussed this with our own children. We actually believe everyone should be considered a donor until they opt out…tick the box if you don’t want to be a donor.
    What a beautiful memory and legacy for Zaidee. And we have a few sets of rainbow laces in our shoes too!

  53. Leanne
    Leanne at |

    I first heard of Zaidee’s story when the decision to donate the gift of life was made after the tragic death of my 18 year old son in 2013, i am again reminded of the story when our family had to make the same descion when my 27 year old son was also tragically killed last month, leaving behind a wife and unborn child. Keep up the great work as just knowing that my boys have helped so many others is my strength at the moment.

  54. Mike Willard
    Mike Willard at |

    I just heard about Zaidee’s story through our company, Sportstec. Our MD was one of the honored entrepreneurs at the EY awards recently. Congrats to Allan also.

    I am in the USA and have a 7 year old boy. This is a nearly impossible topic for parents to discuss. I applaud your commitment to help us have the discussion!

    Can you direct me to a similar foundation in the US?

    Kind regards

  55. paige
    paige at |

    Heart touching story.

  56. Eliza Farley
    Eliza Farley at |

    Hi Alan, and family.
    My younger brother William (William the brave) is at the Royal Children’s Hospital waiting for a heart transplant. I am a 14 year old girl, who had very little idea about organ and skin tissue awareness . After reading Zaidee’s plark at the hospital, it amazed me the statistics and facts about Organ and Skin tissue donations. After finding out that William will need a new heart to have a better life, all you can do is help spread the message around. Zaidee is my inspiration, She is the one I think about whenever I am having a bad day, She gives me hope that one day William will come home. I thank you and your family for being so open with your experience and helping families who need inspiration in their lives like what Zaidee has done with our family. So thankyou .. ‘INSPIRE DISCUSSION’

  57. A person
    A person at |

    Omg she is such a strong little girl

  58. Rachel
    Rachel at |

    I ‘PROUDLY’ ware Zaidee’s laces! (Thank-you for making them long & strong enough to fit in 8hole Dr.Martin boots. I bought about 6 pair to go in all my shoes & to give away)! I always tell people why, & the brave young hero’s gift that they represent. Due to this I have made sure everyone knows my wishes to be an organ & tissue donor. Because of what these AMAZING LACES represent, I am now a registered donor & carry my donor card everywhere. I’m just going to put a pix of both on Facebook to keep the message going. THANKYOU for your bravery as her parents

  59. Another Person
    Another Person at |

    Thanks for setting up the foundation! I was very touched by her commitments. I hope you are very proud to have had such an amazing daughter!

  60. warren
    warren at |

    To Allan and the staff at the zaidee rainbow foundation thanks for all you do to get zaidee’s information out there.I ware zaidee’s rainbow shoe laces in my joggers and boots. I love reading the letters that every one sends in. Your daughter is an inspiration I have a laminated zaidee’s rainbow foundation picture on my fridge at home so I see her smiling face every day. You all do an amazing job I get lots of comments about the laces and tell them a little bit about the story behind them.

    from warren.

  61. warren
    warren at |

    Hi I love the rainbow foundation it is amazing to read the story’s.
    I’m a transplant patient and I received the gift of life in 2012 in may and it has been the best thing.I’m able to do much more now.

  62. sarah
    sarah at |

    so sad

  63. Stewart Coff
    Stewart Coff at |

    Top stuff

  64. John Turner
    John Turner at |

    Beautiful story. Thank you Zaidee.

  65. Lynette
    Lynette at |

    1994 Elisabeth J Fisher
    8 yrs 2 weeks.
    Donated all her organs a the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.
    Talk to your kids …save lives.

  66. Emmerson
    Emmerson at |

    Hi i discobered the Zaidees rainbow foundation in 2018 at the shepparton
    swimming meet.


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