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The Julia Ruttell story – FASfacts Ambassador

 Julia Ruttell is a remarkable young lady and UCT student who is dedicated to make a difference in the lives of those affected by FAS.  

We are privileged to introduce Julia Ruttell, a remarkable young lady and UCT student who is both selfless and dedicated to a cause and has the courage of her convictions to drive her forward with a purpose to make a difference in the lives of those affected by FAS.

Julia had a rough start to University life (Bachelor of Social Sciences) and struggled to cope with the changes imposed on her going to study at UCT; suffering from inability to concentrate and retain information this lead to depression, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. Through her studies she was required to write a literature review on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and via this research Julia learnt about the challenges faced by children affected by FAS; which closely mimicked many of the symptoms she had experienced due to the changes imposed by her choice to study at UCT.

This resonated with her as her situation was by choice and help was available to reverse the negative feelings she had experienced. FAS children do not have this as an option; their psychological, mental and emotional shortcomings are due to a physiological defect within the brain; as such completely incurable and a lifelong affliction. Julia went the extra mile to make contact with FASfacts to research further of her own volition to gain a full understanding of the challenges the children faced and to see if she could make a difference.

The opportunity to make a difference presented itself in a most unusual and selfless act on the part of this young lady. For her 21st birthday she requested that friends and family give her money rather than a gift, she collected a total of R1 600, no small feat for a student, which she generously donated to FASfacts so that they could utilise this to continue with their invaluable work with the community in Worcester educating and assisting pregnant and nursing mothers.

Julia is committed to continuing in her support of FASfacts and to be an ambassador for them to raise support and awareness at UCT and via her friends and family. Whilst she realises that funding is extremely important to the continuation of any NGO, she also realises education is also of paramount importance and for the message to be received by as many as possible so that there is a unified effort to support and assist communities where FAS is prevalent to reduce or eliminate this entirely. The Western Cape has the highest FAS incidence in the world and it is only through continued and sustainable efforts that a difference can be made to positively reduce the incidence of FAS.

“For it is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis of Assisi

Ms Ncazelo Mlilo (NMCF) and Julia Ruttell

  • "A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.” ―Eda J. Le Shan

  • “Drinking during pregnancy is linked with disaster – personal disaster for the ‘bright-eyed ones,’ disaster for their families and their hope for their young, and disaster for . . . society as we struggle to pay the huge price of this destruction.” - Prof. Ann Streissguth, Ph.D.

  • "If you're pregnant, don't drink. If you drink, don't get pregnant" - Eva Carner

  • "Every day is FASD Awareness day" - Teresa Kellerman (