Every 15 hours a child is born with cerebral palsy (CP), that’s one in every 500 babies born. CP is the most common physical disability in childhood and for parents, learning of a lifelong diagnosis for their child can be devastating.
Cerebral palsy is a brain disorder, with symptoms ranging from physical weakness in one hand to an almost complete lack of voluntary movement. Three quarters of those with cerebral palsy will be living with chronic pain and 1 in 4 are unable to talk.
The parents and families of children living with CP need to provide extensive daily care and therapy to help their children lead productive and fulfilling lives, which without additional support would not always be possible.
Sabrina Boyton, is mother to four year old Sammy who has Cerebral Palsy. Sabrina noticed something wasn’t quite right when Sammy was six months old, “Sammy would cry every time we tried to extend her arm and so she would keep it bent all the time.”
“When we first received the diagnosis we were shocked, we were scared, and me as a mum, I guess I felt a little guilty wondering what I did wrong during my pregnancy, or what else could I have done to stop this from happening.”
Sabrina says, “Sammy’s diagnosis was a shock to everyone, but our family and friends we’re so great and supportive, they all hopped on board and will do anything to help us out whenever we need it. We’re so thankful for such a great support network.”
“The support we got from Cerebral Palsy Alliance after Sammy was diagnosed with amazing, from physiotherapy to occupational therapy and speech therapy.”
“Fundraising events like Steptember are vital to raise awareness and funds to help kids like Sammy get the therapy that they need to become the best that they can be.”
Steptember is Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s annual 28-day event which challenges people to take 10,000 steps a day or to achieve an equivalent daily goal through a series of different activities. The event provides a fun and engaging way to raise the funds for support, therapy, and equipment to help the families affected by CP.
Jo Ford, from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance says, “It’s really easy to register and participate in Steptember. Simply go to http://www.steptember.org.au, grab your friends or your work colleagues, create a team to challenge and support each other as you participate in this fantastic event.”
“Funds raised will support the provision of services, equipment and assistive technology for people living with CP. Some of the funds will also go towards research for those important therapies and interventions to support people living with cerebral palsy.”
“Steptember is for everybody, no matter what your fitness level. We have an online calculator that converts a range of activities to the equivalent steps, for example you may be involved in wheelchair rugby or yoga and the steps can be calculated for you to reach your goal.”
Registrations for Steptember are now open and Australians are encouraged to put their best foot forward and step-up to the challenge to help the 34,000 Australians living with cerebral palsy. To register for the challenge, visit http://www.steptember.org.au