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Steptember 2017: ‘I Want Our Little Miss Sunshine To Know She Can Do Anything’

Steptember 2017: 'I Want Our Little Miss Sunshine To Know She Can Do Anything'

In our exclusive video series to promote the annual fundraiser Steptember, Sabrina tells host Sarah Harris (Studio 10) that she had a regular pregnancy and delivery.

It was only at around the six-month mark that Sabrina noticed Sammy began to cry whenever her right arm was inserted into a sleeve.

Sabrina wondered whether Sammy might be left-handed. But by the time she was nine months, even Sammy’s carer and grandmother commented on her overwhelming preference for her left side in all activities.

Making every step count

When she finally got the diagnosis that Sammy had cerebral palsy, which affects body movement and muscle co-ordination, with no known cure, she tells Sarah that she felt a mixture of shock, fright and guilt.

“I thought, ‘Was it something I did during my pregnancy, was there something I should have done and didn’t do?’,” Sabrina confides to Sarah.

The only way to move forward was to arm herself with as much information as she could about Sammy’s type of cerebral palsy – there are more than 34,000 Australians living with the disability – and lean on the support of family, friends and Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

“They were the first place we visited. Without their help, support and information we’d be lost.”

Sammy plays with her older sister Amelia and flashes one of her beautiful smiles
Sammy plays with her older sister Amelia and flashes one of her beautiful smiles

Sabrina knows that putting Sammy’s needs before all else is imperative right now, as research shows that early intervention before the age of five has the best potential of success.

But because of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s emphasis on positivity and hope, which are central to everything they do, Sabrina is now confident there is nothing Sammy won’t be able to achieve in life, even if it might take a bit longer than her peers.

Sarah Harris and Sammy's Mum Sabrina take a selfie together on the set.
Sarah Harris and Sammy’s Mum Sabrina take a selfie together on the set.

That’s also why Sabrina, family and friends continue to offer their wholehearted support to Steptember, Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s annual fundraiser in which participants are sponsored to complete at least 10,000 steps a day, for 28 days straight.

“Everyone we know is taking part in some way; whether they’re donating, sharing things on social media, they’re all involved, and they’re all proud,” says Sabrina.

“It brings people together, it gets people talking about it [cerebral palsy] and it’s just a fun way to get fit and raise awareness, and help get some funds for kids like Sammy.”

To register your involvement in Steptember, and take 10,000 steps a day for 28 days straight, simply SMS the word ‘Sammy’ to 0499 002 222, or visit www.steptember.org.au.

Your Steptember kit, consisting of a pedometer, lanyard and booklet, will be delivered right to your doorstep.

Every dollar you raise will provide vital equipment, therapy and services to children and adults living with cerebral palsy. Or, you can choose to raise funds for ground-breaking research into the prevention and maybe even one day a cure.

Read other stories supporting Cerebral Palsy Alliance here:

Paralympian Gets Behind Cerebral Palsy Alliance Fundraiser

Sarah Harris Meets The Professor Researching Cerebral Palsy

Written by Presenter

Sarah Harris is the presenter of Game Changers.com.au. She is also a mum of two, journalist and host of Network Ten’s show, Studio 10 and Shark Tank.
It takes a special mix of sass and smarts to wrangle co-hosts (and media heavyweights) Kerrie Anne Kennerley and Joe Hildebrand in front of a live studio audience every day. Sarah has both in spades; not least because she spent more than a decade on the road as a reporter, covering some of the biggest stories around the world.
Before moving to Network 10, she worked at Channel Nine as the network’s go to reporter: delivering extended live coverage from Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, the Christchurch earthquake and Queensland’s devastating floods in 2011.

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