Melissa Tudhope remembers the day 17 years ago when doctors told her that son Ben had cerebral palsy like it was yesterday.
Ben was born with a substantial paralysis down one side and Melissa was told that he may never walk or talk. There are more than 34,000 Australians living with the disability, which affects body movement and muscle co-ordination, and there is no known cure.
“I can still remember that long walk to the car park [after the diagnosis] and thinking that we would never stop crying,” she tells Sarah Harris in the first of our video series to help promote the Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s annual Steptember fundraiser.
Watching Sammy play with her older sister Amelia at the piano, the bubbly four-year-old lights up the room with her infectious smile and boundless energy. Her face beams, full of hope and potential, just as her proud mother Sabrina anticipated at her birth.
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.
Internationally recognised neonatologist Professor Nadia Badawi AM has extensive experience working in the field of cerebral palsy and newborn brain conditions.
Speaking to Sarah Harris in our exclusive video series to promote the annual Cerebral Palsy Alliance fundraiser Steptember, Professor Badawi and a team of experts are leading research into interventions and prevention.
In the 10 years that we started the research foundation the rate of cerebral palsy has dropped dramatically,” says the internationally recognised neonatologist, who was appointed by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance as the first Chair of Cerebral Palsy in 2009.
Popular Youth Manager and exercise physiologist Teigan Butchers says getting children with cerebral palsy moving as early as possible is vital if they’re going to reach their full potential.
“Early intervention with evidence-based therapy and practice can make a lifetime of difference to young people with cerebral palsy,” says the Cerebral Palsy Alliance manager of youth services.
But as she tells Sarah Harris in our video series to promote the annual Steptember fundraiser, the trick is to make the programs exciting and fun.
Major sponsor ING Direct has partnered with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance for nearly 20 years, helping the organisation provide invaluable support to the 34,000 Australians with the disability.
The two are so intertwined, says Shannon Carruth, ING’s manager of community impact, that the Cerebral Palsy Alliance is almost part of the business’s DNA.
But as she proudly tells host Sarah Harris in our exclusive video series to promote the Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s major annual fundraiser, few events create the buzz of Steptember, which invites participants to take at least 10,000 steps, or the equivalent of, a day for 28 days straight.