THERE are a number of teams in Dubbo taking part in the annual Steptember Challenge this month, but Team Quinn in particular are walking with their hearts on their sleeves.
This marks the third year Michael and Fiona Quinn have formed a team in the Steptember Challenge, which requires each entrant to walk 10,000 steps a day to raise at least $1000 for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
The cause is very close to the Quinns’ hearts as their eldest daughter Eliza was diagnosed with spastic diplegia, affecting both her legs.
The Quinns did not find themselves disadvantaged by their location in Dubbo in terms of seeking the right treatment and therapy for Eliza.
While Eliza’s disability affects her walking, intellectually she’s as sharp as a tack with a very determined personality. Eliza was born nine weeks premature, but the Quinns did not receive an official diagnosis of her condition until she was two years old.
Both Michael and Fiona had an inkling something wasn’t quite right. Although she rolled and crawled at the expected ages, her legs began to “scissor” at a young age, her hips were tight and she was unable to straighten her legs.
Eliza’s mobility and independence means she can do most things, but she can tire more quickly than other children so she sometimes uses a wheelchair for long distances.
The Quinns attribute the support of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance to their reasoning to walk the Steptember Challenge.
“Eliza had selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery in October last year, which is used on a small percentage of children with cerebral palsy to permanently reduce spasticity in their legs,” Fiona said.
“The Cerebral Palsy Alliance were an invaluable source of support with her post-op recovery and working with her school, Dubbo South Public, on how to best support Eliza.”
Michael and Fiona, along with Michael’s sister Megan and family friend Leisa Dodd, have chosen to donate all Steptember funds raised to therapy services and further Cerebral Palsy Alliance research. Fiona said the Dubbo Cerebral Palsy Alliance was a hub for children with disabilities in the region.
“It’s a fantastic service for Dubbo and the region and we’re happy to do what we can to support it,” she said.
You can make an online donation to support Team Quinn by heading to www.steptember.org.au