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Eatons Hill Family Going to America for Life Changing Surgery

Every so often at Village Buzz we come across a story that really tugs at our heartstrings and the case of young James Meyer from Eatons Hill is definitely one of those.

He suffers from cerebral palsy and his parents Darren and Christine have launched an appeal to raise funds to take him to the United States for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery. The surgery promises to remove spasticity in his muscles which will, in turn, relieve the pain and discomfort he endures. It will help him be more mobile and independent increasing his quality of life.

His birth in October 2013 (10 weeks premature) was traumatic and he was delivered by emergency Caesarean section. His twin sister Grace was born shortly afterwards and the medical team expected both children to recover fully in the course of time. By the age of 10 months, however, it became apparent that James wasn't hitting the same developmental milestones as his sister and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. This affects all sufferers differently and, in James's case, his cognitive function was luckily not impaired but he was in a state where the muscles in all four limbs are impacted by spasticity making his muscles tight and hard to move.

The condition is painful and threatened to reduce his mobility to the extent he might never be able to walk independently. The medical team launched an early intervention programme of treatment which included physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and speech therapy in an attempt to alleviate his symptoms.

He was classified as a 4 on the GMFCS scale which ranges from 1 to 5, with five being the most disabled. Doctors expected James would spend a lot of his life in a wheelchair but his mum Christine said he was so determined to walk that he is now able to use a hand-held walker and has been downgraded to a 3 on the GMFCS scale.

Determination, regular Botox injections and a self-funded programme of intensive therapy were responsible for this improvement. However, Christine told Village Buzz that these treatments are not long-term solutions because the effects of Botox only last a few months and intensive therapy costs between $3000-$5000 which is prohibitively expensive because it would have to be repeated three or four times every year.

The family began to hope again early in 2017 when Christine heard about SDR surgery from a mum whose child had successfully undergone the treatment and she and Darren began to investigate the possibility that it might benefit James too.

He was found to be a promising candidate but the surgery is not often performed in Australia meaning the family will have to travel to the St Louis Children's Hospital in the US where he can be operated on by leading specialist Dr Tae Sung Park.

The cost of travel, the surgery and intensive rehabilitation afterwards will cost $100,000 and so James's parents launched the Every Step Foundation to try to raise the necessary funds to relieve the pain their son suffers from and give him the best chance they can of living a normal life.

Christine explained that the SDR surgery will involve identifying the nerves rootlets leading out of James’s spine responsible for his muscle spasticity and cutting them. There will be plenty of physical therapy for him to undergo afterwards but his parents believe it will be worth it for the reduction in pain and discomfort and increased mobility it will bring.

Mum Christine believes the treatment will be successful and points out that the surgery has been performed thousands of times with many testifying to the positive effect it has had on their lives. James’ medical team are supportive of his parents’ decision to seek the treatment.

Without help from the community, however, it will be financially impossible for him to receive the treatment. The Every Step Foundation welcomes one-off or monthly donations at the link provided and will be holding events over the next few months to raise funds.

Donations are tax deductible. To donate, visit https://www.givenow.com.au/jamessdr

Ladies are invited for a fundraising lunch at Hillstone St Lucia in October. It will be a day of fun to support James on his journey to an independent and pain-free future. Follow Every Step Foundation on Facebook for updates on events and to see James’ progress.

We at Village Buzz wish the Meyer family every success with their fundraising efforts and will be holding thumbs for James when he goes through his life-changing surgery later in the year.

Every Step Foundation

Facebook: https://goo.gl/Hchq1Y

Website: http://www.everystepfoundation.org.au/

Donate: https://www.givenow.com.au/jamessdr

More information on SDR surgery

Website: http://www.stlouischildrens.org/our-services/center-cerebral-palsy-spasticity/about-selective-dorsal-rhizotomy-sdr

Brochure: http://www.stlouischildrens.org/sites/default/files/services/cerebral_spasticity/files/SDRbrochure_final.pdf

 

Fundraising Ladies Lunch

Date: 21 October 2017 at 11:00am

Location: Hillstone St Lucia, Carawa Street, St Lucia, QLD 4067.

Contact: Christine Meyer, 0422740304, info@everystepfoundation.org.au

Booking: https://www.trybooking.com/RKNH

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Local woman could be the highest-ranked female karateka in the world!

Here at Village Buzz we were intrigued to hear that a local woman will soon be heading out to Japan where she stands a chance of becoming one of the highest-ranked female karateka in the world.

Malwina Martin is an instructor at the Ho Shin Do Karate Club in Wilston Road, Newmarket, and is hoping to achieve her 5th Dan black belt grading in the Go Ju Ryu style of karate. She and other members of the club, including her husband Roderick, will attend a training camp, be graded and compete in the Japanese Karate Federation (JKF) nationals in Wakayama in August.

Pictured: At a recent training session to prepare for the trip to Japan were, from left, Janine Boothroyd, Ollie Martin, Maia Martin, Rod Martin, Malwina Martin, Luke Morrison
and Mia Anderson.

The club organises an annual trip to Japan to participate in a two-week camp held by Seiichi Fujiwara Hanshi who is a prominent member of the JKF and an 8th Dan karateka himself. Senior karateka from around the world attend the camp which provides an opportunity for learning and socialising.

"We always learn a great deal from the training camps run by Fujiwara Sensei during which we train for six hours a day for two weeks," said Rod, who is chief instructor at the club. "The experience is incredibly demanding physically and mentally and feels like the equivalent of running a marathon every day for the same amount of time!"

Those who will be heading to Japan on July 22 include Rod, Malwina, their daughter Maia, their son Ollie and club members Dr Janine Boothroyd and Mia Anderson. If successful, the touring party will achieve some major milestones during the trip.

As already mentioned, Malwina hopes to gain her 5th Dan and Rod, who has been training for the past 35 years, will attempt his 6th Dan in the All Japan Karatedo Federation Gojukai. This will make him only the fourth person in Australia graded at that level in Japan.

We chatted with club members before a recent training session and were fascinated to hear about their motivations for participating in such a demanding sport and to hear of Rod’s hopes and plans for his younger charges.

Everyone was in agreement that karate has been a major force for good in their lives and said it not only keeps them fit, but the total concentration it demands helps them to de-stress by emptying their minds of everything. They also agreed that the training helps to improve self-discipline and teaches etiquette and respect for others.

Rod said that karate had been through a dip in Australia in the past few decades but there has recently been a resurgence, especially now it has been reinstated as an Olympic sport for 2020 in Tokyo. He has high hopes that his young charges including Maia, Mia and Luke Morrison (who won't be going to Japan this year) will reach their peak as karateka by 2024 and make a serious impression in the Olympics that year.

We at Village Buzz wished the touring party all the best and said we hoped they would kick serious butt while in Japan. Ollie Martin replied it was more likely the tourists would have their own butts kicked, but that it would be a great learning experience anyway.

PROFILES

Rod and Malwina Martin: Rod currently is hoping to gain a 6th Dan Japanese grading while Malwina will go for her 5th Dan and both will compete in the JKF Nationals in Wakayama. The couple met in Australia, moved to London to teach karate, returned here and started the Ho Shin Do club in 2005. Rod now runs GO2 Health in South Pine Road at Everton Park.

Janine Boothroyd: Janine will be going for her 4th Dan while on tour. She is the current Australian Veteran Kata Champion in the JKF Australia and will be competing in the JKF Nationals in Wakayama.

Maia Martin: Maia will be going for her 2nd Dan. She is the current Australian Go Ju Kai Kata Champion and will be flying home early from Japan to join the Queensland team and compete in the Australian Karate Federation (AKF) Nationals in Sydney.**

Mia Anderson is hoping to gain her 1st Dan in Japan. She fights in the contact division, is a member of the Australian National team and will also compete in the JKF Nationals. Mia has a history of various championship wins in Australia and we wish her the best.

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** Ho Shin Do club member Luke Morrison who holds a 1st kyu Brown belt and fights in the points sparring division of kyu and Black belts, will be joining Maia in the Queensland team to do battle at the AKF Nationals in Sydney.

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Everton Park State Primary School Celebrates Their 2016 Carnival

Everton Park State School recently celebrated their 2016 Carnival. Despite the rain, the school’s spirit was in full swing with student performances, fireworks, market stalls, amusement rides and even a petting zoo.

Everton Park State School’s major sponsor and principal of Madeleine Hicks Real Estate; Madeleine Hicks said the carnival was an excellent opportunity to showcase the children’s talents and engage with our local community.

“Without the support from local businesses; we wouldn’t be able to make this day possible.”

“Despite the rain, families still came out in support and we were able to raise much needed funds for the school” she said.

“The money raised assists in providing benefits to students’ education now and in the years ahead, through supporting the purchase of valuable academic resources and equipment, information and communication technologies & upgrading the physical environment.”

Real estate agent and member of the Neighbourhood Watch; Mary Di Marco said the fete was a great success and all the organisers should be really proud of themselves.

“The fete has really strengthened the relationship with our community and the school.” says Mary.

Pictured below are Everton Park State School student, Lucy, her mother and our office manager; Linda Scanlan accepting a raffle prize donated by Madeleine Hicks Real Estate.

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Pictured below: Erin Ryan, one of our property management managers playing in the petting zoo.

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Justin Hicks and his little red scoot parading with the big bikes at the Everton Park State School Carnival 2016.
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