Step by step, St Giles needs support

Event ambassador Kees De Jong prepares for the Walk with Me fund-raiser with Lincoln Hodgetts, Elliott Hodgetts, Zara Harwood, Ava Harwood and Dick Smith Launceston store manager Mark Hodgetts.  Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

Event ambassador Kees De Jong prepares for the Walk with Me fund-raiser with Lincoln Hodgetts, Elliott Hodgetts, Zara Harwood, Ava Harwood and Dick Smith Launceston store manager Mark Hodgetts. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

AVA Harwood would struggle to walk without the help of St Giles disability service.

The Perth four-year-old has received physiotherapy and hydrotherapy from the organisation since she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at two years of age.

Her mother, Katie Harwood, said she didn’t understand her condition until she went to St Giles.

‘‘They just explained what was going on, what would happen, and what we were aiming for in the long run,’’ Ms Harwood said.

‘‘If it wasn’t for them we would be completely lost, I don’t know what we would be doing.’’

Tomorrow, Ava will return the favour, gathering all the strength she’s gained with the support of St Giles to march through the streets of Launceston.

The Harwood family is joining up to 500 others, including event ambassador Kees De Jong, for the organisation’s annual Walk with Me fund-raiser.

St Giles communications manager Danielle Blewett said the fund-raiser had raised $17,000 this time last year.

This year, it has only raised $3000.

Ms Blewett said she hoped that even if people couldn’t afford to donate, they would still come and walk to help raise awareness.

The short walk from Launceston’s Brisbane Street Mall to City Park starts at 11am, with registrations from 9am.

Another event will be held at Hobart on Saturday, September 13. For more information visit http://www.walkwithme.org.au/

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