Target Reached!

After the school’s Free Dress Day we have reached our fundraising target of $2500 for Cayla’s Wheelie Big Challenge! Woohoo! Thank you all so much for supporting us in this worthy cause! 100% of the funds will go towards the centre’s wish list which means very important mobility, communication and sleeping aids for children with Cerebral  palsy! Last year Cayla was given a communication device called Vantage Lite, this is a very expensive piece of equipment that will make a huge difference to her speech and language. It also means Cayla will be able to take part in more, if not all, activities at school :D
Even though we have reached our target we will continue our fundraising another couple of months. Mike still has his big bike ride “Hell of the North” coming up in September and we have also signed Nathan up for his first Duathlon in October! A duathlon is like a triathlon but without the swim part. He will run 500m, cycle 1.5km and finish with a 250 run. Hoping he will really enjoy the race, the medal and of course to raise money for Cayla and other kids with cerebral palsy :)
I have had four weeks of rest and slow running to recover from the Perth Marathon and feeling ready to start the hard training again. I am doing the City 2 Surf 1/2 marathon with a friend end of August and also signed up for Tough Mudder which is 21km full of crazy obstacles such as ice, mud, tunnels, walls, monkey bars, electrical shocks…..! I’m doing this in a team so should be a fun but tough and crazy experience for sure!
I would love to run another marathon and have decided to get some coaching to improve both my form and time for the next one! The Running Centre (TRC) is offering this type of coaching and I had my first ever group interval training session yesterday morning. After warm-up and running drills we did 1600m fast running x 4 with two minutes rest in between and I remember thinking holy cow…. am I actually paying someone to run this hard….and in pouring rain..?? But luckily I felt better after a while and finished strong, did a quick stretch and then home so Mike could leave for work! Next group session is short intervals tomorrow and hopefully the crazy storm will stay away and that I will remember my Garmin watch so my coach can check my progress.
It’s the second week of school holidays and we are really enjoying lazy mornings combined with swimming lessons, play dates, movies and some fun local kids activities.
Cayla has had her assessment for the application to the language school done and her speech pathologist will now write a rapport to go with it. She probably won’t get a place next year but that’s ok, we are happy for her to stay at Jandakot Primary School as we think it’s a great school! She is making good progress and we just love hearing her saying ‘Nathan’ all day long, so cute! Her new private speech pathologist is really great and we are very happy that she has taken Cayla on as she usually only works with kids with dyspraxia.
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Stars in the local paper!

Today we drove to The Centre for Cerebral Palsy with the money collected at the free dress day at school last Friday. A heavy bag full of gold coins adding up to an amazing $668! Thanks Jandakot Primary School!
We had a quick lunch stop at Ikea before it was time for a speech therapy session for Cayla. She has just mastered to say her brother’s name “Nathan” and also the K/C – sound which means she will be on the right track to finally say her own name – YAY!!!

Came home late in the afternoon to a nice surprise, check out these gorgeous girls in our local paper Cockburn Gazette! 💜💜💜


Free Dress Day for Cerebral Palsy

It was the “Free Dress Day” at the kids’s school today and Nathan was dressed up as Bumblebee and Cayla in her favorite dress of all times! It was quite emotional walking through school in the morning and seeing all the kids dressed in everything from normal clothes to pj’s, pirates outfit, buzz lightyear, princess and fairies knowing it was all for Cayla and our fundraising! We even had a photographer that came to school this morning so keep an eye out for Cayla and her buddies Alyssa and Sienna in the local paper sometime in the near future! :D

All kids brought in a gold coin donation all going towards Cayla’s Challenge and helping children with cerebral palsy. The grand total of today’s fundraising was an amazing $668!! What a great effort from everyone but in particular Cayla’s Year 6 buddies Alyssa and Sienna for getting the school community involved. We are humbled by everyone’s kindness and generosity.



Cayla’s Amazing Buddy

A couple of times a month the Year 6 students are visiting the kindy classrooms and all kindy kids have been allocated 1 or 2 so-called ‘buddies’. The ‘buddies’ from year 6 are doing puzzles, reading stories and enjoying other activities with the little kindy kids who absolutely loves their visit. Cayla has got two girls (Alyssa and Sienna) as ‘buddies’ and they both seem really nice. One of the girl’s mum contacted me recently and said that her daughter Alyssa had seen our link to Cayla’s wheelie big challenge and was keen to help out. She was asking if it was ok for her daughter to write a letter to our school’s principal and get the school community involved! What a fabulous idea and I was so impressed that this was coming from a Year 6 student, her mum should be very proud! I gave my approval and a couple of days later the principal told me about the letter and asked if it was ok to go out public within the school about Cayla and her having cerebral palsy. That was fine and only two days later Alyssa was standing on the stage at the school’s assembly giving a short presentation on what she wanted to do for Cayla and our fundraising. She had come up with the idea of a ‘free dress day’ on the last day of term with the students bringing in a gold coin donation which will go towards helping Cayla and other children with cerebral palsy! :D
The date for the ‘free dress day’ will be Friday the 5th of July and I’m collecting a bunch of paper piggy banks from The Centre for Cerebral Palsy (TCCP) next week that the teachers can use for the coin donations.
I cannot with words describe how lovely and considerate we think this is and we are so grateful that Cayla has such amazing Year 6 ‘buddies’!

Fragile Life

I have ‘met’ so many nice and interesting people through my blog and yesterday we were lucky enough to receive a donation to Cayla’s Wheelie Big Challenge from one of them! His name is Ryan and he lives with his wife and their two little girls in Norway. Ryan, who is originally from Perth, and I have shared information, experiences and support for the last year or so and I always love reading about their life and progress with their youngest daughter Jennifer who like Cayla has cerebral palsy. This family has gone through so much since Jennifer’s birth and both Ryan and Odin are doing an amazing job with her therapy and finding solutions that will improve their lives. You can download and read about the first six months with little Jennifer in an amazing and very honest book called “A Fragile Life” (written by her dad) here:
Thanks again for your support Ryan! I look forward catching up when you all come to Perth :)


A BIG thank you to ALL our latest supporters! Even had a $20 donation from my mum’s dog Freia! Hahaha, awesome! We really appreciate your support and donations which makes us push so much harder in our training to do our absolute best! Less than four weeks to go to the Perth Marathon…! Eeek! :D


Joondalup 1/2 Marathon

Home again after finishing the Joondalup 1/2 Marathon with my lovely friends! It was a chilly but beautiful morning and I was feeling pretty good. So good that I went out way too hard in the start doing just over 5 mins/km which is a bit fast for me…. I think my garmin showed 53 minutes at 10km and then I had another 11k to run. I kept the pace fairly well until the 17km mark when I could feel that I was slowing down.. the price you pay when you go out too fast in the beginning of the race..! The last km I was doing alright and I realised that I could run in under 1.55 so hey, why not go for it!! Finished at 1.54 which is 11 minutes faster than last year so happy with that! :D

I have a sore hip and ankle but it’s to be expected as I’m at the peak on my marathon training. I am currently running around 70km/week + cross training and weights. that is more training than I have ever done in my life so really trying to avoid getting injured by doing all the right things such as sport massage, ice, compression pants, foam rolling, vitamins etc. Last Sunday was my first 32km run and I have another 32km run coming up next weekend. That is the longest I will run before the Perth Marathon on the 16th June. Then I just have to trust that the training will ‘carry’ me over the last 10km!

Mike completed a very hilly and challenging 80km bike ride in Kalamunda this morning and I am very proud of him!!

We are both training hard for these races/rides to raise money to help our daughter Cayla and her friends with cerebral palsy. Actions such as walking and running can be very difficult for some children with cerebral palsy hence the importance of accessing specialised equipment early on in life. Mike and I CAN both walk and run so we want to use that ability to do something good for these kids! You can too! Please support us and donate to Cayla’s Hero Page!


Wheelie Big Challenge

Today was the day for our 1km ‘race’ to mark the end of this year’s Wheelie Big Challenge at Burswood Foreshore. It was a beautiful and sunny day and at 8.15am we met up with the rest of “Team Cayla”. Everyone had their green tops on and Cayla was looking very cute in her Tinkerbell dress :) We all had laminated “Team Cayla” pictures on our backs and Grandma Gwendy had made yummy green cupcakes!

We would like to thank our lovely family and friends that made the effort and came to Burswood foreshore to support our family and take part in the walk. We would also like to thank my family in Sweden for your kind messages, I know that you would have loved to walk with us today ♥
Cayla managed to walk a couple of hundred meters before daddy had to carry her on his shoulders but good effort little girl! 1km is a long way to walk for little legs! :) The staff and volunteers had done a great job organising this 1 km walk/run and at the half way mark all the kiddies had to go through a fun obstacle course and collect a helium balloon before walking the 500 meters back to the finishing line, very cute!

It was a great day all up and now we know what it’s all about so I’m really looking forward to next year! We’ll have a big picnic and hopefully we can come up with an even bigger team? Hope you all want to join us!! :)
We were all so tired when we got back home and after we had some lunch we watched Transformers and then had a nap in the arvo…! That is probably why I’m still awake… (it’s 12.42am…). Time for bed now but I leave you with a bunch of photos from today’s event! Nite nite zzz

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What can I say, we are SO grateful for all the donations that you have made towards Cayla’s Wheelie Big Challenge 2011/2012! I thank you from the bottom of my heart! ♥

Shortly after I published this blog I decided that we would take all the negative and sad feelings that we had with Cayla’s diagnose and turn it into something positive instead! Luckily we have a great organisation called The Centre for Cerebral Palsy (TCCP) here in Perth and this centre has been our place for support and therapy the last 10 months. The have a very important program called the Early Intervention Program (EIP) which is usually your first point of call after your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. This program provides support and services for children with cerebral palsy aged 0-6 years and their families. The EIP team includes occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, training assistants and social workers. All there to provide effective intervention for children from the earliest possible time; and ensure children develop, enhance and maintain skills in their home, school and community settings.
For those of you who have read the start of this blog knows how heartbroken and sad we felt after we received Cayla’s diagnose.. It was devestating news and we just didn’t know what the future would hold for us and our little girl. We had very little knowledge about cerebral palsy which made the whole process very scary and uncertain with many tears to follow..  We have in the last 12 months learned so much about this very common physical disability and what it really means and we have also met some amazing people along the way. Cerebral palsy can affect people in many different ways, it could be as mild as a stiff hand or it can be more severe where the person needs a wheelchair or frame to be able to more. It is a permanent disability that effects movement and is the results from damage to the developing brain before or during birth, or early in life. Or in Cayla’s case – having extra/too many folds on her brain which is called ‘Congenital bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria’….! You can read more about that here. But even though it is a permanent condition there are so much you can do to help them reach their potential in life. Early intervention is the key and the right therapy and equipment can make all the difference.

Through TCCP we started a Hero page for Cayla in November last year and made her one of the ‘Champions’ for the Wheelie Big Challenge 2011/2012. This is a yearly long event where the Champions set themselves a fundraising target and then try to reach it.
Cayla’s first target of $1000 was reached after only 3 days and we had to increase her target to $2000! This amount was also reached only a few weeks later and gave us no other choice than to increase it to a final $3000! :) In the end, with YOUR fabulous help we raised an AMAZING $4,014.35!!!! And this is without the money collected in the two fundraising tins..!

Sometimes it’s hard to ask people for money but when you can see with your own eyes how much the Early Intervention Program at TCCP really is helping Cayla and other kids with cerebral palsy it was an easy task to be honest. Every little donation helps and by donating money you are also showing your support towards Michael and myself which has meant so much to us. It has made us a lot stronger and happier and we feel so privileged knowing that there are a lot of people out there wanting to help and support us in one way or another. I never ever thought that I, Hanna, would be a mum of a child with a disability.. Sometimes I wish everything was just ‘normal’ but at the same time I wouldn’t change Cayla one single bit. She is who she is and she is our gorgeous, funny and simply amazing little girl no matter what! And seriously, what is ‘normal’ today??? I know that Cayla’s cp is very mild compared to other kids but it has still been a year of grief, uncertainty and many tears. However, some time after I started this blog and about the same time as Cayla reached her first target of $1000 things started to change and I can now say that we are ready to tackle Cayla’s one million appointments, therapy, botox and whatever challenges we may experience in the future heads on. I have probably bored some of you with my blog- and Facebook posts about the Wheelie Big Challenge in the last couple of months BUT I hope you understand how much this means to us and that we would return the favour anytime. After all it’s only a small donation and it makes a HUGE difference to everyone involved so THANK YOU!
We love you all! :)

Amit – Schneider Electric
Mark White – Schneider Electric
Amelia, Maz and Jase
Stephen Hennessy
Chris, Rachelle and Fin
The Algeri Family
The Separovich Family
The Duncan Family
Darren, Laurie & Callia
Janelle Booth
Rosanne, David & Tia
Elliot & Milton – Sweden
The Newall Family
The Koppens’s – New Zealand
V. Jakovich
The Snelgar Family
Grandpa and Grandie
Heidi & Chloe
Carmen Keeffe
My & Chris
Stephanie King – UK
Kay Foley – UK
Ashley Maude
Carlos Zanlongo – Schneider
Auntie Mia in Sweden
Peter & Kaye – Sydney Beaches
The James Family – Italy
The Reyniers Family – USA
The Larcombes – Sydney
Paul, Karen, Callum & Sharna
Jaime Garbutt
Hermes & Pandora Turner
The Everkrans-Smith Family
Hanna & Anthony
Astrid & Lily
Liza Hellstrom
Amber Goodreid
Mark & Sylvia Walpole – UK
Maria, Shawn & Noah – Sweden
Laetitia Nunny – Portugal
Ken and Bev Booth
Luan Lowe
Greta John
Nicky & Claire
Caroline Bellhouse
Howard & Chris Hughes
The Stubbs Family
Malcolm Fitzpatrick – UK
Auntie Kicki & cousins Mathias, Fredrik & Joakim – Sweden
Niklas & his family – Sweden
Great grandparents Inger & Gert – Sweden
Johan Martina & Bastian – Sweden
The West Family – UK
Catarina, Frode, Cissi and Steffen
The Hawkins Family
Roy Henry
Grandma Lois
Kirsty Culver
Viv, Derek, Lucas, Nichoals and Alicia Trader
Hanna, Elliot, Oliver & Nick – England
Mormor Janette, Lars & Freia – Sweden
Simon, Jill and Jasmine
Pete, Kirsty, Frankie and Pennie
Christine and Alan Jones
Steve and Susette
Elisha and Chloe
Cissi, Fred & Lilly
Chatarina & Andrew
Kayli & Josh (and Karen & Damian)
Anna, Matthew, Albin & Pete – UK
Naomi Mclure – UK
Auntie Jill and Uncle Mark
Birgitta & Linnea Swed
Lyndsay Gale – UK
Nigel &  Andrea Battams
Campbell & Hannah (Jo & Nathan)
Marie Sicilano
Andreas Boij
Daniel Eskils

Wheelie Big Challenge – One more sleep!

Tomorrow (Sunday) is the end of this year’s Wheelie Big Challenge and tonight we are getting our last arrangements organised! Outfits have been chosen and my camera has been packed! It should be a fun day and if you live in Perth you are more than welcome to join us on the 1km race or just come and support and cheer for “Team Cayla”! :)

 Our team consists of grandparents Ian & Gwendy, uncle Pete and auntie Kirsty, big brother Nathan, daddy Mike, myself and of course our gorgeous little champion Cayla. Our theme is Cayla’s favourite little fairy Tinkerbell. We were going to have some t-shirts printed but decided on a cheaper option in the end. We will all be wearing green tops with a laminated print of Cayla and Cayla will of course be wearing a Tinkerbell dress and her special magic wand :) If you are keen to join us for the walk please wear something green and don’t forget to put down “Team Cayla” when you register. You can find more information here.

The freeway is closed going south bound due to the RAC Freeway Bike Hike for Asthma so you’ll have to find an alternative route instead. You can find more information here. Hope to see lots of our friends at Burswood foreshore bright and early tomorrow morning!

Our Champion Cayla!