News

A step in the right direction

By Jamie Salter

STEPtember 2020 has begun, with the event running in five countries across the world.

STEPtember raises funds towards initiatives that help children and adults living with cerebral palsy, including supporting children with disabilities and their families in regional and rural areas.

Cerebral palsy is the result of a combination of events either before, during or after birth that can lead to an injury in a baby’s developing brain.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance head of fundraising Lucy Jacka said people in regional areas often struggled to access the services they needed.

“Regional and rural areas face a difficult challenge, and it is often more expensive for them,” she said.

“We provide teletherapy so people in these areas can reach our programs.”

The STEPtember initiative challenges individuals and teams to take 10,000 steps per day for 28 days, whether that is through running, walking, biking or swimming.

In 2019, the campaign raised $7,133,056 and plans to raise even more in 2020 after returning with a brand new look.

“More than 80,000 Australians participated last year and we're hoping for another successful year,” Ms Jacka said.

She said STEPtember was open to anyone, with activities such as gardening or bowls converted into steps.

“It's an interesting year with the coronavirus pandemic but the positive news about STEPtember is that it's a virtual event and is COVID-19 safe.”

The funds raised go towards key research around genetics and stem cell therapy as a treatment of cerebral palsy.

“A key program is Babies at Risk which is about early diagnosis — now we can diagnose as early as 12 weeks to get them into therapy as quickly as possible.”

● To sign up to STEPtember, visit: STEPtember.org.au

For more information on Cerebral Palsy Alliance programs, visit: https://cerebralpalsy.org.au/