Help WA children and families with a tax deductible donation today

Posted June 22, 2022
Help WA children and families with a tax deductible donation today

Every day we can help create a brighter future for West Australian children.

Make your tax-deductible donation to Telethon before June 30 to help children, like 2017 Little Telethon Star Olivia Riley, live their life to the fullest.

Donate today!

Meet Olivia

Olivia succumbed to brain injuries after a complex surgery to remove a benign brain tumour in 2016.

All star gathering: Channel 7 celebrities from Sunrise Natalie Barr, Sam Mac, Sam Armytage, David Koch and Matt Tinney visit Olivia Riley, 9, at Princess Margaret Hospital. Credit: Daniel Wilkins

Olivia’s mum Bianca said she had been a bubbly eight-year-old when her life was turned upside down. Experiencing symptoms such as vomiting, headaches and blurred vision, a magnetic resonance imaging scan confirmed she had a tumour the size of a cricket ball.

Surgery removed the tumour but Olivia’s motor skills were damaged and she had to learn to walk and talk again.

Fast forward to 2022, Olivia is performing a trapeze act in front of large crowds.

Olivia is now in Year 9 and has regular occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech sessions, with her main goal being to walk more efficiently.

At times, Olivia uses a nimbo walker for long distances or if she is tired towards the end of the week.

For the past year and half, she has been participating in the All Abilities Training Program through CircusWA – a revolutionary program where youth of all backgrounds and abilities come to experience collaboration and creativity.

“I get nervous for her when she goes out to perform, but she is completely comfortable in front of the crowd,” Bianca said.

Before her surgery, Olivia loved dance, gymnastics and acrobatics, and being able to participate in this kind of activity again has been amazing for her physical strength, as well as her core and gross motor skills.

The impact of your support

Thanks to the generosity of Western Australia, Telethon has been able to fund specialised medical equipment that allows children like Olivia to experience the simple joys of walking, running and playing.

Olivia has been able to experience the freedom of movement using a FrameRunner (as pictured below).

Olivia at the WA Athletics Stadium, where she participated in a real-life race with exact times taken, winning joint first.

A FrameRunner trike is a custom built three-wheeled frame where the runner is fully supported by a saddle and leans against a chest support, propelling themselves forward by the feet (one or both), while using the hands and/or arms to steer.

FrameRunning is an innovative sport and recreational activity for children with a physical disability who have impaired balance and whom are not able to functionally run.

She grew a love for the sport, having participated in a number of group sessions last year run by Noula Gibson, Senior Physiotherapist & Athletics Coach. She now has a dream of participating in a future Paralympic Games if frame running becomes a sport.

Bianca said “Money raised through Telethon was incredibly important to advance research and provide resources such as equipment so children like Olivia can progress in their therapy and participate in unique programs like this.” 

Make your tax-deductible donation to Telethon by June 30, so other children like Olivia can live a life with less challenges.