How baking offers Emily a sweet retreat

Posted August 13, 2022
How baking offers Emily a sweet retreat

Meet our avid baker, Emily Barlow.

Emily was born at 32 weeks and diagnosed with bilateral spastic diplegia cerebral palsy just before her first birthday.

Although they had been discharged from hospital outpatients, Emily’s mum, Necole noticed her movement patterns just didn’t seem right.

“We went for a physiotherapy appointment to see if there was anything we could do to help and from there we were referred to the Development Rehabilitation team at what was then Princess Margaret Hospital.”

“Life after diagnosis involved therapy; and as much cheeky therapy as possible. Baking to get Emily standing was an easy option as she loved it!” she said.

Baking gives Emily a retreat from ongoing therapy sessions. Credit: Supplied.

With therapy, Emily continued to get stronger and progressed from a walker, to walking with quad sticks but independent walking still seemed a massive target.

When Emily turned 5-years-old she became eligible for Dr Dayna Pool’s Telethon-funded iStride research program.

Emily at the end of her STRIDE and REACH intensive therapy programs at The Healthy Strides Foundation. Credit: The Healthy Strides Foundation

On Good Friday 2018, the day after we finished the 6-week research program, Emily took her first independent steps.

Since then we’ve completed a number of programs at The Healthy Strides Foundation, including baking to develop different fine motor skills.

The focus has shifted from therapy to involving Emily in activities that provide her with an avenue for exercise.

This includes swimming, horse riding, frame running and ballroom dancing.

Emily participated in a Frame Running race with Rebound WA, May 2022. Credit: Supplied

Growing up with a disability is tough, but baking is Emily’s retreat, her happy place.

She loves experimenting with recipes and her most recent discovery is that coffee makes a chocolate cupcake next level!

Need some inspiration for your Big Bake Sale for Telethon fundraiser?

Emily’s recommendation is this cupcake recipe, with a shot of espresso added at Step 3 for an extra rich flavour (hot tip!):

Quick Chocolate Cupcakes

Topped with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing – you only need half of this recipe:

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

Register now for the Big Bake Sale for Telethon and support children like Emily through their ongoing therapy programs to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

Thanks to Woolworths, register your bake sale between Sunday August 7 and Saturday September 3 to receive a $100 Woolworths voucher towards your baking ingredients.

Register today, here.