Originally Published in the Sunday Times
They all have their own stories to tell about their health struggles, but this year’s Little Telethon Stars share two common attributes — they never give up and won’t let their difficult circumstances dictate who they are.
Connor Barrett, Emily Houston, Harrison Carthew and Sophia Marshall will bring their big smiles, zest for life and resilience to the stage next month as Telethon looks to eclipse the 2022 record of $71.3 million in funds raised.
Harrison Carthew 6, was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy and developmental delays at the age of 15 months, and couldn’t walk until he was four.
The Gosnells Primary School Year 1 student has disrupted sleep and takes daily Botox injections to help with his developing pains.
He also deals with vision impairment and colour blindness.
For Connor Barrett, 8, battles cystic fibrosis which leaves him unable to digest food, damages his lungs and gives him excruciating pain in his digestive system.
To treat his genetic disease the Bunbury Cathedral Grammar Year 2 student goes through 25 doses of medicine and two physio sessions a day.
Emily Houston, 7, has had a lot to contend with after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at just four-years-old.
She received her last round of treatment in August, but continues her antibiotics and undergoes monthly blood tests to make sure she is not relapsing.
Sophia Marshall, 7, an Attadale Primary School Year 2 student was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four years ago after she lost weight, was always thirsty and needed to urinate frequently.
Her family were sent straight into the care of the Perth Children’s Hospital diabetes team to learn how to deal with the life-long disease.
Sophia also suffers from coeliac disease, but has a new lease on life since being diagnosed and getting a wearable glucose monitor.
Their inspirational stories provide four more reasons to get behind Telethon again this year.