Small change can make a big change for kids like Frankie

Posted September 29, 2022
Small change can make a big change for kids like Frankie

If you’ve ever wondered how your small change can make a difference, look no further than the Woolworths Small Change Appeal. For the month of October, 100 per cent of funds raised from the appeal – where shoppers can donate their small change by rounding up their shop at the checkout – will go to Telethon, to fund programs that give all WA kids a sense of belonging and inclusiveness.

Frankie McKenzie, a quick witted 6-year-old boy with a zest for life, lives with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. He’s one of the West Aussie kids who will directly benefit from the Woolies Small Change Appeal.

Frankie playing cricket – in the house. Credit: Supplied by family.

“Frankie loves being outdoors and swimming in Dunsborough when we go on holidays,” the McKenzies said.

“He loves Auskick and he currently plays basketball – in the house.”

Frankie also attends and participates in frame running events whenever he gets the opportunity through Rebound WA, a charitable association assisting Western Australians living with physical disability to lead fuller, more active and more connected lives.

Frame Runners are specialised mobility equipment, which allows children to run alongside their able-bodied peers and family. These frames provide children with disability a new avenue for sport, social and recreational activities.

Frankie at WA Athletics Stadium attending a Frame Running event with Rebound WA.

The McKenzies said the benefits of being able to participate in sports and have fun while going through treatment had been beneficial to Frankie and his peers.

“The kids get a sense of belonging and inclusiveness, reduced stress and there are mental health benefits,” they said.

“Without amazing donors like Telethon, these kinds of opportunities for children with disability to play sport in a team environment would not exist.

Frankie participating in a Frame Running event with Rebound WA in 2022.

Frankie was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that usually appears in infancy and early childhood, and permanently affects muscle control and coordination.

Symptoms include increased muscle tone, which leads to spasticity – stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes – in the legs. Other symptoms may include delayed motor or movement milestones, walking on toes and a scissored style of walking.

“Frankie receives Botox injections in his legs every six months, which helps him greatly,” the McKenzies said.

“The hardest part for Frankie has been trying to understand why his legs are different to his friends, but that doesn’t stop him.

“Frankie is generally a happy boy every day, he has a positive outlook on life and he is very resilient.”

With a quick wit and a fantastic sense of humour, Frankie certainly knows how to make his family laugh. Credit: Supplied by family.

100 per cent of funds raised from the Woolworths Small Change Appeal will be donated to Telethon, providing children like Frankie a greater opportunity to participate in everyday activities and friendly competitions.

Through Woolworths, the generosity of customers gives children self-belief to know that they can achieve great things.