Seven-year-old Ari was just 22 months old when he was diagnosed with the degenerative muscle-wasting condition congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD).
He has a particularly rare form of the condition, putting him among just 50 cases worldwide.
Ari has never walked and uses an electric wheelchair to get around, but it hasn’t slowed him down.
Over the years he has required an increased level of assistance at home and school. But Ari’s wonderful sense of humour and fearless outlook on life - coupled with his cheeky, straight-shooting manner - doesn’t let anything stop him.
He’s supported by the team at Muscular Dystrophy WA, a Telethon beneficiary for more than 50 years.Muscular Dystrophy WA
Emily was born with bilateral hearing loss and diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at just three. She bravely endured years of intensive chemotherapy at the children’s hospital.
It meant regular finger pricks, daily oral medications, blood transfusions, intravenous drips and the many complications from chemotherapy.
She lost her hair in those dark days, but never lost her bright spark, sweet smile and zeal for living life to the fullest.
The disease is now in remission, but the eight-year-old still attends clinic every three months for review.
Emily has dreams of becoming a doctor one day so she can help others. She’s supported by Telethon beneficiary Telethon Speech and Hearing.Telethon Speech & Hearing
Leo has a rare genetic condition called 22Q duplication syndrome. It was detected at an early age when he wasn’t meeting his developmental milestones.
The diagnosis uncovered the same chromosomal difference as his late brother.
The seven-year-old was more recently diagnosed with Titin muscular dystrophy. It’s an incredibly rare and evolving form of muscular dystrophy that causes weakness of his muscles.
He is the only child in Australia with this condition.
Leo is an incredibly friendly, happy boy and easily finds the joy in every moment.
He loves wheelchair basketball and his Rebound WA community, a Telethon beneficiary.Rebound WA
Read about previous Little Telethon Stars from through the years at Telethon: