Our little girl Tenieka was born with severe Athetoid Cerebral Palsy. Her life - and ours - has been anything but easy. The emotional cost when you have a child like Tenieka is enormous, and the heartache you feel never goes away, but it is the finanical cost that so many families like ours find even more dfficult to cope with. In fact, many families don't survive the stress a child with a severe disability can bring, and more often than not, it is the financial pressure that tears a family apart. We have been lucky. We are still together as a family, although due to Tenieka's many and varying needs, it often feels as though we are living our lives separately.
We love our little girl beyond words. I'm sure that many people have looked at a disabled child in the past and wondered what there is to love, but children like this open up a whole new meaning to the word love. You discover patience you had never known before, you learn endlessly, day in and day out, and you realise that no matter what disability your child might have, the love you feel is sometimes overwhelming. Tenieka has taught us so much in the short time she has been here. Having a child with such a severe disability isn't something we would have willingly chosen, but now that it is our reality, we wouldn't change it for the world.
Currently, we are trying to raise money for a standing frame for our little girl as she is unable to stand independently. In Australia, disability equipment is extremely over-priced, and the waiting time is often more than 12 months. The expected waiting time for Tenieka's standing frame will be approximately 15 months. She is currently also awaiting a new wheelchair which is expected to take close to 16 months to arrive, even though she has already outgrown the one she is using now. The Cerebral Palsy Alliance does a tremendous job raising funds for such equipment, but there is simply not enough funding to go around, hence the lengthy period of time Tenieka will have to wait for her new wheelchair and standing frame.
Tenieka spends the majority of her days at school and at home strapped into her wheelchair. Sitting in the same position for such an extended period of time isn't something anyone enjoys, but for a child like Tenieka , it can become distinctly uncomfortable. The standing frame will give Tenieka the opportunity to experience the world from a completey different angle. Rather than sitting in a hot, uncomfortable wheelchair for most of her day, she will be able to interact with her classmates from a standing position as well. This is not only beneficial for her on a social level, but also on a physical level, as it will help strengthen her legs and upper body control.
Tenieka loves to stand but can only do so with my support. She is rapidly becoming too tall and too heavy for me to continue doing this.
We are aware that asking for donations to fund Tenieka's new standing frame may be seen negatively by some, but we also know that there are good people in the world who will do what they can to help our little girl achieve a good quality of life. If each and every person who visits this website donates just $2, the difference it will make to Tenieka's life will be enormous.
The Leckey Horizon Stander, recommended by Tenieka's physiotherapist is priced at $9010.00. Please click here if you would like to see the quote provided. You can see the standing frame Tenieka needs by clicking here or scrolling to the bottom of this page.
Look at the photos of our precious little girl and tell yourself that she doesn't deserve the best chance in life that we can offer her. Tenieka didn't ask to be born with Cerebral Palsy. It just happened that way. It isn't her fault.
If you can find it in your heart to help us raise the funds for Tenieka's standing frame, we will be forever grateful to you.
Please feel free to leave a message in our guestbook - we would love to hear from you!
Tenieka aged three years
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To read more about Tenieka's disability, Athetoid Cerebral Palsy and how it affects her, please click here
The Standing Frame Tenieka Needs