Saturday 6 October was World Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day.
Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder resulting from either a traumatic brain injury or abnormal brain development before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth. It affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.
A Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day was hosted by The Yaedin Foundation at the Sandton Field and Study Centre, Sandton on Saturday 6 October to create awareness and to help create and establish support networks for individuals with CP and their caregivers. Information leaflets on CP were also handed out at the event.
The Yaedin foundation was founded by Kalai and Kevin Pillay, whose son Yaedin has Cerebral Palsy. The Yaedin foundation, assisted by Occupational Therapist Louise Hancock and Physiotherapist Kirsten Spratt, works with children with CP in Diepsloot to get them the therapy and resources needed to improve their quality of life. They also offer support and training to parents and caregivers.
Tarryn Zoe Gurr, an independent, self-employed lady with CP, opened the event with an inspirational talk on her path with CP and how the support and positive outlook of her family helped her become an independent adult despite her condition and daily challenges.
Louise Hancock and Kirsten Spratt gave an informative talk on positioning and stretching from an OT and PT perspective. Neurogenesis and The Red Balloon Foundation demonstrated neuro-movement and the Anat Baniel Method. Rehabtronics, Hyperbarix O2 and Sitwell technologies showcased their walkers and other aids available for those affected by CP.
Most importantly, it was a fun day out for the kids with activities like biscuit decorating (and eating), activities with play dough, ball toss (made from a recycled boxes), (homemade) soft swingballs to hit with their hands or a pool noodle, soft play and a ball pit as well as face painting (done by Miles of Smiles), balloon animals (by Wispy Wish), sensory book demonstrations, storytime with author Jann Weeratunga (Polly’s Piralympics). There was also a balloon treasure hunt with helium balloons tied down with prizes they could grab to make their day extra special.
The success of the day can be attributed to numerous factors: the positivity of everyone attending, the numerous volunteers who assisted on the day, companies like Barmotion and Wispy Wish that offered their services and products free of charge, and a team of extraordinary women (Kalai Pillay and Ellen Solomon) who had planned the entire event and every activity with their participants firmly in mind.
Yaedin experiencing a sensory book by Kim Hunter.
Jann Weeratunga and Polly with Rikus.
Alex having fun hitting the soft swingball with a short pool noodle.