Margaret River local Nicole Browne will be donning her hula hoop and trekking into town for a very good cause this month, and is calling on the rest of the community to get behind her fundraising efforts.
At 11am on Sunday September 17, Ms Browne will throw on the hoop and walk the length of Wallcliffe Road from Caves Road, into town and down to the Brewhouse to raise money for her niece, Gabby.
“Last year Gabby’s life changed completely,” she explained.
“She went from an active 12 year old girl one minute, playing representative netball, to being paralysed from the waist down.
Gabby was diagnosed with transverse myelitis – inflammation of the spinal cord – after suffering a severe response to a common cold she had contracted weeks previously.
The young lady has spent the last year in rehabilitation and recovery, and according to her aunt, has a long road to recovery.
“Some improvement has been made during her rehab, and I am fundraising for Gabby to make sure she can continue with her treatment.
“The treatment, unfortunately, is not covered by the public health system, as they have done what they can for her, and she has come to far for it to stop now.”
Weekly physiotherapy visits cost $270 each and are just a part of Gabby’s road to recovery, which also includes visits to a neuro-physiotherapist.
The family are also hoping to raise enough funds to send Gabby to the Neuro Moves programme in Sydney, run by Spinal Cord Injury Australia.
Ms Browne has gathered an incredible swag of prizes to support her 5 kilometre walk, including double passes to The Cat Empire and Xavier Rudd, double passes to Tash Sultana and the Pierce Brothersa and concert merchandise from the artists.
“We also have an exquisite four course degustation lunch with matching wines from Voyager Estate, a beautiful eco-dyed dress by local artist Ruby from Botannize, Dave and Beck Mann’s latest CD, massage vouchers and more.”
Ms Browne and her hula-hooping friends will trek the 5km into town with their hoops, which she said would be “tough but fun”.
“When we get into town we’ll gather at the Brewhouse to celebrate, enjoy ourselves and draw the prizes that we have on offer for those who have sponsored our walk.”
Members of the public are also welcome to join the walk, with a suggested donation of $10 per person and hula hoops optional.
To sponsor the Hoop Walk for Gabby and go in the draw to win some fantastic prizes, visit www.gofundme.com/hoop-walk-for-gabby