Media/‘Precious Emily’ inspiring Maryborough residents to step up to help other kids with cerebral palsy

‘Precious Emily’ inspiring Maryborough residents to step up to help other kids with cerebral palsy

Her parents and grandparents take on STEPtember challenge

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15 month-old Emily Hayes with cerebral palsy dressed in pink
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MARYBOROUGH, FRIDAY 8 AUGUST 2014 – She may only be 15 months old, but she is already proving to be an inspiration to those around her to step up to change lives.

When little Emily Hayes from Maryborough was born in April last year, she didn’t breath for 48 minutes. This lack of oxygen caused brain damage, and six months ago came the diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

Emily’s parents, Kylie and Brett, say they are still uncertain as to how her cerebral palsy will impact on her as she grows. But inspired by their little girl’s determination and happiness, they have joined with Emily’s grandparents to take part in STEPtember to raise money for cerebral palsy therapy and research.

‘Our team is called ‘Precious Emily’ and we are all aiming to do 10,000 steps a day throughout September to help Cerebral Palsy Alliance help kids just like our Emily’, says mum Kylie Hayes.

‘My pregnancy had been perfect, so you can only imagine our shock and distress when Emily was born and didn’t breath for 48 minutes and her heartbeat wasn’t heard for six minutes. Emily’s cerebral palsy means she is about six months behind in meeting her milestones. She can’t sit for longer than about 20 seconds, and rather than crawling she rolls or shuffles using her legs and bottom.

‘Emily has ongoing physiotherapy and speech therapy  and we also take her regularly to the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne and into Ballarat for specialist medical appointments. We are only just beginning to understand the ongoing expense of equipment and therapy needed by children like Emily.

‘Along with my parents, we’ve signed up for STEPtember because it is a practical way we can support research into cerebral palsy, and also help other families like ours who require ongoing therapy and equipment.’

Participants form team of four and each do 10,000 steps a day from 3-30 September. They wear pedometers and log their daily activity online. More than 40 activities can also be converted into steps including cycling, rowing, surfing and going to the gym. Participants also raise money to help Cerebral Palsy Alliance provide research and vital equipment and therapy for kids in need.

Kylie and Brett would love the Maryborough and Ballarat communities to support their team ‘Precious Emily’, and also consider registering their own teams for STEPtember.

‘We have such a wonderful and supportive community, and it would be great to see everyone rallying to take part in STEPtember’, Kylie said. ‘Emily’s determination and positive attitude to life is something we can all learn from.  STEPtember is a chance for us to not only help others in need, but also to get fit and active.’ 

To sign up a team for STEPtember, or to donate to team ‘Precious Emily’ go to

Attn Editors: Emily’s parents, Kylie and Brett are available for interview, contact Kylie on 0418 336 363

Media Contact: Jennifer Durante – Media Manager – (02) 9975 8758 / 0419 802 602

Released on 8 Aug 2014