‘Super Henry’ inspiring inner west residents to step up to help other kids with cerebral palsy
PETERSHAM, WEDNESDAY 13 AUGUST 2014 – He may only be 17 months old, but he is already inspiring his local community to take action to change lives.
Little Henry Williamson from Petersham has cerebral palsy which affects his left side. He was diagnosed when he was eight months old, when his mum noticed he wasn’t using both his hands to play with toys like other babies in his mother’s group were.
A visit to the paediatrician and an MRI scan revealed Henry had a rare brain condition, leading to him having cerebral palsy.
‘I would sit at mother’s group and watch the other babies pass toys from one hand to another, but Henry would only use his right hand and arm’, his mum Jennifer Williamson recalls. ‘He’d reach right across his body with his right arm to pick up something on his left side. I just knew something was wrong.’
Following his diagnosis, Henry’s parents took him to Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Penshurst centre where he began regular speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Henry is now sitting up and rolling. He is also practicing standing in a special standing support to help strengthen his muscles.
Inspired by Henry’s fierce determination and happy-go-lucky attitude, his parents Jennifer and Josh Williamson have signed up for the STEPtember activity challenge under the team “SuperHenry!”
STEPtember involves participants forming teams of four and each doing 10,000 steps a day from 3-30 September. More than 40 activities can be converted into steps including cycling, rowing and gym sessions. Participants also raise money for Cerebral Palsy Alliance to provide equipment and therapy.
‘So much changes when your baby is diagnosed with cerebral palsy’, Jennifer says. ‘Babies should be playing and giggling and having fun. But with a cerebral palsy diagnosis, things get serious. It’s all about therapy and practice, practice, practice! We want to help Henry to reach his full potential and early intervention is integral to that. Thankfully Cerebral Palsy Alliance is there for families like ours to get the help, guidance and support we need.
‘We want to raise money to help provide therapy for other kids like Henry, and also to give back to Cerebral Palsy Alliance which has been a life-saver for us during these early months.
‘We’re also looking forward to getting fit and active and going on long evening walks as a family to clock up our 10,000 steps a day. Our local community is so wonderfully supportive, and it would be great to see everyone rallying to also take part in STEPtember’, she said.
To sign up for STEPtember or to support team “SuperHenry!” go to www.steptember.org.au
Attention editors: Little Henry and the Williamson family are available for photos and interview, please contact his mum Jennifer on 0431 479 443.
Media Contact: Jennifer Durante – Media Manager – (02) 9975 8758 / 0419 802 602
Released on 13 Aug 2014