Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Giant steps forward for brave Bianca
TAYISSA BARONE, The West Australian
March 28, 2011, 3:00 am
Wendie Fowler was more than happy to follow her daughter Bianca across the finish line at yesterday's Centre for Cerebral Palsy 1km Walk Wheel Run.
That's because the seven-year-old's triumphant finish at the event on the Burswood foreshore marked the longest distance she has travelled in one go in her revolutionary prosthetic Cheetah legs.
The state-of-the-art $23,000 legs were funded by the Centre for Cerebral Palsy and were on full display at the annual event which saw 28 of the charity's champions participate.
Bianca is now faced with her biggest challenge, learning how to run.
The centre has not been able to find anyone in Australia to provide the specialised coaching needed to train her to use her legs to their full potential.
She currently relies on Skype sessions with fellow amputees in the US for advice.
Bianca was left with cerebral palsy and a range of heart, leg and bowel complications after her premature birth at 26 weeks. Both of her legs were amputated below the knee when she was three years old.
Mrs Fowler said Bianca's confidence had grown but there was still a long way to go. "Her confidence in her walking has come up quite a bit," she said.