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My Inspiration – “If Amaria can learn to walk, then I can learn to TRI”

Hi there, I’m Karen, the administrator for the Brain Injured Children Trust. An organisation that provides practical, financial, social and emotional support to families who have a child affected by brain injury and severe developmental delays.  

Karen AdministratorThis year I have decided that I am going to undertake a Triathlon. Not just any Triathlon, a Tin man no less.  A 1500m swim, a 40km bike and a 10 km run and in doing so, I would like to raise some much-needed funding for an amazing organization that makes such life-changing difference for kids with a profound brain injury.

I should start by saying that I’m not your typical athlete. A reformed smoker, running has never been a passion of mine, swimming was for the beach and my bike hadn’t moved in years. At nearly 50, It is fair to say the idea of taking on a triathlon had never been on my radar. Yet here we are, proving anything is possible you just have to try.

A smart move was deciding to fundraise for the Brain Injured Children Trust, which has kept me accountable on the days I wanted to just give up! Although giving up was definitely not an option, given the role models that I find myself surrounded by in this role.

Meet Amaria. An amazing, beautiful little girl who has a rare genetic disorder CDKL5, which causes Amaria to have severe developmental delays, hypotonia, visual impairments and uncontrollable epilepsy. Most children with CDKL5 do not walk or talk but as you can see this little girl is determined she will!

Amaria BICTThe sheer determination of families, like Amarias when faced with the prognoses that their child may never walk, or talk is inspirational. Fortunately, recovery from a Brain injury is very possible if appropriate interventions/ therapies are applied and critical development takes place during the first few years of life.

However, the journey from injury to independence is an arduous one and can involve an intensive range of rehabilitation and medical specialist treatments that are not covered under any other financial assistance here in New Zealand.

It creates an enormous financial burden for the parents already under significant stress and I am constantly humbled by the sacrifices that these families endure to help their child flourish.

Amaria - Therasuit on in CageOn my own journey over the last year, I’ve often found myself thinking of these families while procrastinating about going for a run on a cold winters morning. Many of these kids face daily exhausting therapy for 2 to 3 hours at a time, every day, 7 days a week. Giving up is simply not an option. Whereas I get to cross the finish line feeling fitter healthier and accomplished, these kids get to learn to literally walk and talk. These kids are inspirational! By overcoming their obstacles, they inspire others including myself to get out and live life to the fullest. 

With November the 10th fast coming around, I’m working hard to achieve my goal and I am reaching out to you to help me achieve another. Please support my efforts by donating to The Brain Injured Children Trust to fund treatment and therapy for kids like Amaria to achieve theirs.

All donations large or small will be gratefully received and 100% spend on therapy for these kids – Thank you XX

Karen Williams