Saturday, July 28, 2012


23rd to 27th July 2012

As I sit typing this Blog entry, I am so very upset, you see my poor Dad was at work today, working hard as usual when he had a very frightening accident, a 350kg scissor lift fell on him, he was rushed to hospital in an ambulance because he could not move and was in terrible shock.  They had to do x-rays on him at hospital and the good news is that he is very fortunate that nothing is broken however he does have severe bruising on his left shoulder and leg.  I was so scared for him, he is still in hospital but hopefully he will be able to come home soon. 

I did not return to school this week because Mum’s knee is not strong enough to push my wheelchair up and down inclines, so Mum organised work from school for me and she taught me at home.  In Maths I worked on Trigonometry and got everything finished, once you understand it, it is really quite easy.  In Sports Science I finished off my Beginner Coaching Course, in my last module I again achieved 100% first go.  I was then able to print off my certificate which is now laminated and I am so proud.  I am now reading through and doing the exercises in my workbook on Coaching. 

Theodore enjoying rock climbing
This week has also been a week of getting to do some very exciting activities and meeting some of the most generous and caring people.  On Sunday, Theodore was so lucky to be invited to go rock climbing; you see I can’t because of my spine and general weakness.  Erin was the amazing person who organised it.  She even made a special harness for Theodore, I think he was just a little nervous before the climb but once he was up there, I am sure he smiled and didn’t want to come down.  He also got to hang from the roof and from a ladder.  Dad had a go but of course Mum and Nalani couldn’t and neither could Jarrett because after his race on Saturday he had pulled up with a really tight calf.  Just watching Theodore do the climbing put an enormous smile on my face and I was so grateful to Erin for letting him do it.

Which brings me to Jarrett’s race, it was near the lake and I had wanted to see him run, it was a 5km point score event and it always attracts many runners so the competition is fierce.  The wind was up and Jarrett’s coach told him it was not the right conditions for a personal best.  The starter got everyone ready and then the gun commenced the race, all we could see was the start and then had to wait for the finish.  The first four runners were extraordinarily close and Jarrett was one of them, I could see in his face that he was pushing through pain as he finished strongly.  He came fourth which was an incredible result; however he had a really tight calf.  It turns out that he has a nerve injury, but it is not too serious and after a sports massage and some special exercises he is much better. 

Meeting the Cheetah
I think the highlight of my week was going to the National Zoo and Aquarium with a slow and limping Mum and Dad who was my wheelchair pusher.  I got to spend the most incredible hour there.  First we met Bec who was our own personal guide, she knew so much about the animals and was such a nice person.  I was thrilled when I was told that the first thing I would get to do was to meet the Cheetah.  We went into her enclosure and she came over to us, purring, much louder than any of our cats.  She was so sleek and her fur was not rough but lovely and soft.  We were told that when they have wet fur it does not smell, because that would scare away their prey in the wild.  She was so gentle and friendly,  she came up to me while Ryan gave her some meat to eat.  I got to pat her for a while, she was very interested in Theodore, she licked his foot, and I think he may have been a little scared.  We had photographs taken and then it was time to go.  She began to follow us, because she wanted some more pats, then she licked Theodore again, I think she wanted him to stay in there with her. 

Then we stopped off at the Meerkat enclosure to give them a treat, they look really cute, but don’t let this fool you, they are actually really aggressive and a little silly too.  There treat was worms in plastic bottles and it was interesting watching them get them out. 

After the Meerkats, I got to feed the Bengal Tiger, I had beef pieces which I held with tongs and put through the wire fence.  It was almost like the Tiger was talking to us at times saying “give me more”.  He was huge and had the most beautiful markings on him and the largest teeth; you would not want to put your hand in there. 

Feeding the White Lioness
Then I was so lucky to get to feed the White Lion and Lioness, they are so incredibly gorgeous.  I fed them through a glass window with a hole and used tongs again.  The lioness came first to eat and she loved it then her brother came, he had a flowing mane and looked so strong, he also loved the food and her would not let her get anymore.  Apparently in the wild, the lionesses do the hunting and then the Lion comes and eats the food, the females have to wait. 

The last animal that I was fortunate enough to feed was the brown bear.  She was beautiful and I think she was Theodore’s favourite animal.  I was feeding her weetbix mixed with sustegen on spoon. Then Bec asked me if I would like to try giving her the food on my hand.  You smear some weetbix on your hand and hold it up flat to the wire, she licked it off with her very large, yet not sloppy tongue, and it kind of tickled but was the most amazing experience for me. 

I feel so privileged that I was given the opportunity to have such a special time, thanks to Trent and of course to Bec for showing us around.  It is a day I will remember for a long time.

I also had physiotherapy this week, I had been quite sore; my pain levels have been increasing, so to have Kaitlyn massage my back provided me with some much needed relief.  I have been experiencing headaches and feeling rather nauseous and she found that my neck and top of my spine were most likely causing the problem. 

In the mail this week I received a very special surprise from Tess, her friends in the UK were visiting Australia and they brought with them the mascot from the Olympic Games and the Paralympics Games.  They are called Wenlock and Mandeville.  They only have one pair of eyes between them and look like Sonic the Hedgehog crossed with a character from Monsters Inc.   While I watch the Olympics they will be able to help me support the Australian athletes which I hope do extremely well.

As you can see I have had a really busy week, I have enjoyed the many special activities and will remain always grateful to the people who helped create precious memories for me and my family to treasure. 

My book sales are going splendiferously well, with orders coming in fast and furiously, in fact I would not be surprised if they are all sold out within the next couple of weeks.  The best part is that awareness is being raised and those much needed funds to help researchers try to find a cure and that is my greatest dream. 

Nana is catching up again in footy tips and Pop is having a surge towards the end of the tipping season.  Nana is now only two behind me and I am a little worried.  I was not happy with her Cowboys last week because they beat my Tigers. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported my book and sent beautiful messages to me and my family.  Together we can make a difference!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


14th to 20th July 2012

Last week was so splendiferous, yet very draining for me and I was extremely surprised when a story appeared in our local newspaper on Saturday.  I was so excited that they talked about my book and my hopes but can you imagine my surprise when they also mentioned my 'special list'.  People have then come forward and asked me if I would like to do some of the activities.  I have felt so humbled by their offers of generosity, also a little embarrassed as I do not really think I deserve it, I am sure there are people who are far worse off than I am. However I do truly appreciate the kindness of these amazing people.  My greatest wish in this whole wide world is to help raise enough funds and awareness to one day find that elusive cure for brain tumours. 

This is the link to The Canberra Times story if those of you how live interstate or overseas would like to read it

Through the story on WIN Television, City News and The Canberra Times book sales have been incredible.  Mum has been a wonderful secretary answering the many inquiries about how to purchase it.  From the initial one hundred books, I have just eleven left and yesterday the amazing Anna delivered the last one hundred copies.  My goal is still to have them all sold out by the end of August.  Thank you to those many Blog followers who have purchased copies of my book, I hope that you really love it and hope that I am getting a message across with it. 

Apart from book sales I have had a fairly quiet week apart from my regular physiotherapy appointment.  Kaitlyn this week worked on my foot as well as my spine.  My right foot is so painful, I am not able to put weight on it without it hurting terribly and if I put just a little, my legs become so very wobbly and my lower back becomes really painful also.  Kaitlyn tried putting a piece of foam and taping it under my foot near my big toe, it seemed to help at first but then the pain and wobbles came back. 

I worked on my beginner coaching course again, this time it was about injury management, I aced it, 100% first go.  I guess I had an advantage with both Mum and Nalani injured I was really familiar with how to treat and injury and of course from my own experiences.  Now I just have one more module to finish and then I will obtain my certificate, I am so excited.

Nalani has been completing an intensive Certificate III in Fitness Course during these holidays and she has passed with flying colours.  She is now able to do fitness assessments on people and write them up programs, she can also run group classes.  I am so proud of her, she really loves what she is doing and now next term she is continuing her remedial massage course and also doing an intensive Certificate IV in Fitness. 

Jarrett has been fantastic also these holidays spending time not only looking after me but also Mum and Nalani, he is a very caring brother.  He has a race this Saturday, it is a 5km Cross Country Point Score event, he is hoping to do well, although during training on Sunday, he pulled up with a tight calf which has bothered him all week.  It is only five weeks until National Cross Country in Adelaide so hopefully he can get it sorted out quickly.  I think he is missing Nalani's massages, she is not able to do them with her knee, I miss them they really assist me with pain relief.

Term 3 commences next week, I am looking forward to an exciting term, I think in Sports Science I will be doing something about the Olympics, which I can hardly wait to start watching and cheering on our Australian athletes.  Hopefully Maths will be something with not too much writing or working out and I know that in English we are continuing work on Romeo and Juliet. 

In Footy tipping I am still ahead but Nana is holding on and Pop is still in the running.  I was so pleased to see the Tigers have a win, hopefully now they will win every game and make their way back up the ladder so that they can play in the final series. 

The other night I was listening to music which I do at bedtime to try to help with my tinnitus and I heard a Good Charlotte song called 'Standing Ovation'  I really loved the words I heard and to end this Blog entry I would like to share these with you - We're alive, now let's just take our time, now let's just make the most of every day we have, the most of every moment, we're alive.  Now let's not waste our time, now let's just make the most of every breath we take, the most of every second we're alive, oh, 'cause we're alive.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


7th to 13th July 2012

This week has been so very splendiferous with the mini launch of my special new book 'Theodore and Friends - Theodore is Left Out', having it published means the world to me, through the book I can not only send a message to others about tolerance, inclusion, understanding and acceptance of people for who they, this book is also another fund raising effort for The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Fund.  My dream is to try to make a difference and be able to raise awareness and funds in the hope that one day in the future, through research that a cure can be found for this absolutely devastating disease. 

The amazing Anna and I at the Mini Launch
The Mini Launch was on Wednesday morning at Anna's welcoming and lovely home, Anna was the one who is the publisher of my book and organised all the other amazing people that were involved.  We were so fortunate that after dreadful, wet weather the day before, the sun came out and shone upon us for this special occasion.  All the generous, incredible people who helped make it all happen were there, Kimberley, Jacqueline, Jackie, Zed Seselja, Emily, Tio and a reporter from WIN Television Luke and Morgan his cameraman were there.  After some inspiring speeches from Anna and Zed who announced that the Canberra Liberals were funding another one hundred copies to be published, we enjoyed a delicious morning tea.  I never dreamed that when I was fourteen that I would be a two time published author of books that I hope will inspire and make a difference and more importantly that twice I could donate the funds to The Brain Tumour Fund.  
Zed Seselja and I, his generosity has allowed another 100 copies
of my book to be printed
I was really surprised to see that the story of my mini book launch was on WIN News that night, I am so grateful that they thought that what I am doing is special enough to put on the news and I hope that through that story that more people will purchase my book, because the more books that are sold mean the more money that goes to research to find a cure.

There was also a story done for City News this is the link to it, I was also extremely surprised and honoured to see this story. 

Many times I have thought it a little unfair to have to have been given such a devastating journey, yet through that journey I have grown and learnt things that many people my age never will.  I have also met the people who reinforce that the world we live in actually has people who have pure hearts and love to share.  God chooses those who he thinks are strong enough to go through journey's like mine and I know that the path he has given me is for a reason. 

Following the launch I was so very tired and sore, I think it was the excitement of it all, but to be surrounded by those that really are passionate and truly care put a huge smile on my face that is still sparkling even today. 

I have sold forty seven books already, so from the original one hundred there are only fifty three remaining, because of the generosity of Zed Seselja another one hundred been printed means that there will be one hundred and fifty three available for sale.  It would be totally incredible if they could all be sold by the end of August, I think that is a goal that I will set myself.

Apart from my mini book launch I have had physiotherapy this week, my right foot has been terribly sore, so Kaitlyn worked on it, it appears to have a tear or sprain.  After Kaitlyn worked on it, she then taped it to help support it.  I am not able to put weight on it, without it hurting, so I am hobbling around using my rollator or I have to get someone to pick me up.

I completed another module in my Beginner Sport Coaching Course for Sports Science, this module was about injury risk and management, I found it extremely easy and passed again with 100% first attempt.  I now only have two more modules to work through and then I will have completed the course, I am hoping to do this before the end of the School Holidays.

Speaking of injuries, poor Nalani when she was doing running training on Sunday, had a fall and injured her left knee, it is the one that she had surgery on at the end of 2010.  It was a bit painful but had no swelling at first but then later in the day it began to swell.  She used the RICER principle, which is Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral.  She went to physiotherapy on Tuesday afternoon and it was found that she had a knee subluxation, she had to be put in a brace to keep her leg straight and continue with ice, elevation and compression.  She has to wear the brace for a week and then it will be heavily taped.  She is very fortunate that there has been no ligament damage and she is fit and strong so hopefully it will heal well.

Mum's knee is improving, she has a brace that restricts her movement a little but she is up and about again doing all the housework and taking care of all of us.  Hopefully her knee will be repaired enough for her to go to school with me when we go back on 23rd July and also for her to be able to drive the car again.

In Footy Tipping I am still leading by three, Pop got all of them correct last week and he is now catching up on us, I am six ahead of him.  He just needs to have another couple of good weeks and he could be in the lead.  This week my Tigers are playing the Panthers, I am hoping that they will draw on their inner strength and have a win this week, they are currently sitting just outside the top eight in ninth position. 

No matter what hurdle you come across in your life, find the courage to jump it and look beyond and follow a new path that may lead you to your rainbow. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Good afternoon everyone, if you would like to find out details about purchasing my new book 'Theodore and Friends - Theodore is Left Out' please send your enquiries to Stephen and Yvonne, my Mum and Dad at and they will let you know what to do.

The cost of the book is $15 and the entire amount will all be donated to The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Research Fund, in the quest to find a cure for this devastating disease.

I deeply appreciate and thank the many of you who have already purchased a copy, I believe that together we really can make a difference. 

My extra special new book

Saturday, July 7, 2012


30th June to 6th July 2012

Firstly, I would like to thank the many people who have already enquired about or purchased my new book 'Theodore and Friends - Theodore is Left Out'.  As you all know there are only one hundred copies available at present and the cost is $15 which the entire amount is being donated to The Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation Brain Tumour Fund.  My parents left contact details in the comments from my last Blog if you need to find out how to purchase a copy of the book. I am hoping that the funds that are raised through the sales of this book can go towards research into finding a cure to this dreadful disease.

I am on School Holidays at present, so it means that I do not have to race around of a morning to get ready for school in the freezing cold Canberra Winter weather.  I have however been working on my Sports Science Beginner Coaching Course, I am hoping to have it all completed by the time school returns.  I finished the second module and again achieved a score of 100%.  I only have three more modules to complete, I am making sure that I am reading everything carefully, well actually Mum is reading it all out to me because the print is small and my nystagmus in my eyes just causes everything to blur together. 

We have not been able to do much over the holidays so far because of poor Mum's knee, it has left her immobile at the moment, she can not walk too far and she is not able to drive at all.  So we have been playing some old favourite board games, watching DVD's and resting.

However, on 1st July it was a special occasion in our house because my Nana and Pop had organised Christmas in July, we even put up our Christmas Tree for the day and gave each other a small gift.  Then we had a scrumptious baked lunch with chicken rolls filled with honey and macadamia nuts, ham, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, peas and bread rolls.  Then for dessert Uncle James and Aunty Kate brought the most amazingly, sweet and extraordinarily rich chocolate cake, which even had thick rolls of chocolate on the top.  You could not eat too large a piece because of how rich it was but when it touched your lips you salivated, it was incredible.  We also made lolly bags for everyone with Christmas stickers on them, it was a special Christmas in July.

Theodore and I in the Hummer - How exciting!
Then on the Monday night I received the most amazing surprise.  I had been a fair bit of pain during that day and felt totally exhausted but after my shower Mum told me not to get dressed in my pyjamas like I normally would.  I did not know why.  Then at 5.30pm a heard a car pull out the front of our house.  It was not any car, it was a Stretch Hummer, the same one that Nalani had for her formal last year.  Then I was told that we were going for a ride in it to look at the night lights of Canberra.  Inside the Hummer there were coloured lights that changed colour and we had drinks and lollies as well.  We drove all through the City and then up to Parliament House which is colossal, you really don't realise how huge it is until you drive around the entire surround of it.   Then we went around the lake, which was really breathtaking, I especially thought the Carillon looked incredible when it is all lit up at night.  Another thing I absolutely loved were the many trees through the city that were decorated in lights, there were even some that had rainbow ones on them.  After our totally awesome drive we then went and picked up some gourmet pizza for dinner.  It is something that I would class as a  truly precious memory especially because I got to share it with not only Mum, Dad, Nalani and Jarrett but also Nana and Pop and Uncle James and Aunty Kate.  Thank you to Sean and Peta from Canberra Hummers, your car and your hospitality are just extraordinary.  Now just a little bit about the Hummer, it stretches 36 feet and can seat up to sixteen people it has a colour lights show, CD player, DVD player and a mirrored ceiling.  If you want to do something in style or have a special event to celebrate you should go in it.

The Stretch Hummer

I had physiotherapy on Wednesday, it is always relieving to have Kaitlyn do some releasing and massage on my spine.  I sometimes wish that my appointment could go all day, then all the aches and pains in my body could be relieved.  Mum also had physiotherapy for her knee, which is healing well, she was hoping to get a brace but the size that came in was the wrong one so she is still waiting for one. 

On Wednesday I also had an appointment with my paediatrician.  He asked me how everything was going and then did some reflex testing on me.  My ankles still have not reflex action and this time my right side leg was also not as good as the left.  He talked about my pain and has increased the number of doses a day I am having of the oxycodone.  Oxycodone may relieve pain a little but it also has the dreadful side effect of causing constipation so I also have to take a medication called lactulose on a daily basis to try to prevent that.  I have to see him again on 21st August or before if I have any increased pain or new symptoms. 

In Footy Tipping I am now three ahead of Nana and hoping to hold onto that lead until the end of the competition.  I have my fingers, toes and everything else crossed that my Wests Tigers will win against the Bulldogs tonight, if they don't then they may drop out of the top eight which will mean they will have to win all their games to have a chance of making the finals. 

Next week I am going to a very special morning tea, Anna who is the publisher of my book has organised it and the people who helped make it happen are going to be there as well as a couple of special guest.  I will tell you all about it in next weeks Blog. 

Stay warm, don't dwell on the negatives in life and believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, you just have to have the determination and courage to do it.