Walk With Me: raising funds and awareness for cerebral palsy

“For the first time in her life she was standing up independently. For the first time in her life she was eye to eye with her big brother Josh.”







Like many parents, the memory of my daughter taking her first steps is one that I’ll treasure forever.

Unlike most other children, Ashleigh was almost four years old before she took her first steps, and it required months of intense physiotherapy and a specialised piece of equipment called a Hart Walker.

It’s hard to put into words how I felt when I saw Ashleigh standing upright and in the Hart Walker for the first time. The most powerful thing for me was the look on her face. Ashleigh knew exactly what was going on and she was just so proud of herself. For the first time in her life she was standing up independently. For the first time in her life she was eye to eye with her big brother Josh.

Ashleigh had a rough start to life. She was born at 27 weeks, and really struggled from birth. When she was around 10 days old, she was diagnosed with meningitis. She was treated with antibiotics, but then was struck with a second bout of meningitis. The doctors did a brain scan, and this was when they saw that she has brain damage.

When we received the diagnosis of cerebral palsy, we were devastated. We were devastated for her and for us and for what our future would hold. We knew nothing about cerebral palsy. We just knew that this was going to hugely affect Ashleigh’s life, and our life as a family.

Ashleigh has come such a long way since her diagnosis. We have been lucky to have support from amazing organisations, like Scope who provided Ashleigh with her Hart Walker. She is a very social little butterfly, loves being around people, her friends and other children. She goes to childcare two days a week where she enjoys painting and drawing and being read stories. Like most other kids her age, Ashleigh absolutely loves Peppa Pig.

A couple of weeks ago, Ashleigh had the chance to meet Peppa Pig in real life.

A couple of weeks ago, Ashleigh had the chance to meet Peppa Pig in real life. Ashleigh was just so excited to meet her favourite character. She was full of smiles that day. It was a very special time for us, to see Ashleigh in her Hart Walker meeting someone that makes her so happy.


It’s really difficult for me to see Ashleigh’s frustrations when she can’t do what the other kids are doing. Ashleigh has good cognitive skills and understands so much of what is going on around her. She becomes very aware of her limitations when she can’t join in on running around or kicking a ball. That is why it has been invaluable to get the right services and equipment for Ashleigh so that she can maximise her abilities. Without Scope and everyone else who has helped us along the way, Ashleigh wouldn’t be where she is now. Getting the right services and support has been invaluable for Ashleigh’s development. That is why events like Scope’s Walk With Me are so important. Both to raise much needed funds for children and adults with a disability, and to raise awareness of disability in our community.

Having a child with a disability is time consuming and exhausting, and you are committed to supporting your child 24/7. But at the same time, being the parent of a child with a disability is the most rewarding job in the world. Seeing Ashleigh achieve milestones, no matter how small they may seem, is just incredible. She is so determined, and I am so proud every time she achieves something that she has put her mind to, like walking.

The Scope Walk With Me event is being held on Sunday, 7th September in Melbourne to celebrate the achievements of people of all abilities. It is a national 2km or 4km walk that raises awareness that 1 in 4 Australians are impacted by disability. In addition to the walk, there will be a range of activities, music, food and festivities to entertain young and old alike on the day!

Peppa Pig will be performing her exciting stage show at Walk With Me. There will be two free shows throughout the day (10.30am and 1pm) as well as a chance to win a VIP meet-and-greet with Peppa Pig on the day.

When: Sunday, 7th September 2014
Where: Birrarung Marr, Melbourne
Time: 9:30am – 2pm
Tickets: $50 family, $20 adult, $10 concession. Register at
All funds raised in Victoria will support the continued work of Scope.

For more information about Peppa Pig visit:

Judy Lucas lives in regional Victoria with her husband Chris, and is mum to two beautiful children Josh who is 6 and Ashleigh who is 4. When not busily running around looking after Josh and Ashleigh, Judy loves curling up with a good book.