Finlay's will to walk

Finlay is a happy, determined and vivacious 4-year-old boy who received a diagnosis of spastic diplegic cerebral palsy at 3 years of age.
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term that refers to a group of disorders affecting a person’s ability to move. This condition affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture, and balance. Although cerebral palsy is a permanent life-long condition, some of these signs of cerebral palsy can improve or worsen over time.

Finlay is fiercely independent and is determined to complete tasks by himself. While he is able to get around and walk using his walker, he often experiences frustration when trying to keep up with his peers or his older brother Angus. He requires assistance for everyday tasks such as dressing, toileting and getting in and out of the car. In time, the spasticity, or increased stiffness in muscle tone, will cause Finlay further discomfort and orthopedic problems which will more than likely require extensive surgery and impact on his independence.

The good news is we have been given hope. There is medical intervention available that can change Finlay’s life. Our son has been given the amazing opportunity to have life-changing surgery in St Louis, USA. He has been accepted as a candidate for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery. Dr TS Park and his team are the world leaders in this procedure that involves the identification and severing of the sensory nerves causing spasticity in the lower limbs. More detailed information on this procedure can be seen at

This procedure will change Finlay’s life! It will permanently reduce the spasticity in his legs allowing more freedom for movement; enable improved balance and maximise his level of physical comfort. Dr Park and his team have predicted that,

“Finlay will be able to walk independently in all environments.”

We see every day how spasticity holds Finlay back, so for us, this surgery and the independence it will offer Finlay is the greatest opportunity we could have dreamed of.

We know that the surgery coupled with the tailored intensive physical therapy program in the following 12 months will make our wee man’s wish to walk come true.

Our decision to go ahead with SDR surgery has been a difficult one, but we believe that this is the exact step required to give Finlay the ability to walk on his own two feet.

The biggest challenge for us to make this opportunity a reality is to raise the $100 000 required to cover the cost of the operation, therapy requirements, follow up treatments and travel to and from the US. Fundraising is our best hope of providing Finlay with this once in a lifetime opportunity and we need as much help as possible.

If you could find it in your heart to help in any way we will be so thankful.

You can assist in any one of the following ways:  

Share our link and story (social media/radio/news)
Make a donation to Finlay’s Go Fund Me page
Donate an item for a  door prize/auction
Host an event! For example a morning tea, corporate lunch, cocktail party or quiz night 
Attend a hosted event, TBA

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Dan Naylor
Hallett Cove SA

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