A husband and wife team from Larbert who have a twin daughter that comes to the centre for therapy are running the Loch Ness marathon on 6 October in aid of Bobath Scotland.
Cheryl and Gary Stewart chose to run in the event because it falls on the same day as World Cerebral Palsy Day.
And to show their support, Highland Council will be recognising World Cerebral Palsy Day by lighting part of the marathon route green.
After a tricky twin pregnancy Amber and her sister Harper – now three years old – were born 10 weeks early. Just before her first birthday, Amber was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a physical disability that affects movement and posture.
Cheryl said: “We quickly had to adapt to life which included daily therapy, hospital appointments and some very steep learning curves.
“Amber was lucky enough to be granted a fully-funded therapy block at Bobath Scotland last year. This came at a time when we were feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the support Amber needs.
“Bobath showed us how to bring all her therapy requirements together and incorporate it into everyday life.”
The pair have never run a marathon before, but when they realised the Loch Ness Marathon and World Cerebral Palsy Day shared the same date, Cheryl said it “sealed the deal” for them to take the challenge on.
Cheryl added: “We’re running the marathon in the hope we can give others like Amber access to the amazing therapists at Bobath Scotland. Amber loves coming to Bobath – the therapists make it so fun. It’s also been amazing for us as parents – the sessions give us confidence, skills and ideas to help Amber participate in things and to get Harper and Amber playing together.
“Amber loves stories and reading, and the therapists showed us how to incorporate that interest into the therapy. Although her biggest limitation is her upper limbs, within a few sessions at Bobath the therapists had Amber turning pages of a book by herself, which was such a great motivator for her.”
On 6 October along with hundreds of other runners, Cheryl and Gary will cross Ness Bridge in Inverness, which forms part of the marathon route. And in recognition of World Cerebral Palsy Day, the Highland Council will be turning the lights along Ness Bridge green, the colour that is internationally associated to the condition.
A spokesperson for the Highland Council said: “We are delighted to be participating in World Cerebral Palsy Day’s global #GoGreen4CP campaign, which will see cities in 75 countries lighting their landmarks green to raise awareness of the condition.
“We are proud to support World Cerebral Palsy Day, and we wish Cheryl and Gary the best of luck for the marathon.”
Virginia Anderson, Head of Fundraising at Bobath Scotland said: “We cannot thank Cheryl and Gary enough for committing to this marathon to raise money for us. We are really excited that they are undertaking this run on World Cerebral Palsy Day, which makes this challenge even more special.”
You can donate to Cheryl and Gary’s fundraising campaign here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cheryl-stewart7