Brother inspires Temuka woman to step out for charity

Vivien Leslie and her brother Evan Mardle check out shoes along Stafford St. She is doing Steptember to raise money for ...

Vivien Leslie and her brother Evan Mardle check out shoes along Stafford St. She is doing Steptember to raise money for Cerebral Palsy.

When Vivien Leslie began primary school she wondered why none of the boys in her class were in wheelchairs.

Growing up with a brother who had severe cerebral palsy she thought being in a wheelchair was the normal thing for boys to be in.

"I remember I was quite surprised," Leslie said.

The Temuka woman will be pounding the pavements this month in honour of her 40-year-old brother Evan Mardle and taking part in Steptember.

Run by The Cerebral Palsy Society, in partnership with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Australia, Steptember challenges people to take 10,000 steps a day for 28 days straight, to raise money, and awareness.

Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of disabling conditions, which affect movement and posture. It is caused by a defect or lesion to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during foetal development before, during or shortly following birth or during infancy.

For Leslie the month will be a chance to raise money, keep fit and honour a brother who is "very special to me".

She supported the cause last year, raising $580 and hoped to do better this time around.

"I'm definitely hoping to do more steps and raise more money this year."

She is part of a team of four, with Tracy Reid, Debs George and Reece Cummings, and said the group would motivate one another and all had Fitbits to create "a bit of competition".

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"We're keeping each other motivated and will help help raise money for those who can't take any steps at all."

Team members began tracking their walking on September 4 and as of Friday morning had taken 200,666 steps.

"No wonder my feet hurt," Leslie said.

Team members also had an ap on their phones allowing them to track their progress.

 - The Timaru Herald

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