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Assistance dog bid

Aiden BoyhamSound Telegraph
Elisha and Steven Wright with son Lachlan (10), have been overwhelmed by the response to the walk.
Camera IconElisha and Steven Wright with son Lachlan (10), have been overwhelmed by the response to the walk. Credit: Aiden Boyham

Warnbro woman Jo-Anne Cooke is set to walk 80km around Rockingham next month to raise money for a deserving family.

On November 4 and 5, Mrs Cooke will pound the pavement around town to help raise money for 10-year-old Safety Bay boy Lachlan Wright, who suffers from a rare condition known as 23q23.1 micro deletion syndrome.

With Lachlan’s condition encompassing severe lifelong refractory epilepsy, intellectual disability and autism, the funds from the walk are set to be put towards helping the Wright family purchase an assistance dog which will cost $40,000.

The dog would be professionally trained to help detect seizures and alert Lachlan’sfamily.

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Lachlan’s mother Elisha said his condition was extremely rare and affected about only 100 children in the world.

“He has ongoing absent seizures where he just zones out and, since July last year, he also has started having breathing where he just wakes up and stops breathing,” Mrs Wright said.

“They say the epilepsy is actually contracting all the muscles and the respiratory system.”

With Lachlan’s condition also impacting his circadian rhythm and sleep cycle, Mrs Wright said an assistance dog would make a huge difference to both his and the family’s lives.

The heart-warming campaign to support the Wright family initially gained momentum with the Rockingham Rams — AFL Masters; with Mrs Cooke involved with the team as a member.

The club’s annual game against Gingin raised more than $5000 for the assistance dog campaign and it has gained momentum from there. As a nurse who comes across life-changing conditions day to day, Mrs Cooke said she was inspired to help as much as she could with a fundraising charity walk around Rockingham.

The walk will begin at the Rockingham Rams Football Club on November 4, with Mrs Cooke planning to complete 60km on the first day before capping off the final 20km on November 5, culminating in a big fun day at City of Rockingham RSL on Memorial Drive.

Mrs Cooke is set to be flanked by a “fairy, Elmo and Batman”, as he rattles the donation tin on the walk. “If you see us please donate —every little bit counts,” Mrs Cooke said.

Readers wanting to donate to the campaign can contact Mrs Cooke via email on wjcooke@coastlink.com.au or call 0410 534 356.

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