Lara was born on the 5th of November 2008. The fourth child of Mark and Madonna. She was different to her siblings. She looked different…she had twisted feet….she didn’t cry like the other babies. She didn’t move like them either. However, after a week in the nicu we were released to go home, with a paediatrician’s words ringing in our heads “She may or may not be normal, depending of if she does or does not reach developmental milestones.”
Lara was our unexpected blessing. There was only 20 months between her and Alexandra. So you can imagine life was busy! We had just moved to Brisbane, Katelin was in grade one…Tom was at Kindy and then there was a toddler and a baby at home. I knew that something wasn’t right…but…what Mother (or Father) want to think that their child is anything but perfect? We struggled on with a child that didn’t eat well. Didn’t sleep well. Wasn’t like any newborn we’d had before.
At 6 weeks we were re-admitted to hospital for “failure to thrive”. Lara had lost weight and wasn’t feeding well. This started the game I affectionately refer to as “ologist bingo”. We saw many specialists for her issues….and yet none could give us any answers. The MRI showed a normal (but small) brain. The genetic testing showed no trans-locations or deletions. Finally at around five months we were given the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Lara also has microcephaly, epilepsy and vision impairment.
This year sees us trying to raise much needed funds to help support Lara's everyday needs. Money raised on this fundraising page will help ease the financial pressure of specialised equipment, home modifications, ongoing therapies and any other costs for Lara which come up. We appreciate your help in getting us there. x.
To Donate to Lara Dunn, please use the form below. Thank you for your generosity.
Marayke Jonkers, 36, is a retired Paralympic medal winning swimmer, paratriathlete and founder of Sporting Dreams, a grants program which helps athletes with disabilities. Unfortunately after 20 years as an elite athlete Marayke has been diagnosed with an overuse injury to her arms and now n...