AFTER months of rehabilitation to learn to walk again, Erin Wardle is determined to get out of her wheelchair to complete the last 50 metres of a 40-kilometre charity walk this long weekend.
The young Orange girl and her family will take part in this year’s 4Tracks4Kids fundraiser in Sydney on Monday.
The event drums up much-needed funds for The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network.
Erin, who has cerebral palsy, has utilised the network many times in her life.
Last year, the 11-year-old and her dad Andrew participated in 4Tracks4Kids for the first time, just two months after she underwent major surgery on both legs.
Andrew pushed Erin in her wheelchair for the entire journey, with the duo raising close to $4000 for the cause.
“It was a really fun day last year, we got to meet lots of interesting people and talk to families that are going through similar things,” Andrew said.
“It’s not a race, so there’s a real camaraderie among the walkers.”
This year, Erin will be accompanied by not only her dad, but also her mum Vanessa and little sister Caitlin, 7.
Team Wardle, along other families, hospital staff and even a few celebrities including singer Johnny Ruffo and boxer Danny Geale, will trek from Warwick Farm to the Sydney Children’s Hospital via every Sydney race track.
Andrew estimated it would take eight hours to complete.
“Erin has been training hard towards her goal of ditching her wheelchair for the last 50 metres of our journey and walking to the finish line,” Andrew said.
Erin will use The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network again next month, when she has more surgery on her legs.
“It’ll be the third time Erin will have to learn to walk again,” Andrew said.
“A lot of children’s services are based in Sydney. Tere aren’t too many specialists out this way unfortunately. There would be quite a few people in our community who have relied on the network at some stage.”
Andrew said his family had received tremendous support from the community.
“Pollets Martial Arts in Orange have done a lot to help Erin on her way,” he said.
“Racing Orange has also jumped on board. At their meeting on Friday, they have named a race after us and we’ll be there to collect donations.”
Support the Wardle family by donating at 20134tracks4kidssydney.gofundraise.com.au/page/andrewwardle.