Ausnew Home Care | Krazy Kosci Klimb participants hike Mount Kosciuszko to raise funds for Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Krazy Kosci Klimb participants hike Mount Kosciuszko to raise funds for Cerebral Palsy Alliance

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"There's like nothing to look at except for rocks, rocks and grass," exclaims Eadie Ross, as she reaches the halfway mark on her hike up Mount Kosciuszko.

The journey is not an easy feat.

Nestled in the heart of the NSW Snowy Mountains, the walk is about an 18-kilometre round trip, with a summit at 2,228 metres elevation.

Eadie, aged 10, has been walking since dawn — and a few kilometres in, she's coming to terms with the fact the hike will indeed be a challenge.

But she won't be backing down anytime soon.

a girl smiles at the camera while walking in a blue tutu
Eadie Ross was looking forward to the challenge of climbing Mount Kosciuszko.(ABC South East NSW: Eadie Ross)

"People doubt that people with disabilities can do things like this — but we really can," she says.

Eadie is one of 15 young people with cerebral palsy, or a similar disability, taking part in the climb to raise funds for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

She was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy at a young age and is attempting to climb Australia's highest peak as a sort of personal challenge.

"I can maybe do the walk, but at home I'm totally different and very lazy," she laughs.

"By the end, my legs will probably feel like they're about to come off."

'The sky's the limit'

Not far behind Eadie is 15-year-old Amelia Lukes.

At two-weeks of age, she survived brain tumour surgery but was diagnosed with left-sided hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

a young girl smiles at the camera whilst climbing a mountain, wearing bright blue colours
Amelia Lukes from Nowra was determined to reach the summit.(ABC South East NSW: Adriane Reardon)

For Amelia, it's been a dream to reach the summit.

"I want to support people like me," she said.

"People say I can't do things, when I can actually do it, if I just put my mind to it."

a drone shot of the top of a mountain, with a few people walking around the summit
It's an 18-kilometre round trip to the top of Mount Kosciuszko and back down again.(Supplied: Cerebral Palsy Alliance)

Debunking stereotypes plays a big role in motivating the participants, according to one of co-founders of the event, Hannah Diviney.

"We want to smash open the expectations people have around the capabilities of people with disabilities," she said.

"If they can do this, then the sky's the limit."

The latest event marks the Krazy Kosci Klimb's ninth year.

And there's a huge sense of empowerment shared among the participants, especially for 25-year-old Eric Barrett O'Keefe.

"I'm up for any challenge," he said.

"There's been a lot of challenges in my life."

a man smiles happily from a wheelchair
Eric Barrett-O'Keefe says he is up for any challenge.(ABC South East NSW: Adriane Reardon)

Funding accessible sports

The Cerebral Palsy Alliance has already surpassed their goal to raise $450,000 for their Accessible Gym and Sports Program.

The money will support various sporting programs for all ages and all levels of abilities, including at the elite Paralympic level.

a group of people walk up a hill, with another group far away in the distance
The Krazy Kosci Klimb raises money for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.(ABC South East NSW: Adriane Reardon)

It will also be shared with their existing accessible gym facilities, which allow people with cerebral palsy and similar conditions to exercise in a safe and suitable environment.

Event co-founder Mickey Campbell said the funding was vital, but there was no better feeling than seeing the participants reach the summit and cross the finishing line back at the base of the mountain.

"They go over the line, and they're filled with self-belief and their self-esteem is through the roof," he said.

"It's just an eye-opener to see their perseverance."


Source: ABC

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