The Community Unites for Harlie

At just 18 months old, Harlie was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. Doctors said Harlie would never be able to sit, crawl, talk or walk.

Six years have been spent in physical therapy and various other medical specialists’ offices. Harlie is now confined to a wheelchair for independence and spends around 30 minutes a week in a walking frame to stretch her legs. Sadly as Harlie’s tiny body grows, her muscles tighten and become more painful so she spends less time in her walker and more time laying down to relieve the pain after all day in a wheelchair.
Harlie was approved for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery which is only available in the U.S.A. SDR is surgery that relieves approximately 95% of the painful spasticity from the body and daily intense therapy post-surgery, means patients have the opportunity to finally make physical gains they would not otherwise have the ability to do, such as walk.
Harlie is scheduled for this surgery on 15th August 2017. Unfortunately the costs of overseas travel, the surgery itself and post-operative therapy are enormous. Family, friends and the local Ferny Hills community came together to establish the Harlie Russell Foundation. Since mid last year, the foundation has been raising funds to allow Harlie to travel to the USA and receive this life changing surgery. With a $120,000 target for the August journey and further fundraising upon Harlie’s return for therapy and home modifications, the foundation has been reaching out to the Ferny Hills community for support.
Currently, the Harlie Russell Foundation has raised over $56,000 towards Harlie’s life changing journey.
On 25th June a huge community effort took place at The Grove Sports Club, Ferny Grove to raise much needed funds for the foundation. A large crowd turned out to enjoy Barefoot Bowls, sausage sizzle, live music and a multitude of raffle prizes donated by businesses within the area. The day raised $4,200 for the foundation.
Keep up to date on fundraising events and Harlie’s progress at www.harlierussellfoundation.org or  www.facebook.com/stepup4harlie . Donations can also be made via these links.