By Brigid O’Connell
A human chain of kindness, linked by the generosity of strangers, has stretched across the small town of Bacchus March to help one girl fulfil her wish of walking.
Two rival football teams from the Ballarat Football League rallied their supporters at Bacchus Marsh’s Maddingly Park today to bring five-year-old Sienna Cordell a step closer to life- changing surgery in the US.
Sienna’s daily battles are many. She cannot talk or walk on her own, with spastic cerebral palsy affecting both legs. She remarkably has had 26 days without a seizure.
But as Sienna and her triplet siblings prepare to start school next year and with her muscle stiffness worsening — her parents Brad and Briohny believe this surgery is their last shot at giving their “little fighter” the best chance of an independent life.
Sienna has been accepted to have the radical spinal nerve surgery in the US in September at St Louis Children’s Hospital, a centre that performs this procedure on more than 3000 children each year. But it will cost the family of seven $100,000.
Most business and locals who got involved to donate goods for the silent auction, those who split their proceeds from coffee cart and barbecues at the ground, or who posted flyers at their workplace during the week had never met the Cordells.
Neither had Sharyn Moloney from the Bacchus Marsh Junior Football Netball Club, who organised the event with the support of club president Matt Colley and the Darley Junior Football Netball Club president, Adrian Bettio.