Walking straight to your heart

WALKER: Matthew Chant in a new walker donated by the Lions Club of Thornlands Point Halloran.

WALKER: Matthew Chant in a new walker donated by the Lions Club of Thornlands Point Halloran.

The joy of being a member of the Lions Club of Thornlands Point Halloran has never been so heartfelt as when Lyn Kitchen watched Matthew Chant, 6, of Thornlands take his first tentative steps on his new walker.

WALKER: Rachel O'Brien of Thornlands gets to socialise in an upright position after receiving a walker earlier this year.

WALKER: Rachel O'Brien of Thornlands gets to socialise in an upright position after receiving a walker earlier this year.

The club donated the $2100 walker earlier this year as part of its thrust to help children become mobile.

“Matthew wanted to kick a ball and feel the grass.  It reduces you to tears to see him doing those things that we all find so simple.  And he can reach the fridge now,” Ms Kitchen said.

As secretary of the club, Ms Kitchen and her husband Lester, now a former president, have witnessed the gift of three mobility aids to local children in the past two years.

The first was to Mikayla Homes, 12, of Victoria Point whose mother Angela sought the club’s house in raising $18,000 towards a sit-to-stand wheelchair.  The club pledged $5500 after 18 months of fund raising and the wheelchair was purchased in 2016.

“It has made such a difference.  Mikayla can now stand up and socialise.  She can cook which she loves to do.  She can throw a ball for the dog and it is not good for your long term health to be always in a wheelchair,” Ms Kitchen said.

The second fundraiser was for a $6500 walker for Rachel O’Brien, 13, of Thornlands, another success which has given Rachel the freedom to socialise and talk to her friends.

At the end of Mr Kitchen’s term as club president, the club also donated $4000 to Australian Lions Children’s Mobility foundation and ultimately towards a $8700 walker for a three-year-old boy from Banora Point.

“We have a passion for this and we will certainly continue to fund raise. We just need to hear how we can help,” Ms Kitchen said.

Ms Kitchen said Bunnings at Victoria Point was a significant support through its sausage sizzles.

“It has been such a privilege to see a child walk.  It makes so much difference to them and their family.  I watched Matthew in his walker and he laughed and giggled.  It was so exciting.  This is why I’m a Lion.  It is incredibly rewarding,” she said.