TESS Pearce has faced plenty of challenges in her life, but she always faces those challenges head on and with a smile on her face.
Ms Pearce has cerebral palsy which affects her speech, her movement and her ability to walk, but that’s not going to stop her as she prepares to walk around Lake Wendouree all in support of beyondblue.
She has set herself a goal to walk the full 6km route on June 30 this year in a hope of raising for $5000 for the charity.
Ms Pearce said the furthest she had ever previously walked, which she does with the help of a wheeled walking frame, was 1.5km, but she was deep into training which included low-impact water-based training but she would soon work up to land.
“We actually did a big walk, about 1.5km, I pushed myself and it hurt, but I managed to do it.”
“I really need to train for the next five months to get up to that 6km.”
She said she decided to do this to help support other people.
“Firstly I want to raise awareness and make a bit of a difference and give me a purpose.”
Ms Pearce said she had suffered from depression and anxiety throughout her life and knew of family members who had also been through dark times.
“I’ve linked into other services to help with depression, it has affected our family before. It’s something that’s hard and difficult and a lot of people are really scared to talk about it because of the stigma, it shouldn’t be the case.”
She said she would work with her physiotherapist to work out a program, but had chosen June because the weather was cooler.
Mum Sandy said her daughter was an inspiration to anyone who met her.
“I can’t express how I feel, Tess never thinks of herself, she’s all about helping others. I just couldn’t have asked for a better daughter,” she said.
Carer Siofra Lyons agreed.
“She’s so determined, she doesn’t ask for handouts or help, she gets on and does what she can,” Ms Lyons said.
“Tess is someone who doesn’t realise the effects she has on others. It’s very special to meet an individual like Tess and it’s been an absolute privilege to be able to work with her for the past year.”
In just three days since launching her campaign, Tess has already had more than $1200 pledged.
She hopes that on the day she will be able to have a few people come along for the walk with her, and is most looking forward to a coffee at the end.
To pledge your support go to click on the link HERE.
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