A Falls Gap woman will embark on an adventure of a life time this week in an effort to raise both funds and disability awareness for a “gorgeous” four year-old Tanunda girl.
On Friday, Jaye Fatchen will head out on a bike ride which will test her body, physically and mentally, as she travels from Perth to Adelaide – a 2822km trek – as part of the Pacific Wheel Ride.
Yet when you chat to Ms Fatchen, the grueling ride does not compare to what her long-distance and close friend Kate Auricht and partner Ian Beckwith cope with on a daily basis.
The couple, originally from the Barossa and moved back in May 2017, live with their two daughters Paige, four and Madeline, almost two.
Ms Auricht explained when she was about 36 weeks pregnant with Paige, she discovered her first-born was to live a life with a brain disorder.
It was only when she was born they discovered Paige’s full condition known as Bilateral Frontoparietal Polymicrogyria (PMG), which means she lives with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, global developmental delays, dystonia and other issues.
Her condition means she receives constant care by her loving parents because she cannot sit unaided or stand, nor feed or toilet by herself. This means the couple rely heavily on equipment for her daily care.
It also means a struggle for the family of four to leave the house for a day’s outing.
That’s why Ms Fatchen has stepped in. She’s keen to promote the family and their ongoing battle to offer hope and support.
Ms Fatchen is keen to see some funds go to the family which Ms Auricht said would go towards more portable/versatile equipment, such as a new wheelchair, to help them get out and about.
Ms Auricht would also dearly love a sensory swing for Paige at home.
Currently, Paige attends kindy in Nuriootpa which gives her mum the chance to take up part time work at Bethany Wines and as she explains “connect with the community”.
However, like any mother, the love for both her daughters is unconditional.
And the bond Paige has with sister Madeline is strong according to Ms Auricht.
“They are absolutely amazing together and they love each other to bits,” she said.
She also describes Paige as quirky, with a wicked sense of humour.
“She’s had the kindy staff in stitches with her laugh,” she said.
As for Ms Fatchen, who admits to being afraid of the dark and not a big fan of traffic, “that’s something I will have to overcome” during the ride.
However, she added, if it means providing a special family with much needed support than it’s worth every kilometre.