Liv Fountain hits 'Steptember' on crutches

‘‘STEPTEMBER’’: Even Saturday’s severe weather event, with freezing torrential rain, did not put off Liv Fountain and her supporters as they walked Waikanae Boardwalk for “Steptember” — a national fundraising event for people who have cerebral palsy. Every member of the Gisborne community who helped donate towards the $120,000 needed for LIv’s surgery and rehab can pat themselves on the back because she is “smashing it” and can now walk short distances on crutches with an attitude toward rehab all of us could learn from.
Liv is pictured on crutches with, from left, her mum Marcia Nelson, grandmother Carnie Nelson and one of her best friends Nina Buscke. Picture by Paul Rickard

HEAVY rain hit the Waikanae Beach boardwalk on Saturday just as the walk for “Steptember” started.

But it did not faze 25 supporters who donned raincoats, umbrellas and a positive attitude to show former Gisborne girl Liv Fountain they were beside her as she walked the boardwalk on crutches.

This was something that only months before Liv was not sure was possible.

One of her long-time supporters and friends is Cory Newman, 14, who uses a wheelchair to get around.

“It’s pouring with rain but I don’t care,” said Cory as he pushed through torrential rain on Saturday.

“I just wanted to come out and support my friend and an amazing young lady. Liv has overcome so much in such a short period of time,” Cory said.

Now at Campion College, Cory said he and Liv had been great friends since Central School.

It was nice to have someone who was “one of my kind” Cory said, and the problems they both had walking meant they shared a strong bond.

Steptember is a national fundraising event run by the Cerebral Palsy Society.

Since Liv had life-changing surgery in the USA in May, she has kept a busy schedule for rehabilitation.

Huge local support

The $120,000 for the surgery in the US and rehabilitation afterwards was raised with the huge support of the Gisborne and Napier communities, to which Liv and her family belong.

Before Liv and her mother Marcia Nelson left for the five-week trip to the States, Marcia said the success of the surgery would depend on Liv and the effort she made with rehabilitation afterwards.

Liv’s grandmother Carnie Nelson put it best when she said, “Liv is totally smashing her rehab and exceeding all expectations”.

Liv can now walk on crutches for short distances.

“It's really cool to be able to walk with crutches, because I thought I’d never be able to walk without a walker,” Liv said.

Liv’s rehabilitation schedule is full but nothing compared to her determination.

On Mondays Liv has pilates, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are physiotherapy sessions at her intermediate school in Napier, Thursday is horse riding and swimming, and then on Fridays is more physiotherapy.

“So I am pretty busy all week,” Liv said with a big smile.

BDO staff braved the severe weather on Saturday as supporters of Steptember.

BDO partner Lyall Evans said it was a cause they supported as a business because having to do 10,000 steps a day meant wellbeing for their whole office, plus it was a great charity and they were long time supporters of Liv.

Office workers on average walked about 3000 steps a day, said BDO Steptember co-ordinator Belinda Irving.

The Steptember goal is 10,000 steps a day for a month. Office rivalry has also been stepped up.

There are lunchtime walks, quick trips around the block at morning tea, and Belinda admits even pacing up and down the house after work if she has not quite reached her goal.

HEAVY rain hit the Waikanae Beach boardwalk on Saturday just as the walk for “Steptember” started.

But it did not faze 25 supporters who donned raincoats, umbrellas and a positive attitude to show former Gisborne girl Liv Fountain they were beside her as she walked the boardwalk on crutches.

This was something that only months before Liv was not sure was possible.

One of her long-time supporters and friends is Cory Newman, 14, who uses a wheelchair to get around.

“It’s pouring with rain but I don’t care,” said Cory as he pushed through torrential rain on Saturday.

“I just wanted to come out and support my friend and an amazing young lady. Liv has overcome so much in such a short period of time,” Cory said.

Now at Campion College, Cory said he and Liv had been great friends since Central School.

It was nice to have someone who was “one of my kind” Cory said, and the problems they both had walking meant they shared a strong bond.

Steptember is a national fundraising event run by the Cerebral Palsy Society.

Since Liv had life-changing surgery in the USA in May, she has kept a busy schedule for rehabilitation.

Huge local support

The $120,000 for the surgery in the US and rehabilitation afterwards was raised with the huge support of the Gisborne and Napier communities, to which Liv and her family belong.

Before Liv and her mother Marcia Nelson left for the five-week trip to the States, Marcia said the success of the surgery would depend on Liv and the effort she made with rehabilitation afterwards.

Liv’s grandmother Carnie Nelson put it best when she said, “Liv is totally smashing her rehab and exceeding all expectations”.

Liv can now walk on crutches for short distances.

“It's really cool to be able to walk with crutches, because I thought I’d never be able to walk without a walker,” Liv said.

Liv’s rehabilitation schedule is full but nothing compared to her determination.

On Mondays Liv has pilates, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are physiotherapy sessions at her intermediate school in Napier, Thursday is horse riding and swimming, and then on Fridays is more physiotherapy.

“So I am pretty busy all week,” Liv said with a big smile.

BDO staff braved the severe weather on Saturday as supporters of Steptember.

BDO partner Lyall Evans said it was a cause they supported as a business because having to do 10,000 steps a day meant wellbeing for their whole office, plus it was a great charity and they were long time supporters of Liv.

Office workers on average walked about 3000 steps a day, said BDO Steptember co-ordinator Belinda Irving.

The Steptember goal is 10,000 steps a day for a month. Office rivalry has also been stepped up.

There are lunchtime walks, quick trips around the block at morning tea, and Belinda admits even pacing up and down the house after work if she has not quite reached her goal.

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