Our son Carmelo was born with clubfeet, an extremely common birth deformity where the feet turn inwards and down in such a harsh manner it can make walking difficult if not impossible.
Being first time parents to our son Carmelo, it was daunting to think what treatment would be like for such a small boy [no more than 5 weeks old] but the thought of our son being able to lead a normal and active life was overwhelmingly exciting.
Treatment typically consists of a series of weeks in specialised leg casts that carefully unwind the feet into a corrected position, followed by [depending on severity] a number of years wearing a specialised bracing system [corrective boots] that continue the manipulation process.
In the very early stages of Carmelo’s Clubfoot journey, we discovered [to us] 4 very important facts ...
1. Clubfoot is the most common birth defect that effects 1 out of every 750 children born worldwide.
2. Clubfoot is completely curable and treatment is readily available in Australia and other developed countries.
3. Being of Polynesian decent, we discovered that Pacific Island children have the highest rate of Clubfoot per child born each year. [7 out of every 200]
4. Quality treatment for this potentially debilitating condition is not readily available in the Pacific Islands.
With the discovery of this information we were left thinking, ‘What if we were parents in the Pacific Islands? What if we were unable to access quality treatment for our son? What would that mean for us as a family and most importantly, what would that mean for our son Carmelo?’ Children left without treatment have little chance of being a productive, contributing adult.
We as parents are so grateful that we live in a country that provides our children with quality treatment. We also believe that every child deserves the best start in life and a chance to walk, run and play.
Our first step.
We started 'Sole Purpose Project' a cause that aims to help children in the Pacific Islands receive quality treatment for Clubfeet where it is not readily available.
Our mission for 2016 in collaboration with the Pacific Island Orthopaedic Association (PIOA) and our Orthopaedic Specialist Dr Soares, is to pioneer the first ever training module in Samoa in September. Residing and neighbouring doctors will gather at this training forum and will receive professional training in the ‘Ponseti Treatment’ for Clubfeet, in turn enabling them to provide quality treatment to local children effected by Clubfeet.
We need your help to raise $30.000 AUD so that we can facilitate the proposed training module in Samoa. This will change the lives of many children. Also to crowdfund the future of Sole Purpose Project so we may continue on to other Islands.
We ask that you please give generously, and that you share our story so that we can reach our goal and make this dream a reality. This is about community and we invite you to be a part of ours.
Please note we are not a gift recipient certificate holder and therefore donations are not tax deductible.
Here are some perks.
An adorable children's book dedicated to Clubfoot Kids around the world.
Sole Purpose Project apparel. (available in children's sizes also)