Farewell to beloved ‘Suzy’ col­lec­tion doll

Cape Times - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF WRITER

THE West­ern Cape Cere­bral Palsy As­so­ci­a­tion is to bid farewell to its col­lec­tion doll.

For 66 years, “Suzy” was a fa­mil­iar fea­ture at shop­ping cen­tres across the prov­ince. She wore a leg brace and held a teddy bear and a red col­lec­tion box.

As part of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s cere­bral palsy aware­ness cam­paign, dur­ing Cere­bral Palsy Week from Au­gust 26 – 30, it will in­tro­duce a new logo, brand­ing and on­line fundrais­ing plat­form.

At its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing last year the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s trea­surer, Os­man Sha­boo­d­ien, reported that Suzy, which was once one of its big­gest money mak­ers, was be­com­ing “ex­tinct”.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said the doll would live on but on a dig­i­tal plat­form.

More than 17 mil­lion peo­ple live with cere­bral palsy world­wide. In South Africa, one in ev­ery 400 in­fants are di­ag­nosed with cere­bral palsy, mak­ing it one of the most com­mon phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties.

The con­di­tion is a life-long dis­or­der, and af­fects one’s abil­ity to con­duct vol­un­tary move­ment and co-or­di­na­tion be­cause of in­jury or poor de­vel­op­ment of the brain.

These prob­lems can oc­cur dur­ing preg­nancy, dur­ing the birth process, or im­me­di­ately af­ter birth (such as in­fec­tions de­vel­oped by ei­ther the mother or in­fant).

West­ern Cape Cere­bral Palsy As­so­ci­a­tion di­rec­tor Gadija Koop­man said: “While liv­ing with cere­bral palsy can be chal­leng­ing to those di­ag­nosed with it, as well as to their fam­i­lies, work is con­stantly be­ing done to lift the stigma of dis­abil­ity.

“Through in­ter­ven­tion ther­a­pies such as phys­io­ther­apy, oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy and speech ther­apy, peo­ple with cere­bral palsy can reach their po­ten­tial and be­come hap­pier, more in­volved adults with an ac­cepted place in their com­mu­ni­ties.

“The West­ern Cape Cere­bral Palsy As­so­ci­a­tion has been pro­vid­ing ser­vices for the di­ag­no­sis, treat­ment, care, train­ing and em­ploy­ment of peo­ple with

Work is con­stantly be­ing done to lift the stigma (of cere­bral palsy)

Gadija Koop­man

WC Cere­bral Palsy As­so­ci­a­tion di­rec­tor

cere­bral palsy for the past 65 years,” she said.

The as­so­ci­a­tion pro­vides a range of ser­vices to chil­dren and adults, as well as sup­port to their fam­i­lies.

Last year, the Cere­bral Palsy Al­liance in Sin­ga­pore started a cam­paign for the pub­lic to share their mem­o­ries of the Suzy doll af­ter a su­per­mar­ket chain re­turned close to 20 of them.

See Page 2

SIX-year-old Ru­veshni Lewis, born with one heart ven­tri­cle which re­sulted in the or­gan be­ing un­able to pump oxy­gen-poor blood (‘blue blood’) back to her lungs, is the first per­son on the African con­ti­nent, and the third only glob­ally, to have un­der­gone such a car­diac in­ter­ven­tion. At Red Cross War Memo­rial Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, doc­tors im­planted a de­vice called an atrial flow re­stric­tor be­tween one of her heart cham­bers, and a con­duit to re­duce the win­dow’s size from 10mm to 4mm, the more nor­mal size. She is pic­tured with her mother Jus­tine.

THE West­ern Cape Cere­bral Palsy As­so­ci­a­tion bids farewell to the fa­mil­iar doll named Suzy, a col­lec­tion doll found at shop­ping cen­tres.

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