After experiencing the exhilaration of completing the Step Up for MSWA challenge in 2022, Deirdre O’Brien has enlisted the help of her family to make a life changing difference for West Australians living with neurological conditions.
Deirdre, her husband Peter, and three daughters, Keira (15), Aisling (13) and Teagan (10), have been making the most of the weekend sunshine to train for the unique stair climbing event, taking place on Sunday, June 25 at the Central Park building.
“I think it is a really good bonding experience for the family – you get to train together outside around all the other stuff kids do, because the kids are always so busy,” Deidre said.
“I think it will be nice to complete the challenge as a family, because they always get behind me.
“For them to get involved, I think they will realise how much fun it is to achieve something for themselves and make a difference for other people as well.”
With four challenges to suit all ages (6+) and fitness levels, Deirdre said it was not only the perfect opportunity for a family day out, but also the chance to make a positive impact on the WA community.
“Thankfully, we don’t personally know anyone who is in the situation that they need help from MSWA, but we will eventually – so why not get behind the cause while we can,” she said.
“Who knows; we might even need help from MSWA ourselves one day.”
The year will be the 16th annual event, with more than 12,200 climbers taking to the stairwells over its history to raise an incredible $2.3 million for MSWA.
Some healthy competition between the O’Brien family will help push this fundraising total to new heights in 2023.
“We are trying to fundraise as individuals through the kids’ school and sports clubs – they are all getting behind us,” she said.
“We have even roped in people from overseas, because we travelled a few weeks ago, so we are getting a collection from family and friends as well. Every dollar will count!”
For anyone thinking of joining the challenge, Deidre has some simple advice.
“I get a lot of ‘I can’t’, but anybody can do it,” she said.
“There is no rush, it is no race – it is just something to push yourself. We are lucky enough to go back to our normal lives the next day, knowing we have done something for somebody else.”
For those eager to train for the event, Deidre recommends Whitfords Nodes Park for families preparing for the challenge.
“The playground is there, there is plenty of space and you can go to the beach afterwards. Also, you can walk down the ramp afterwards instead of coming down the stairs!”
“If families are looking, that is a great one to practice.”
With less than one month until event day, there is no time like the present to register your family for a fun day out in the Perth CBD, simply visit stepupformswa.org.au .
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