Seven year old Makayla will be spending most of August with her nose buried in a book – for a very good cause.
The St Michael’s Primary School pupil is raising funds by challenging herself to read 100 books in one month.
The money she raises will go toward researching multiple sclerosis, a cause which is more real to Makayla than ever before.
That’s because Makayla’s dad Michael was diagnosed with MS in February last year following paralysis, after it was initially thought he had suffered a stroke or Motor Neurone disease.
While Makayla loves to read and is already reading grade 3 and 4 level books, Ana Lendrec-Doggett, Makayla’s mum, said 25 books a week would be a challenge for her daughter.
Mackayla attended a day at the Melbourne zoo last month for primary ages children to learn about living with parents with MS.
During the experience, she had to wear weights to experience what the disease can be like.
“She said ‘My challenge is all these books whereas dad’s is his arms and legs.’” Mrs Lendrec-Doggett said.
Makayla is so far coming 11th when ranked against a total of nearly 1000 others involved in the read-a-thon in Victoria, which raises funds to help make life easier for those affected with the disease.
She has already raised $585 of her $700 goal.
Mrs Lendrec-Doggett said the diagnosis was difficult for doctor’s to make as her husband’s blood tests came back perfect and the paralysis was actually a relapse.
“He was paralysed on the right hand side of his body. Then we went to the Queen Elizabeth Centre where he had rehab and numerous MRI scans to the brain and even went overseas,” Mrs Lendrec-Doggett said.
“He had a tingly sensation. The only thing prior to relapse was fatigue.”
Now Mr Doggett has to have a drug infusion to stabilise the lesion in his brain every 28 days at Ballarat Health Services, which has become an indefinite procedure.
A disease of the central nervous system, multiple sclerosis is more common among women and affects more young people than any other neurological condition.
For more information about Makayla’s personal reading mission and the MS Read-a-Thon, or to donate, visit www.doitforms.org.au/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=5291.