Jaryd steps out into a full life

Inspiration: Cathy and Adam Dokter want the world to know children born with clubfoot, like their 13-month-old son Jaryd, can live a life without restrictions. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Inspiration: Cathy and Adam Dokter want the world to know children born with clubfoot, like their 13-month-old son Jaryd, can live a life without restrictions. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Jaryd with his parents Cathy and Adam Dokter. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Jaryd with his parents Cathy and Adam Dokter. Picture: Natalie Roberts

It's world Clubfoot day on June 3 and Aussie Clubfoot Kids wants to raise awareness of the birth deformity that affects one in 1000 children.

Baulkham Hills resident Cathy Dokter discovered her son Jaryd, now 13 months old, had a condition called congenital talipes equinoavarus - or clubfoot - when she had a 19-week pregnancy scan.

The condition causes feet to turn inwards and point down, making it impossible to walk on them if left untreated.

"All the doctor told me was not to worry about it because it was treatable," the Aussie Clubfoot Kids volunteer said.

But it wasn't until her son was 10 days old she found out how lengthy his treatment would be.

Ponseti Method treatment involves manipulation through casting from the toes to the groin soon after birth, followed by bracing to hold the feet in position until the child is five years.

"After that an orthopaedic surgeon will accompany the child's development to ensure the feet are not reverting back," Mrs Dokter said.

"It's a disability for life but I want other parents to know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

"Jaryd can do anything any other children his age can. He crawled at the right time and now is standing up holding onto furniture."

Aussie Clubfoot Kids has 530 members in Australia.

Aussie Clubfoot Kids is having a meet and greet fund-raising event at the Ettamogah, Kellyville Ridge, this Sunday, June 1, from 10am to 1pm. Organisers are asking for a gold coin donation. Details: cathy@aussieclubfootkids.org.

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