Snug Primary School banded together to show their large hearts on Friday, September 27, wearing yellow for Microcephaly Awareness Day in support of fellow student, seven-year-old Blake Woolley who was born with the neurological condition.
According to the World Health Organisation, Microcephaly is a condition where a baby is born with a comparatively smaller head size than other children of the same age and sex which can lead to a host of future problems due to the reduced growth.
Microcephaly is an incredibly rare condition with only one baby in several thousand affected.
Many babies born with Microcephaly may demonstrate no other symptoms at birth but go on to develop epilepsy, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, hearing loss and vision problems.
In some cases, children with Microcephaly develop no other conditions or problems.
Attending regular therapy sessions for help with secondary aspects of the condition such a speech delay is part of the normal routine for Blake, however there is very little awareness in the community about Microcephaly or support for the families of those dealing with the day to day consequences of the condition.
Blake’s mother, Jacinta is passionate about bringing a greater awareness and furthering the level of resources available in Australia so that children like Blake and their families are not left feeling alone and overwhelmed.
“There is very little support and resources in Australia for Microcephaly,” said Ms Woolley.
“I have made it my goal to create and raise the much-needed awareness for our little man.”
“I am passionate about creating awareness, assisting people to understand his condition and creating a yellow army.”
Yellow is the colour of Microcephaly Awareness Day, held annually on September 30 and Snug Primary School raised over $200 as the staff and students showed their support of Blake on the last day of term.
Ms Woolley works as a nurse and admits that the lack of available support and information has increased the struggle for the family in finding the best path forward for Blake.
“Blake's diagnoses for us as a family wasn't about getting a label, it was about finding the best way to help, support and manage him, his symptoms and to put the right supports in place.”
“For us each day is a new day, we have support through NDIS, have regular therapies and managements in place and regular paediatric appointments.
“We find it difficult as there is very little support for this condition, there is information but not supported groups/foundation to assist,” said Ms Woolley.
It is Ms Woolley’s hope that raising awareness of the condition will connect families dealing with Microcephaly into the right support networks and encourage members of the community to research and understand the condition better.
Pictured above: Jacinta and Blake Woolley, along with staff and students from Snug Primary School wore yellow on Friday, September 27 to show their support of Microcephaly Awareness Day.