Supporting the Forest Town School Foundation for Learners with Special Needs
The latest 702 and Dis-Chem Foundation Random Act of Kindness is set to support Botox clinics for children with cerebral palsy.
Thanks to the Random Acts of Kindness campaign aimed at distributing donations to worthy causes, the Forest Town School Foundation for Learners with Special Needs will be able to give children suffering with cerebral palsy the chance to use their fingers and gain better mobility.
Dis-Chem Foundation founder, Lynette Saltzman has pledged to donate R78 000 to help one of the three departments at the Forrest Town School in charge of administering the Botox treatment and physical therapy.
According to the school’s Grant and Donor Administrator, Marion Leatherbarrow, “We have children who would greatly benefit from this treatment, enabling them to use their fingers in a pincer grip, gain mobility in their arms and legs, and because drooling is less, children who were shunned because of the drooling are better socially integrated and as a result their self-esteem improves considerably.”
The Forest Town School Foundation for Learners with Special Needs is the only NGO in the country to provide this treatment free of charge as the majority of children at the school are fee exempt and not on medical aids.
The children who receive this treatment are particularly affected by severe muscular spasticity, Marion explains. Each child that has undergone the Botox for drooling treatment has shown significant improvement. Each treatment lasts for about three months.
We, together with Professor Lawrence Chait (Plastic Surgeon), conducted the first trials in the world in the use of the Botulinum Toxin in hands which were tightly clenched and not functional in the mid-1990s, says Marion. Subsequently, our findings were globally published and the treatment is now utilised world-wide.
In 2011, research was conducted on the use of Botox for drooling in children with cerebral palsy and the first clinic in the country was opened in our Speech Therapy Department, she says.
The Dis-Chem Foundation is a beneficiary of Dis-Chem Pharmacies' Benefits Programme, whereby members earn points on what they spend at Dis-Chem Pharmacies and a percentage of the value purchased is donated to the Dis-Chem Foundation. Points can be earned by using one of the many Dis-Chem Benefits cards available in Dis-Chem stores nationwide.
Background: Forest Town School was established in 1948 by a small group of parents who needed education, care and treatment for their children with cerebral palsy. Today, the school caters for learners with a wide variety of special educational needs. Some of the disabilities and difficulties that are catered for are: cerebral palsy, disability and difficulties caused by head injuries, learning difficulties ranging from mild to severe, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and epilepsy. The school motto is Arise. At Forest Town School children with difficulties and disabilities are given the opportunity, encouragement and expert support they need to arise and be the best they can be.
Anyone can nominate a charity or organisation that is in desperate need of help by visiting www.702.co.za
For more information visit www.foresttownschoolfoundation.co.za