Fighting epilepsy in regional Queensland
CLAY and Carina Kenny are parents who know firsthand the challenges and extremities of facing epilepsy in rural areas.
Their 19-year-old daughter, Tayler, has had epilepsy since she was a baby.
Mrs Kenny said their journey had been somewhat up and down.
"We see epilepsy not as a disability but as a hurdle that we will somehow one day get over,” she said.
"She has had it since she was a baby so we have never known anything different, and neither has she.”
As a parent, Mr Kenny said the hardest challenge was the unpredictability of epilepsy.
"It is like being attached to a long piece of rope - you get going and it yanks you back,” he said.
Working as cattle producers on Llanarth Station, located between Charters Towers and Clermont, Mr and Mrs Kenny have five children.
Tayler is their eldest and she has four very protective brothers.
"It is not always easy living with epilepsy, especially when you are geographically isolated,” Mrs Kenny said.
"Living more than two hours from the nearest town, it is somewhat hard to access support services.”
The family is working with Epilepsy Queensland to lessen the plight of affected families in rural areas by creating a space for people with the disability to socially connect with their peers through on-the-ground support.
Such families had limited support, Mrs Kenny said, and a major disadvantage was the "lack of understanding about the disability and services available for rural children and adults in the bush”.
"With assistance from Epilepsy Queensland, Tayler has been involved with chat rooms with other children in her position,” she said.
The couple are strong advocates for beating epilepsy out of the bush and are raising funds and awareness through the Great Elders Cattle Muster.
Together, they hope to ease the journey for families.
With the support of Elders' Rural Services Rockhampton, they are bringing The Great Elders Cattle Muster with the sale of more than 100 donated cattle.
All proceeds raised will be donated to Epilepsy Queensland, and a prize draw will take place for all cattle donors.
If you donate a beast you will go in the draw to win 'Smoko' with Wally Lewis or a Great Keppel Island getaway.
For the donation of cattle for the May 18 sale, contact Clay Kenny on 0409 724 486, or donate through everydayhero.com and search Great Elders Muster.