Cafe gift gives Jackson hope to keep fighting
JUST 12 months ago, Jackson Keleher was learning to get about without relying on a walker.
Today, the four-year-old is not only walking, he's talking and learning to interact with other children at kindergarten as he prepares to start school in 2015.
"It has taken a while, but he's starting to make friends and he wants to chase and play with other kids now," his father David said.
"This year it has been a huge push to get him into the community and be part of society."
That push received a massive boost last week when a stranger donated $10,000 to help pay Jackson's expenses.
Jackson has been fighting quadriplegic cerebral palsy caused by a brain injury when he was just hours old.
David, who now raises his son on his own, was told Jackson would never be able to walk and talk.
But when the youngster was 10 months old, he was introduced to Wurtulla therapist Anette Jonischkeit and her German therapy Vojta.
In the past year, Jackson has improved in leaps and bounds thanks to the backing of communities across the country, and in particular the Sunshine Coast.
The little boy was given a major boost this week when Caloundra businessman, Lindsay Ross-Gilder, don
ated $10,000 on behalf of his La Promenade Cafe.
Not knowing how much was being donated, David and Jackson were left more than a little teary when they received the cheque.
"It's hard to travel and make the journey and it's so much easier knowing there are people here on the ground that are supporting what you're doing," David said. "It gives us courage to continue to go on."
Mr Ross-Gilder said Jackson's story had touched his heart.
"Straight away it made me very sad seeing what he was going through," he said.
"It brought a tear to my eye. I feel lucky we're able to do something.
"Any father would hate to see something happen to his family. It's really heart warming to see David doing so much for his little boy.
"David has given up everything and he believes in Jackson.
"He wants his son to be like any other child - to be able to walk, talk and play."
Mr Ross-Gilder is rallying the community to get behind Jackson to ensure he can continue coming back to the region for therapy.
"I'd love to rally the general public in the area, and businesses as well to help this amazing little boy," Mr Ross-Gilder said.
David and Jackson return to the Sunshine Coast from Sydney every three months to learn new treatments.
Having given up his job to care for Jackson full-time, David set up charity Walk Talk Fly to help cover his son's huge medical and equipment costs.
To help Jackson, visit walktalkfly.com.