It may not seem like much but Nadine Schafer hopes that one day her son Jasper will be able to run into her arms and call her Mum.
Now just 17 months old, Jasper was born with brain damage caused by the death of his twin brother Julian in utero.
Basically he gave everything of himself to save his dying sibling and the effort left him depleted and starved of oxygen.
Jasper began his life with cerebral palsy, microcephaly and cortical visual impairment (CVI); these conditions have significantly affected his ability to see, hear, feel and move.
The Australian Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential is an organisation devoted to improving the quality of life for brain-injured children.
Finding the institute has been a beacon for Nadine and for Jasper’s dad Anthony, as for the most part of Jasper’s life, they have been pointed in a direction that suggests making Jasper comfortable and catering to his present state and what are deemed a his permanent physical needs rather than endeavouring to improve his ability.
Current government funding does not encompass the possibility of Jasper getting any better; therefore the couple are spending every cent they have on helping their son become all he can be.
Any therapy or treatment that goes beyond making him comfortable is not on the agenda.
Jasper is currently benefiting from physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture, physical therapy, cranio-sacral, speech therapy and hydrotherapy and they are hoping to get a Giger MD therapy machine, which basically speeds up the ‘patterning’ process.
‘How the institute explain it is that Jasper has had a car crash in his brain,’ says Nadine.
‘The cars are stuck and we need to build a new road or bridge for the cars to get through. We do this by patterning.
‘The basic movements of life and this activates the whole central nervous system.’
The Giger, along with the water therapy, are two of the treatments that the family can do at home but, as these are seen as more than what is required for his day-to-day existence, they are not covered by any government assistance.
‘The government will spend millions on disabled children their entire lives rather than give them medical equipment and things that will help make them better so that one day they can live lives that contribute to the community.’
To help with their expenses, Jasper was recently taken under the wing of Dreamworkers, an organisation run exclusively by volunteers who help to raise funds for individuals and charities.
Dreamworkers are helping the family raise $17,000 for the Giger and another $5,000 for the software to run it.
Jasper’s parents have also been advised to obtain a hydro spa so that this therapy can take place on a daily basis; they are looking at another $25,000 for the spa and necessary installation earthmoving.
‘It’s scary when you think about it that the only thing stopping us giving Jasper the opportunity to do the things we think he can do is money.’
For more information about how you can help Jasper, visit the Dreamworkers website: www.dreamworkers.com.au.