Madeley teen receives Louisa Allessandri Memorial Fund scholarship

Drisana Levitzke-Gray and Tayla Taseff received Louisa Allessandri Memorial Fund scholarships.
Drisana Levitzke-Gray and Tayla Taseff received Louisa Allessandri Memorial Fund scholarships.

A MADELEY teen has reaped the rewards of giving and receiving.

Tayla Taseff (18) recently received a Louisa Allessandri Memorial Fund scholarship and volunteered to raise funds for the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation (PCHF).

Her mother Geraldine said the fund presented scholarships each year to help people with disabilities reach their study and travel goals.

“The scholarship was for $10,000 and this is supported by the community in helping fundraise so this scholarship can continue,” Mrs Taseff said.

“Tayla was a joint winner along with a young lady who was the young Australian of the year in 2015, Drisana (Levitzke-Gray) who is deaf.

“They could not separate them so they ended up giving them a scholarship each which was amazing.

“Tayla was so overwhelmed receiving this award from her idol and role model Fiona Stanley as she has always stayed in contact with her since Telethon and has always said to her she will follow in her footsteps.”

Mrs Taseff said her daughter wanted to study and travel as an advocate for people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

“Tayla was at UWA last year and is looking at going to ECU Joondalup or Tafe this year to further her studies,” she said.

“She also wants to travel to Italy to use the language she has studied at UWA and to experience the world and to educate people from her eyes about living with a disability and cerebral palsy.”

Tayla Taseff raising funds for Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation with firemen and PCHF supporter Erin Ewans.

Tayla recently helped sell PCHF firefighter calendars during a fundraising drive at Ocean Keys Shopping Centre in Clarkson.

The drive raised more than $1000, which will go towards the ‘distraction therapy’ initiative that comforts and calms children in hospital during stressful medical situations.

Mrs Taseff said the therapy has helped calm and preoccupy her daughter and son Brandon (13) during their many hospital visits over the years, with puppets being particularly helpful before four surgeries Tayla had undergone.

“Operations are really scary and while waiting to go into surgery Tayla’s anxiety kicks in big-time,” she said.

“When there is a distraction, like the puppets, it redirects her attention away from the fear and helps get her into a calmer state.”

Both her children require regular Botox injections in their legs to relax the spasticity in their muscles, having to endure eight to 16 needles in one sitting every six months.

“Brandon is very anxious and doesn’t like going to sleep for the procedure, he’d rather stay awake,” Mrs Taseff said.

“That requires a combination of a relaxing agent, numbing cream and lots of distraction.”

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