Ten-year-old Alyssa Bolger from Maddington has been given an exciting opportunity to help spread a special message about her brain developmental disorder.
She has been named the 2015 little telethon star and will be the ambassador for this year’s annual telethon fundraiser, which financially supports the medical and social welfare of children across Western Australia and funds research into childhood diseases.
Alyssa, who was diagnosed with autism at age three, said it was an ‘awesome’ feeling to have been chosen as telethon’s metropolitan ambassador and was looking forward to meeting a few famous faces while in her role.
“I feel really proud, it’s really exciting because I might get to meet the West Coast Eagles and I’ve already met Fat Cat,” she said.
Alyssa’s mother Rhona Bolger said she and husband Clay were incredibly proud of their daughter and saw it as a learning experience for her.
“She is a sweet, caring and loving girl who is always making sure that the people around her are happy,” she said.
“Alyssa works very hard to get through her day and manage the sensory processing difficulties that can cause issues for her but she always has a big smile on her face.
“She has autism, two types of epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alyssa has a beautiful and complicated little brain.
“She loves building lego and is incredibly good at it, it serves as a distraction from sensory overload as she can shut out the world and just focus on building.
“It’s also great for fine motor development visual processing, she just loves it.”
Mrs Bolger said Alyssa, who was also a junior ambassador for Autism West, would be making sure that during telethon the community understood where their donations were going.
“We have an incredible team of autism researchers at the telethon institute for kids who spend their time researching effective ways to make the lives of kids a little easier,” she said.
“Alyssa is very keen to see this year’s telethon total break last year’s record to get as much funding for not only our autism researchers but to help as many WA kids as possible who live with things like cystic fibrosis, cancer and other illnesses.
“She will also be doing her best to let everyone know what her life is like with autism and epilepsy, to help create a more accepting community.”
Telethon will air on Channel Seven from October 17 to 18.
Donations can be made during the broadcast or at telethon.7perth.com.au.