It takes a community

It takes a community
Posted on Thu 21 Jul 2022

It's not often you hear about extraordinary people like Don Quested - one of the first children supported by Cerebral Palsy Alliance (then known as The Spastic Centre).

Don was born in Werris Creek, just 44kms south of Tamworth, NSW. Born 12 weeks premature and a breach birth, Don wasn't expected to survive. The wife of the local doctor would drive Mrs Quested to Quirindi to get more milk to feed baby Don, and he started to thrive.
When Don's mother heard about The Spastic Centre in Mosman, she decided to visit. It was there that she really started to understand what could be possible for him.

Don, now 76, was one of the original 16 children who lived at 35 Glover Street, Mosman. They all loved playing together and taking regular trips to Queen Street for education, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy.

Don's mum often volunteered at the centre, sometimes up to ten weeks at a time - while her husband would stay home in Werris Creek with Don's older sister, Anne. For many families, this separation could have torn the fabric of their bond, but for this family it was a labour of love.

While living in Sydney, Don went to school with Jennifer McLeod, daughter of Audrey and Neil McLeod, founders of The Spastic Centre. Don took great interest and delight in watching the construction of McLeod House in Allambie Heights.

After his early therapy at The Spastic Centre, Don was able to attend school locally at Werris Creek and Quirindi High School. He then went on to work on the switchboard at the Royal Newcastle Hospital - a job he stayed in for over 36 years.

During this time, Don met his partner Kylie, who was a social worker at the same hospital. To this day, they have a rich and happy life together.

Another loving support in Don's life is his older sister, Anne. They've always shared a very close bond and Don has fond memories of spending time with his sister Anne at Glover Street and McLeod House.

Don is extremely grateful for everything that the Cerebral Palsy Alliance does for people just like him. That's why both Don and Anne have made the extraordinary decision to leave a gift in their Will to Cerebral Palsy Alliance, to help other families in the future.

Don with friend on tractor

I’m Marie. I wear many hats; as a student in my first year at Western Sydney University studying communications, and I work as a Disability Support Practitioner for Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

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