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Teresa’s Trotters

Prior to being paralysed from the tumour on her spine, Teresa walked 6km every day. It was a simple part of her day, but it was something she enjoyed and found very therapeutic.

And this is what cancer does to patients. It takes away the simple joys of life, and often what people use as their outlet. We thought what better way to honour Teresa’s memory, than to gather people together to walk 6km around a beautiful Melbourne location. It’s an opportunity to get our supporters together every year and do something that we take so easily for granted and enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures. We hold Teresa’s Trotters close to February 18th, which is mum’s birthday.

Teresa had spinal cord compression from a secondary deposit in her spine. This means the neural transmissions from the brain were blocked from getting to the legs resulting in weakness and numbness. The compression was from tumour circumferentially in her spine and at the very first surgery she had an operation from the back to remove tumour causing posterior pressure on the spine.

This immediately made the nerves safe, however the tumour from the front meant there was no stability for her spine at the front and she followed on to have an operation through the chest wall to remove the entire vertebral body and replace it with a titanium cage. This was supplemented by screws and rods at the back – kind of like belts and braces together.

Teresa’s neurosurgeon remains a close friend of The Aftershock’s. “It was amazing to me to see Teresa’s determination to recovery neurological function as many, many people would not be ambulant again having had cord compression like she had. But suffice to say she pushed through her rehab, made new connections from her brain to her legs and was walking 4kms independently until the recurrence. To achieve this showed the strength and determination of Teresa. At this point she had a third operation with myself but was unable to recover much neurological function after that. The chances of recovery diminish with every compression event and despite continuing to have the determination to recover, the disease process meant she was this time unable to.”

Teresa’s Trotters 2023 will take place on Sunday February 19th, ticket details will be available soon.


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