“The day I wanted to park on a disabled parking and my daughter said no, I realised that she wanted to be treated as a normal person who sees herself no different than anyone else.”
These were the words of Mario Augousti, father of Alexia Mia Augousti, who was born with cerebral palsy.
Over the past two weeks, Alexia was the name on everyone’s lips. Being the fighter that she is, she insisted to run in the same race as her able-bodied peers at her school’s athletics day on 18 January. Her dad, who cheered her on during the race, posted a video of the event on Facebook, which reached 5000 views in no time.
“I ran the event to show everyone that you can do what you set your mind to and accomplish anything you wish to accomplish,” Alexia said.
Her mom, Jackie, said this has been an event that Alexia has taken part in since grade one and that all learners, teachers and parents have waited for this event to cheer her on and support her. “We are so proud of her,” her mom said.
Alexia, who goes to school at Saint Michael’s School for Girls, is a true inspiration to everyone around her. She was born with cerebral palsy. She arrived ten weeks early and weighed only 1.3 kilograms.
For the first six and a half weeks she was in hospital with meningitis, where she also had to receive a VR shunt in the brain. At the age of four months she started to receive physiotherapy.
On Friday 15 February 2019 Alexia will turn 13 years old and celebrate the day at a petting farm. She enjoys horse riding, swimming and art. “Oh, I just love the horses and sketching in my exam pad. It is full of drawings,” she told Bloemfontein Courant.
She also has a great love and passion for nature and animals. “When I grow up, I would like to go study Veterinary Science at Pretoria University and then travel the world to help endangered animals,” she said.
Although she realises she has a disability, she sees herself no different to anyone else and lives her life with a smile on her face and so much joy in her heart. She is a true example of what courage looks like. Her confidence is something to be respected. – Jeretha Oosthuizen