Gatton artist 'tapes' into special cause
INDIGENOUS culture and the plight of those suffering from osteogenesis imperfecta will proudly come to the fore thanks to an innovative collaboration between a Gatton duo involving RockTape.
For most, RockTape is seen as a great tool for helping in the recovery of muscle damage or other injuries, however for Gatton parents Sueallen McMeekin and Trent Squires it means much more.
RockTape has recently added an indigenous goanna design to the list, a design that was created by Mr Squires, who is an Aboriginal artist.
It's a milestone that holds a unique back story and was achieved thanks to Fresh Start Professional Healthcare exercise physiologist Bree Sauer.
For the past few years, Ms Sauer has been treating the couple's son, Marcellus, who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta type III severe, a brittle bones disease.
Ms Sauer has employed a unique treatment plan for the two-year-old, which involves hydrotherapy to help build muscle mass and bone strength.
Going one step further, Ms Sauer decided to use RockTape to help stabilise Marcellus last year, who had remarkably started walking.
"Really, from the moment we put it on it just instantly started helping him,” she said.
"His feet used to flip out and his legs are now straight and he walks so much easier, his hips used to roll too but it was amazing how much the RockTape has helped.”
Using RockTape every week on Marcellus and recognising the talents of Mr Squires' art, Ms Sauer raised the idea of approaching RockTape with an indigenous design.
"Trent and I were sitting at the footy and I said to him, 'Don't you think it's time RockTape had an indigenous design?'” she said.
Mr Squires agreed and created about 12 designs, which Ms Sauer then took to RockTape.
To their amazement, the company jumped on the idea and, following months of collaboration, settled on Mr Squires' goanna design.
"It's such a proud thing for Gatton to have a bloke and his art go nationwide on something so big,” Ms Sauer said.
"RockTape is worldwide and all the Olympians use it and we can only imagine if the big athletes start using this design.”
Seeing his artwork go nationwide with RockTape and seeing his design used on his son was a special feeling for Mr Squires, who hoped the design would also spread awareness of OI.
"I never thought it would happen but it did,” he said.
"I'm happy and it's amazing that it's gone so far now.
"It's good to get the awareness out there as well, especially for OI, because a lot of people won't even know what osteogenesis imperfecta is.”
Like most art, Mr Squires' goanna design has a deeper meaning and reflects on his personal experiences. His goanna painting shares a message about not giving up and fighting to move forward in life.