Lucy-Rose Gander 10, attends guitar lessons at Voice Singing School.
Lucy-Rose Gander 10, attends guitar lessons at Voice Singing School.

‘Inspirational girl’ conquering odds with bionic hand

TOWNSVILLE girl Lucy-Rose Gander may have just one full hand but that hasn't stopped her filling her schedule with everything from guitar lessons to field hockey practice.

The ten-year-old lives on the mantra that she'd rather try something that may appear out of reach, rather than never try at all.

But the journey hasn't always been smooth, with Lucy-Rose and her mother Diane calling on Townsville businesses to be as inclusive as possible.

It comes as the landmark Royal Commission into Violence, Neglect, Abuse and Exploitation of People with a Disability wrapped its first four-day hearing in Townsville on Thursday.

"In our community, there are some gold standard providers that set a terrific example for others," Ms Gander said.

"It's been quite a journey and a challenge at times, but when you get to a place that's supportive and you see her shine it's well worth the challenges along the way.

"Townsville needs to have service providers like gyms who have their clients best interests at heart, even if they are children and even if they have a special need."

The condition which led to Lucy-Rose's limb deficiency is known as amniotic band syndrome, where strands of the amniotic sac separate and entangle digits, limbs or other parts of a baby while in the womb.

Lucy-Rose said she has had a burning desire to conquer the monkey bars at the playground since she was five-years-old because all the other kids could.

Using a prosthesis known as a "swinger", which Lucy-Rose obtained through the arduous NDIS process, she now does gymnastics training with a specially qualified physio at a local PCYC.

"Sometimes it's a little bit frustrating when you can't participate in something and everyone else can do it, but I still participate," she said.

The ten-year-old's extra-curricular activities include guitar and voice lessons, art classes, tennis, basketball, percussion and hockey.

Asked if there was anything that holds her back, Lucy-Rose said she just wasn't that fond of running.

Lucy-Rose's hockey coach Alice Arnold, of Townsville Hockey Association, said the 10-year-old's achievements were testament to what kids with disabilities across Australia can achieve.

"(She) is an inspirational girl and with no doubt will continue to be a great hockey player and more importantly, a kind and approachable leader," Ms Arnold said.

"She is willing to take on a challenge and do so with a smile."