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Cunderdin star to shine

Jo FulwoodThe West Australian

One of the Wheatbelt's favourite sons has been named the 2015 Regional Telethon Little Star.

Cunderdin's Jayton Carter, who has cystic fibrosis, will be enjoying the glitz and glamour of starring in this year's Telethon weekend, helping to raise money to improve the health and well-being of children in Western Australia.

According to Jayton's mum Lisa, Jayton is just as happy working and playing on his extended family's farming property.

She said despite his debilitating condition, Jayton didn't ever seem to slow down.

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"Jayton loves farming. He loves running through the paddocks, cropped or not, sheep work, cleaning troughs, rock picking, feeding dogs, chooks and collecting eggs," she said.

Ms Carter said Jayton was also passionate about his sports, like many other children in a country town.

"Cricket is his number one playing love, after basketball, where he struggles with his physical size and strength on the court," she said.

"And this year he has discovered a passion for long-distance running, and is looking forward to hitting the fun run circuit."

Ms Carter said each day offered new challenges for Jayton, who also suffers from gastroschisis and bilateral talipes.

"Every day Jayton has 50 tablets, and 40 puffers, followed by 30 inhalation capsules and four high calorie juices," she said.

"He also has to have three laxative doses and two hours of physiotherapy, including two nebulisers."

Ms Carter said Jayton is admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital for two or three weeks every three months.

"Jayton has a great network and support system at PMH, especially on his Ward 9A," she said.

"We meet amazing kids and their families every admission, usually from regional WA."

And despite the distance from Perth, Ms Carter firmly believes living in the Wheatbelt is a better way of life for her son.

"At any time, of any day, I can call on a neighbour, friend, school teacher or family member to assist us, whether it be a one off emergency, or something more regular," she said.

"Rural life is personal. Whether you are close to people or not, everyone is important.

"As a family, we are able to go out, socialise and participate in the community, knowing that our villagers are all aware to stay away from Jayton with their bugs and illnesses."

Ms Carter said Jayton was looking forward to hitting the stage, joining the panel and answering phones for the big weekend.

"Initially, the news of being chosen as a Telethon Little Star went from extreme excitement,to the realisation that Jayton is a sick kid," she said.

"Every year we are completely in awe of the amazing Little Stars, their families and their stories. We are glued to the television and elated for their involvement in Telethon."

Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common life-threatening, recessive genetic conditions affecting Australian children. Telethon screens on October 17 and 18 on Channel 7.

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