A tradesman reminded me how tedious it is being stuck indoors. It reinforced Emily’s independence after SCI as she left the house to catch a wheelchair accessible bus (M30) to Sydney University leaving me behind.
Modern science has overcome so much but spinal cord injury (SCI) is complex. Don’t miss out on life while waiting for a SCI cure.
Emily and I chose an unknown path recently …….
Quick and delicious meals are imperative but how do I plan as a busy mother/carer? Wherever you are in the world when the clock hits 4pm there is a collective intake of breath, eyes roll skyward, as everyone considers “What’s for dinner?” Continue reading
I collected our team bibs for City2Surf2015 and started to get excited, less than 48 hours!!
We had our last training session on Wednesday which went well except very breezy which meant Emily and Cobie both felt cold. We had a group discussion about layering up for Sunday. I can assure you all now that there will be no shedding of clothes when these two race! Keeping warm is an issue as a wheelchair user. Continue reading
Coach Beastie laid down the law this weekend. She says there’s to be less chatting and coffee drinking if we are going to make the City2Surf.
I signed the form that Emily assertively presented to me and realized I was; chief supporter, responsible carer, sandwich maker and jelly bean monitor for her City2Surf team on Sunday, August 9th, 2015.
From Hyde Park the course is 14 km through to the finish line at Bondi. I have not been involved in previous races but you can’t live in Sydney without knowing about the City2Surf Heartbreak Hill. Discard any visions of weeping lovers as they are dumped along the wayside or broken-hearted couples clutching their heaving chests as they wave tearful, red-eyed farewells. No, Heartbreak Hill threatens the thigh and calf muscles of all the participants as it has a false summit. What appears to be the hill-top is actually only a corner on a continuing rise. The undulations that follow through residential streets keeps everyone literally on their toes!
As the ink dried on my signature I rushed to Google the race site. I had to deep breathe through my alarm as I read…… Elite Wheelchair Athletes: This Start Group is for elite wheelchair athletes only. Athletes must be in a racing chair to compete in this Start Group and who will aim to complete the course sub 38mins.
38mins! SUB 38mins!
Let’s go back to the beginning – Emily wants to raise awareness and funds for ParaQuad. An organisation that supports people with spinal cord injury in the community. As a ParaQuad member Emily could apply and was granted a scholarship which she put towards her University fees. Returning to University was an important milestone within Emily’s recovery goals.
ParaQuad supports life choices after spinal injuries. It also supports carers because if it aids Emily, it aids me as her full-time carer. With increased resources and support Emily is empowered with more independence heading towards a positive future with opportunities.
On our first training session we averaged 5 km an hour so we should finish the City2Surf course in 3 hours. Add in a sandwich and jelly bean pit stop and maybe a finish time of 3.5 hours would be more realistic. Does that help put the elite wheelchair athletes into perspective!
Emily and her mate Cobie are determined to push their way through and enjoy the success that comes with a challenge. If you would like to support them and their carers by donating to ParaQuad please see their everyday heroes site here
Thank you from Emily, me and our track coach – The Big Black Beastie!
Cover girl Emily advertising Imagine Me – a project that allows people with spinal cord injury to express themselves through a self-portrait created using new photographic technology.
Imagine Me project artist and facilitator Sue Murray has worked with each individual, even if artists could only use a mouth stick they were able to control aspects of the camera. Sue said “It’s great to be around people who have overcome disability – it’s very inspiring. It’s what you can do and not about what you can’t do – this is about enabling and empowering people”
The collection of images is as varied as the individuals; from Game of Thrones, words from the Beatles and one portrait inspired by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. Each portrait has a paragraph from the artist, the combination of words and picture give a glimpse of the person who created the work of art.
The images displayed in this exhibition are all inpactual, some are reflective, all are beautiful, many reveal the unexpected and also the artists cheeky sense of fun. I felt honored that each participant had let me see something special, just briefly I was allowed an insight into their inner strength, their imagination and their personalities shine through for all to see.
The exhibition runs till June 30th at the Dougherty Centre, 7 Victor Street, Chatswood.
Monday to Friday, 8.30am and Saturdays at 11am.
I admit I could be a carbohydrate addict. I could quite happily live on fresh breads, home-made pasta, buttered potatoes and sticky rice but especially soft bagels, warm cakes and chewy cookies. I have been weaned off excessive carb consumption by nutritional education and my tight jeans!
The Strength 2 Strength program for carers is specifically designed for family members of people with spinal cord injury: