I saw an advert for a ride to fundraise for cancer research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research so I went and helped on the support crew.  The following year they had their first walk for women’s cancer and I thought, ‘Well, you know, I might only manage to cross the start line and then fall in a heap but I could raise a bit of money to help.’  This year my friend Nicole was having treatment for breast cancer, so I walked for Nicole. I do all different things to raise money but what I know about the walk and the people at the Harry Perkins Institute is that they just accept me.  My disability doesn’t worry them.  Nobody says, ‘You shouldn’t be here.’  They accommodate anything I need and they cheer me on.  It’s fun.  We dress up and people wear all sorts of silly stuff.  This year I walked about thirty kilometres in ten and a half hours.  The sun had just come up when we started and it was pretty much gone when I finished.  It feels like an achievement.  I got cryptococcal meningitis in 2003 when I was 31.  I left hospital in a wheelchair and had to learn how to do everything again.  Teaching was the only thing I ever wanted to do, so I felt like I’d lost me when I couldn’t work.  I still struggle with that but the people who help at the walk let me know that I’m doing something else that makes a difference.

The Lives We Lead Worklife has been funded by the Department of Communities, Disability Services.
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