On the 27th October 1998 my life drastically changed! I had contracted Meningococcal Septicaemia. Still to this day, no one knows how or where I contracted this devastating disease. From this I was one of the lucky ones to have survived and only lost my legs below my knees, I also under went several skin graft operations during the 9 months that I spent in hospital. Throughout my time in hospital, 6 months was spent on rehab and schooling then went back to school at Santa Sabin College, full time to complete my Higher School Certificate. I furthered my studies and completed an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design. I am currently working part time for Motographics who have helped me enormously by allowing me to take the time off needed for training camps and competitions.
Through the help from my loving family and friends I survived and through their support I was able to begin my new life as a double amputee.
Being a double amputee does not mean that your life has to come to an end, it just means that one door has closed and another door full of opportunities has just opened. I have been a skier since I was 3 years old and this was one activity that I was not going to let disappear, it is now my life. After learning how to walk on prosthesis and getting my life back on track I thought it was time to try skiing once again. I had my leg doctor make me a pair of skiing legs and then the day came to try them out. It took a little to get used to and figure out the different ways to achieve the same as any able bodied person but now I can say I ski better than some able bodied people.
The 1st week that I spent skiing in Australia was one of the best weeks of my life after my illness, I was then offered a week skiing on a disabled winter program which furthered my skiing and then was recognised by Disabled Winter Sport Australia (DWA) for their Talent ID Team. From this I was offered to attend a training camp in Kimberley, Canada designed for disabled winter athletes, which helped to further my skiing to Paralympic level. Following this camp I was accepted into The Development Squad for DWA Alpine Ski Team.
I have now spent one Australian season training with the Disabled National Ski Team and also competed at the 2003 Australian Nationals for disabled at Mount Buller in Victoria and won the “Woman’s Giant Slalom” and “Super Giant Slalom”.
Further more I have spent one American winter season at Winterpark, Colorado training and competing against disabled athletes from around the world. This has advanced me onto the Development National Team for Australia.
I am currently training once again in Australia for the season and will be competing in the disabled National again at Mount Buller in Victoria. Nothing is final as yet to where I will be training in the American season, but I will be competing in a number of competitions throughout America to get my points up so I can represent Australia and be the 1st female to compete in the Winter Paralympics.
My life now consists of months of ski training and competitions to be able to compete at the 2006 Winter Paralympics in Turin, Italy.
I compete in LW3 for skiers with a disability that affects both legs, but not to the extent that they rely on outriggers.