Around the world and back…and a bit more

DSCF8123The green machine has done it. One hundred thousand kilometres. Apparently it is 40 075 km around the equator so we have circumnavigated the globe nearly two and a half times! That’s a lot of school and hospital runs. It all began one fine morning at playgroup…..{insert hazy, reminiscing fog here}…

The process of travelling anywhere with the toddler girl had become increasingly difficult. Lifting her still small but stiff and deadweight body out of her little wheelchair. Bending and twisting to get her into her car seat. Pulling said wheelchair apart. Placing it into the back of a very small hatch back car tetris-like so it would fit, shutting the back and taking a deep breath. Then we would get where we were going…and do it all again in reverse! I limped into playgroup exhausted before the day was really underway. Friendly faces had looked up in sympathy. “What do you need and how can we help?” By the time we left that day plans were made to have a stall at the kindergarten fete. Friends had volunteered to make playdough and heat packs and pot plants. If friendship and drive had anything to do with it we were destined to have a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

And so a quest was born. It overwhelmed me then, and still does, to think of how many people worked together for us. Well for her really, which helped me to accept the amazing outpouring of generosity of time and spirit. A teenaged friend made cards out of her own photos which she sold at the local post office. This selflessness lead to an article in the local newsletter which generated interest from our local paper. More support…many happy tears. Particularly when opening the mail to find pocket money. Yes, some children sacrificed buying a treat for themselves to help the little girl who needed a car to get to kindy. Awe inspiring to this day. There were several further fundraisers including a raffle, a family day at an open garden and a huge auction night. The news floored me (quite literally, I was laying on the floor at the time in a satisfied stupor) at the auction night. Calculator buttons buzzed. In a matter of months our community had raised enough funds to not only buy an accessible vehicle but cover the $8000 gap payment on missy’s new wheelchair. Stunning! For every ticket bought or donation given I  also saw holes forming in the wall of fear and misunderstanding around disability.

We still feel the warm community hug as we motor. What was difficult then would now be impossible as the girl has grown so much. It is possible for her to be taken to appointments without the cost and uncertainty of a maxi taxi. She is able to visit a café on the weekend to taste a babychino. My girl can live her life more normally because of this generous gift. So five years and 100,000 clicks on I say thank you to all of those who helped get us on the road.

PS…if I have missed waving back at you I apologise.

Oh and PPS…I do hope you squint a little if you see us drive by so as to not notice the car could do with a wash!


One thought on “Around the world and back…and a bit more

  1. I can’t believe you’ve done so so many k’s!! Then again, that’s many many many trips to RCH & back & forth to Kiah’s schools & elsewhere, it all adds up… I don’t know how you do it all Shelley! You amaze me xxx

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