20 November 2015
Participation is the meaning of life – Sarah Reedman
Participation is the meaning of life, and all young people deserve opportunities for meaningful involvement in what life has to offer. That’s one of the driving forces behind Youngcare and one of the reasons I felt so privileged to accompany Youngcare resident Tim Martin’s trip to New York City. Perhaps coincidentally, I am currently a research higher degree student and physiotherapist steering an intervention project that aims to support the autonomy of young people with disabilities so that they can participate in and enjoy healthy physical activities.
Watching the boys push Tim in his specially constructed race wheelchair in the New York Marathon was the highlight of the trip for me. Standing with the other supporters to cheer on the mass of runners in the world’s largest marathon, it was easy to get swept away in the inspiring and electric atmosphere. Something that was challenging in a very different way was our visit to the 9/11 memorial and museum; a powerful and solemn place that I will never forget.
Whilst it was a breeze for my mum and I to explore the sights of New York including the stunning autumn leaves in Central Park and the overwhelming lights of Times Square, I was struck by the challenges faced by Tim and his sister Carolyn in simply getting around. The bustling streets were not built to be wheelchair accessible and it reminded me of the difference that can be made when a young person can access equipment and funding that supports them to live a life of their choice.
This amazing trip would not have been possible without Youngcare’s funding partner Suncorp Insurance, Nova 106.9 Brisbane and Channel 9. All I can say is thank you for an experience of a lifetime – I love New York!
Sarah currently works for the Queensland Department of Education and Training and is undertaking her PHD at the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre, The University of Queensland.
Don’t miss the documentary “Live Young, Run Hard: 10 Years of Youngcare” which follows the story of Tim and the New York Marathon crew Sunday, 22 November at 4.00pm on Channel Nine!