Southbank Rotary member Kay Ledson recently walking across America - From LA (22nd September, 2017) to Washington DC (Mid March 2018).
CARLSBAD CA - PHOENIX - FLAGSTAFF - ALBUQUERQUE - AMARILLO - OKLAHOMA CITY - DALLAS - SHEVEPORT (1/2 WAY) - JACKSON - BIRMINGHAM - ATLANTA - GREENVILLE - CHARLOTTE - RALEIGH-DURHAM - RICHMOND - WASHINGTON DC
Seventeen years ago (2000) Kay's son Josh was involved in a horrific accident while snowboarding on Mt Buller. Josh was left a complete quadriplegic C5 / T1 with less than 3% chance of any recovery. With his doctors "mending him" to Kay's horror "the healing" of Josh would be up to her.
In desperation she remembered something her Grandmother used to always say "if you don't use it, you lose it" so if Josh was paralysed, Kay would have to build a team to help Josh learn to use his body again. Kay built a team of alternative professionals who collectively shared her vision of movement.
Josh walked out of the hospital's rehabilitation unit 4 ½ months laterdiscarding his wheel chair after 2 ½ years.. 17 years later his spinal cord has never recovered; it is actually worse; yet he still gains recovery. They now understand their early intensive work commenced the process of rebuilding Josh's neural pathways in Josh's words he "drives a manual body."
Both Kay and Josh have written Books
In 2012 Kay moved to the USA to work with an Activity Based Below Injury Recovery facility in Carlsbad, California. It was there her network and the success Josh had experienced began to grow. Weekly Kay was and still is contacted by mother's needing help for their loved one who have suffered a spinal cord injury. In Kay's words "there is always another Mother!"
Kay established a support group Warrior Momz (2013) to help families deal with this devastating injury.
While in the USA Kay joined Carlsbad Hi Noon Rotary in California. Her fellow Rotarians were very supportive to her in her role at the facility, Kay still keeps in close contact with her old Club. Returning to Australia in 2014, Kay joined Rotary Club of Southbank where she had strong ties with the Club through her sister Wendy Bennett. The club had only recently been chartered when Josh had his accident so the club went through the journey with Josh, who went on to speak to the club several times.
In 2015, Kay was contacted in the same week, by 5 mother's in the USA all seeking assistance. One family needed a ramp built and their bathroom modified to allow them to bring their injured son home. They had no money and faced the prospect of having their 15 yo placed in a nursing home. Kay immediately suggested they contact their local Rotary Group, the mom answered "What's Rotary." So began a new journey for Kay.
Kay decided she needed to meet the families in their locations so Kay decided to walk across America.
On the 22nd September 2017 Kay left Carlsbad Ca walking over 5100 km to Washington DC taking over 7 million steps to spread her message.
RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE, RAISING MONEY FOR "THERAPY GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS"
(THIS SPECIALIST THERAPY IS NOT COVERED BY HEALTH INSURANCE EITHER IN THE USA OR AUSTRALIA)
Finally building local communities to support families dealing with spinal cord injury her goal is to visit and where possible, speak to Rotary Clubs across the Walk Route
The feedback she received through speaking to several clubs in the USA was, the members liked the idea of supporting "local projects."
Thc club also supports "Y House", a locally based foundation involved in building a facility in Elsternwick, for those injured in Melbourne to attend once they have been released from Hospital Rehabilitation.
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Rotary Club of Southbank member Kay Ledson has completed the journey of a lifetime to walk the entire breadth of America from Carlsbad, California to Washington DC, A total of 7 million Steps.
Aussie Mum Kay is passionate about her son Josh and his efforts to recover from a snowboarding accident in June 2000. So much, she has managed to successfully walk across America to help promote and develop recovery options for people with Spinal Cord Injury. Starting from Carlsbad, California, Kay and a whole delegation of people effected by the problem met with US government officials in Washington to look at ways that activity-based therapy could be introduced to support people suffering spinal cord injury as a way of highlighting the struggle that families face and assist them to live more normal lives.
There is no doubt that spinal cord injury affects people all around the world, however it is the friendships and the support from organisations in America so far, who have greatly assisted Kay and her son Josh in his recovery, as Josh was able to use existing treatments, often at huge cost, to learn to walk again following his snowboarding accident in June 2000. In addition, it was the opportunity to meet up with other families also affected by spinal cord injury along the road which was much of the inspiration for Kay's journey.
Kay is immensely proud of her son and what he has managed to achieve. Giving up, though is not in their psyche.
It is hoped however that through increased support by the US government, that similar treatments will become available in Australia and other countries around the world.
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Rotary Club of Southbank has over many years supported, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Bali Taman, Indonesia, and the Rotary Foundation, a number of projects delivering water to remote villages and addressing needs of Women's Health to the Bali community.
Bali's economy is very dependent on tourism so challenges such as the Bali Bombing in 2002 and the recent eruption of Mount Agung have a deep impact on this community.These projects were initiated following the Bali Bombings in 2002 when Rotary Club of Southbank raised over $100,000 in donations and a trust fund was established to support the long term needs of the community in Bali.
Since this time, projects have been implemented in partnership with our sister club, The Rotary Club of Bali Taman and continue to be supported by visits from members to Bali.With funds contributed from Rotary Club of Southbank and the Rotary Foundation through Global Grant #1635710, the Rotary Club of Bali Taman are currently performing a combination of pap smear tests, Women's health education and IVA tests (In vitro activation) to support women's health needs on the island. The project aligns itself with Rotary's focus area of maternal and child health.
The target for 12 months of operations for the 2017-18 year includes 520 pap smears, 2600 IVA tests, and education of 3120 women in women's health issues which to date is about 50% achieved.
Below are a list of other projects undertaken by Rotary Club of Southbank
For Further Information, please visit:
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February, 15-17th, 2019
Melbourne Convention Centre.
In 2018, in a First for Rotary in Australia, 4 Districts will come together to hold a combined District Conference.
Four Districts from Across Victoria will be joining together to run a multi-district conference. This is a first for Australia and possibly for Rotary worldwide.
There is only one place capable for hosting this event - The expanded Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The MCEC offers a plenary capable of seating 2,500 people, multiple spaces for seperate stream and breakout sessions, all within the one venue overlooking the Yarra River and the city of Melbourne.
The multi-distict conference has attracted the interest of the wider Rotary world, with high class speakers willing to attend - Their messages will be inspirational. You will hear how they connect and transform communities, locally and internationally. You will also be entertained and enthralled by the varied program over the course of the weekend.
The Rotary showcase will take place in the exhibition centre allowing multiple ways of displaying projects from across Victoria, allowing Rotarians from across our state to connect up with like minded people.
We are One Rotary. In conjunction with the Multi-district conference, a youth forum for those aged 18-40 and an Interact forum will be held. The youth forum's vision is to engage, empower, and inspire youth to strengthen their communities. Rotaractors and youth across Victoria will be encouraged to work with Rotary Clubs after the conference.
Registrations will be open on July 1st 2018.
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