May 13, 2021

Golden Ticket winner runs for amputee awareness

GOLDEN ticker winner Kerryn Harvey is using her win to help amputees achieve their sporting dreams while running 12 marathons in 12 months.

With four down, Ms Harvey faces an enormous challenge but no more than what she has already conquered in her lifetime.

“I am an amputee, and a founding director of a charity called START foundation,” she said. “We empower amputees through sport, so I wanted to run 12 marathons in 12 months not only to fundraise for START but to raise awareness and show people you can achieve anything in life no matter your ability or disability.”

To celebrate a return of events in the region, the Surf Coast Shire created a social media competition to encourage people to reconnect and immerse themselves in the many events taking place in the environment.

Nearly 100 entries were received before Councillor Mike Bodsworth announced Ms Harvey as the inaugural winner of the golden ticket, earning 10 free passes to local outdoor events.

In her winning comment, Ms Harvey said, “they’re all great events, I have not done the Surf Coast Trail Marathon as yet and planning on ticking it off my bucket list this year as a part of my 2021 challenge to complete 12 marathons in 12 months.”

In 2013, Ms Harvey’s life was forever changed when a cycling accident led to the flesh-eating bacteria called necrotizing fasciitis.

“The bacteria was taking over my body rapidly and my only option was to amputate my arm and shoulder to save my life,” she said.

“I wasn’t given a lot of chance of survival. That was eight years ago, and I fought back a long battle from there.”

Ms Harvey said returning to sport was a key factor in getting her life back together and inspired her to help others in the same way.

“I wanted to be able to ride a bike again, so I got it modified which costs a fair bit of money but it meant I was able to meet a number of amputees through competing in para-triathlons,” she said.

“There were so many people who couldn’t participate because they couldn’t get the funds to purchase a limb or sporting equipment modification.

In six years, the START foundation has given out 15 grants to help make amputee’s sporting dreams a reality.

“That is how START began, so that people could participate in sport and reap the benefits of being in the sporting community and doing what they are passionate about.”

Read full Surf Coast Times story here.

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