30 Jun 2014
STEPHANIE CAMPBELL, CHeBA CHAMPION
A few months ago something happened to me that would change my life forever.
It was Sunday morning, March 16 and I was about to complete my 57th solo skydive. Gazing out onto the vista 14,000ft below, my fingers felt stiff and numb on the cool metalwork of the plane door as I steadied myself in preparation for my next move. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, filling my lungs with the icy, fast-moving air, and then leapt out into the void.
I didn't know it then, but in five minutes' time I would be fighting for my life on the ground. In a horrifying turn of events, my parachute would collapse and I would be left with fractures in 75% of the vertebrae in my mid spine, six of my ribs and my right wrist, as well as two punctured lungs, a severe concussion, a suspected orbital fracture and a right eye that would swell out of its socket and fill with blood from the bruising.
One CareFlight Group QLD rescue helicopter flight, 10 days in hospital, hundreds of x-rays, countless medical appointments, and over 1000 hours in a spinal brace later, I would emerge a new woman and discover a level of personal resilience I previously didn't know I possessed. Somehow I had cheated death, paralysis, surgery and serious deformity and I was determined to make my recovery count.
Three months on and against the odds, I am now a finalist in Miss World Australia and in a position to be climbing the Story Bridge to raise awareness of and funds for the Centre For Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) and Variety Queensland through my 'Climb for A Cause' initiative in partnership with Story Bridge Adventure Climb.
During Climb For A Cause week, 50% of every Day and Night bridge climb ticket purchased between Saturday 13 and Sunday 19 July under the promotion code 'CAUSE' will benefit CHeBA and Variety, helping to advance the interests of Australia's two must vulnerable yet resilient generations - children and the elderly.
My goal is to muster up the support from at least 1000 courageous and compassionate Aussies to raise $50,000 to support two very important and worthwhile causes. So I challenge you to join me on my climb to recovery and Climb For A Cause too. You can make a difference by supporting Climb For A Cause by sharing this post with your friends, family and colleagues on social media using #ClimbForACause. I hope to see you climbing the bridge soon!