Warrior Momz Walk across America
Southbank Rotary member Kay Ledson is currently 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
This is her story - and that of her son Josh.
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 later…discarding 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.”
In 2012 Kay moved to the USA to work with an Activity Based Below Injury Recovery facility in Carlsbad Ca. 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 has 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, Kay decided to walk across America.
On the 22nd September 2017 Kay left Carlsbad Ca walking over 5100 km to Washington DC. On her journey Kay will take over 7 million steps – 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.”
Kay will be supporting through “virtual events” “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.