Forster physiotherapist, Reyne Black, has described the day his friend Chey Cooper walked down the aisle to marry her teenage sweetheart, Josh one of the best in his life.
Back in 2015 Chey suffered a spinal cord injury at a T2-T4 level of her spine, causing paraplegia
Chey, who was 18 years at the time, woke up one morning with pins and needles in her feet, was rushed to hospital and then airlifted to Royal North Shore.
She returned home seven months later in a wheelchair.
"The doctors gave me no answer why this happened to me, and could only class it as a spontaneous haematoma," Chey said.
Spontaneous muscle hematomas are defined by the occurrence of excretion of blood in a muscle group, most often in the abdominal waist. These hematomas can remain localized in the muscle head when they are contained by the fascia, or can diffuse into the peritoneal or retroperitoneal space.
"This now means I live my everyday life in a wheelchair," she said.
The condition, due to an unexplainable blood clot, required Chey to take up weekly physiotherapy sessions to maintain muscle and bone density, and to ensure she sustained good mental health.
Reyne, who played football with Josh took on Chey as a client of Forster Tuncurry Physiotherapy the following year.
Securing vital funding through the Federal government's NDIS program, Reyne and Chey worked together weekly for five years.
Chey's initial goal was to walk down the aisle.
"The start was hard as neither of us had been in this situation before, meaning sessions were mainly improvised as he had never worked with a paraplegic," Chey said.
Chey achieved her goal, marrying Josh in 2021, and just last month had her first child, a healthy baby boy named Zoah.
But Reyne's commitment to Chey didn't end with her marriage, and eventual move to Queensland to undertake early childhood studies.
"The hard work from both of us and commitment meant we gained a strong bond and on our shared birthday, Reyne's present to me was organising our participation in Wings For Life.
The hard work from both of us and commitment meant we gained a strong bond and on our shared birthday, Reyne's present to me was organising our participation in Wings For Life,- Chey Cooper
A non-profit foundation, Wings for Life supports promising research projects and clinical studies around the world to find a cure for spinal cord injury.
"My birthday present to her is to create as much awareness around spinal cord injury as I can," Reyne said.
"She has made great strides," he said.
Chey, Reyne, Josh and a handful of friends participated in their first Wings for Life in Manly in 2019.
"Our first year just five participated, then turned into 20 the next year, then close to 40 the next.
"After our first event, it was Reyne's goal to make it an annual event.
This year's goal is to include other people in a similar situations around the Mid North Coast for this important cause that affects approximately 15,000 Australians, she said.
"We would love to crack the 100 participants in Forster this year with all of our community invited, be it a a short evening stroll with your dog, a family outing or test your fitness to see how far you can achieve."
How it's works - 'world runners' are simultaneously on the move all over the globe, be it via an app run or at a flagship run - united in a good cause across seven continents, finding a cure for spinal cord injuries.
The event is completed when the participants are caught by the moving finish line, the so-called "Catcher Car".
It sets off 30 minutes after the start and gradually increases its speed. Participants are spurred on with motivational messages through their headphones.
This year's event will begin at 9pm this Sunday evening, May 8 from the Forster Ocean Baths.
"Or, if you would prefer to donate instead, you can make a donation where 100 per cent of the proceeds go towards funding a cure for spinal cord injury.
Sign up at www.wingsforlife.com and join "Forster with Chey" or call Forster Tuncurry Physiotherapy on 6554-5225 for further instruction.
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