Rainbow Beach welcomed Jennifer Parry into their homes and hearts this month during her 450km solo and unsupported hike from her home in Woodgate to the Brisbane CBD.
Jennifer set out last month to raise awareness and $40,000 for the Potential Unlimited program, run by the PA Research Foundation and STEPS.
Jennifer has an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and this is the second long-distance hike she has undertaken for ‘brains’. In 2016 she walked almost 400km from Mount Perry to Toowoomba to raise money for brain cancer.
ABI refers to any damage to the brain that occurred after birth. Common causes of ABI include accidents, stroke, lack of oxygen and degenerative neurological disease. ABI-related disability can affect cognitive, physical, emotional and independent functioning.
Being brain injured herself, Jennifer understands what it’s like to live with such a disability.
“I’ve always been obsessed with making my life amazing, but was held back by my ideas of what that meant and how I would do it.
“Basically I felt like an amazing life was out of my reach because I didn’t have access to funds for what I thought was the definition of an amazing life.”
While at Rainbow Beach Jennifer’s hosts were Garry and Julie Hewitt, who kindly offered her a bed for the night – even though she said: “just a bit of lawn will be great.”
Jennifer enjoyed a meal and spent the night meeting locals and answering questions on ABI.
“Having an attitude of adventure, be it big or small, has allowed me to expand my mind, my perception and has increased the amount of satisfaction and happiness in my life because I can do anything.”