FOR Mackay man David Conway, Spinal Injury Awareness Week is about alerting people to the fact accidents can happen to anyone.
The nationwide awareness week started yesterday.
“Spinal injuries happen every day,” Mr Conway said.
“Becoming paralysed can happen so easily.”
Statistics show one person in Australia will have a spinal cord injury every day.
Mr Conway’s life was changed forever when he was injured in a sporting accident when he was 20.
He was a university student at the time and the accident left him partially blind and wheelchair bound.
However, since undergoing extensive rehabilitation, he has graduated from Griffith University with a bachelor degree and now works as a local artist.
Events will be held around Australia, including Mackay, to highlight spinal cord injury in the community.
Mr Conway said acceptance of people with disabilities in Mackay needed to rise.
There were still some places, public and private, where wheelchair access was poor.
However, the city did have a range of wonderful services available for people with disabilities.
Mr Conway said the Mackay and District Spinal Injuries Association was invaluable to him.
He is now the treasurer of the group and has been kept busy helping organise the IDEAL Placements MDSIA Charity Ball this Saturday. It’s the first time MDSIA has held the charity ball.
The group is hoping to raise enough funds to build a shed over Para-Villa’s outdoor courtyard.
“There is a basketball hoop there, some of us play basketball, and an outdoor space,” Mr Conway said.
“Given Mackay’s climate we need to get some shade over the area.”
For more information about Spinal Injury Awareness Week visit http://www.rebuildinglives.com.au.