I wake up in the Novotel. It’s a huge room with two giant beds in it. I forget where I am for a minute and then check my phone to realise it’s 8am; I don’t usually sleep past 5 so I’m surprised.
The hotel are treating me to some free breakfast so I head down stairs. There’s all sorts of things to choose from but I go with toast; I’ve been spoilt for choice so far on this trip and I’m bringing back simple for brekky this morning. I grab a coffee and head along Wollongong Beach for a walk before heading back up to my room. Wollongong and South Coast NSW is beautiful. It helps that the sun is shining and the weather is warm.
I pack up my things; it doesn’t take long and I always do it in a hurry thinking it will take me longer than it actually does. I forget that I only have a few things on me.
I’m picked up by Shane who I’ve been keen to meet. His company has taken me all over NSW since I began last Friday and I’m really grateful. Shane is a great guy. He asks me about the trip so far and we share a few laughs. I learn more about him too. He has a daughter and partner and has fostered a couple of kids during his life up until this point. I can tell that he is gentle and that he would be a good dad. He tells me a lot about his kids. His daughter and the kids that he has fostered. He’s a business man who has an impressive work history.
We quickly drop in to see Anthony from ANT design who helps us with our website. We meet at a coffee shop in Engadine. He shouts us a drink before giving me a GPS and some instructions on how to use it properly. I write all the instructions down because I know I’ll forget them. I’m not really good with gadgets and technology. A quick hug goodbye and off we head towards the airport. I’m flying to Melbourne to meet up with John who purchased me a flight so that we could have a coffee together; nothing more than that. I had a few offers in Melbourne so I accepted his offer and made plans to meet up with a few special people.
I jump in a taxi; I use some of the cash I’ve been given from people along the way. I get chatting to the driver, Matt. He asks what I’m doing and I tell him. He bet’s me I can’t get 50 likes on Facebook in half an hour and I accept. If he loses, I get free tolls for the trip. It’s about $12 that I’ll save.
I throw a post on my page and we hit the target within 4 minutes. He then tells me that if we hit 200 likes before I get out of the car that he won’t charge me for airport transfers. We hit 450 likes in the next 15 minutes and its game over. How good are people!
I meet up with Mel Noonan- Founder and CEO of Limbs 4 Life; and amputee support and motoring not for profit organisation. Mel and Limbs 4 life are close to my heart. After coming within 6 hours of having my leg amputated about 4 years ago, Mark; a mentor from their program helped me to understand what life would be like without my left leg. He helped me with architectural plans to ramp up my house, gave me practical ideas about how I would manage getting around and gave me much needed emotional support about what I would feel at certain stages after the amputation.
Fortunately for me, my leg was saved but I knew I needed to give back to the charity that gave me so much. Over 2 years, in 2013 And 2014 I raised over $30,000 doing burpees for dollars. That’s how I met Mel and we have stayed in touch ever since.
Mel is a double leg amputee who lost her les over 20 years ago after an accident at a train station. The woman is an idol to me and I will always be grateful to her and everything that she has done for me. She has always been a go to for me when the going gets tough. I respect her.
Mel Is getting ready for a board meeting later that night so it’s just a coffee and a chat this time around. We grab a quick photo and agree to catch up the next time she is in Sydney for treatment. We chatted briefly about what’s been going on for the both of us and it’s nice just to see her.
I’m staying at the Marriot in Melbourne CBD this evening. This was picked up John, the same man that I’m meeting tomorrow for coffee. I have a feeling that he is a special guy and I’m excited to meet him.
Off to bed before some brunch with the crew at Cricket Australia and then to meet John for a coffee in the afternoon. Tomorrow I’ll be staying with Tori- the owner at Crate Coffee who are donating all of their tips this month to our cause. HOW GOOD ARE PEOPLE!
We’re on top.