Using a new wheelchair funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Tamborine local Rhianon will take part in the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Moonlight Walk on Friday night.
Diagnosed with MS thirteen years ago, Rhianon will be joined by a team of family, friends and support workers to take on the 5km course in West End.
The MS Moonlight Walk, now in its 21st year, will see more than 4,000 walkers aim to raise $470,000 for people with MS.
Rhianon’s new wheelchair will allow her to complete the course in comfort, and more generally, provide her with greater access to the community.
“This is my second NDIS plan, and I have wanted to get out and get more independent.
“I had the old wheelchair for 5 years and it just wasn’t the right wheelchair for me from the start. This chair is heaps better than my old one,” said Rhianon.
Robyn Baker, a support worker of Rhianon’s, says the walk is a great way to raise money and awareness for Queenslanders living with MS.
“Our team is called Rhi’s Rebels. The money raised will go towards helping people like Rhi. We thought we would join in the fun and raise a bit of money.
“We have been fundraising and taking donations and we have gone out and bought some crazy outfits,” said Robyn.
Prior to the arrival of the NDIS in her region in 2018, Rhianon and her family received no funded support to help them pay for things that she required for her MS.
“Before the NDIS we didn’t get any support. We were using all of our own savings to pay for things. Then the NDIS came in, which was great. Overall it has been very positive,” said Rhianon.
Rhianon self-manages her NDIS plan, giving her the flexibility to select her own supports.
Accompanied by her support workers, Rhianon is now able to access the community and regularly fulfil her passion for shopping.
“I love shopping so we go once a fortnight. Last week we went to see Muriel’s wedding at the Lyric Theatre,” Rhianon said.
Rhianon is now able to make exciting plans for the future.
“It’s so great that Rhianon can now get out and about doing the things she enjoys doing. We are looking at going to the Toowoomba flower show and organising picnics and things like that,” said Robyn.
“The chair that Rhi was in before was totally wrong for her and she had really bad back pain every day.
“We would have to transfer her onto the lounge or bed most of the time, but she is heaps better since she has had the new chair and can now enjoy her community,” she said.
Rhianon is supported on her NDIS journey by a Local Area Coordinator at Carers Queensland NDIS Partner in the Community Program for the Ipswich region.
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland staff can also help you identify and link to options for support in your local community.
To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program can work for you, visit Carers Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Ipswich region, at Level 3, 28-30 Thorn Street, Ipswich 4305, or call 3454 0500.