Paralympian Eliza Ault-Connell was in Cobram last Wednesday, speaking to almost 300 people about her life story and how she overcame extreme adversity.
Mrs Ault-Connell spoke at Bendigo Bank’s Head for Success events, with people from Cobram Secondary College, Cobram Anglican Grammar and Bendigo Bank Cobram hearing from the inspiring speaker.
Mrs Ault-Connell fought off meningococcal disease at 16, but the disease cost her her legs and most of her fingers, however, it could have taken her life.
She went on to become a wheelchair athlete, winning three Commonwealth Games medals and two IPC Athletics World Championship medals.
As well as her tremendous sporting achievements, Mrs Ault-Connell, who was told she would never be able to have children, has two daughters and a son with husband Kieran.
Mrs Ault-Connell used the event to shine a light on meningococcal disease and how important vaccination was as a means of prevention.
She also hoped to inspire her audience by proving remarkable things could be achieved if one put their mind to it.
‘‘I want to challenge people to change their perceptions on what they think they can achieve,’’ she said.
‘‘You can be resilient, despite circumstances you may not be able to control, and you can achieve amazing things if you change your perceptions.
‘‘I may be missing bits, but what my body can do is incredible.’’
She also noted the inquisitiveness of the two school audiences and said adults tended not to ask questions about confronting issues.
‘‘If people have a question (about me), I want to answer it,’’ she said.