I am writing on behalf of a dear friend of mine who has chosen to reach out to gain fundraising for the purchase of a much needed wheelchair modified vehicle. Zoe has been my best friend since we were 4, she has been such an inspiration to me and to everyone that meets her. If you know Zoe, you will know what I mean when saying Im sure you have been touched by her and her incredible, sometimes unique, outlook on life.
Zoe was diagnosed with a severe debilitating muscle wasting disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy at 12 months of age and received her first motorised wheelchair at 18 months old. Zoe has never walked or even crawled and as we all take too easily for granted our freedom and mobility, i’m sure you can't even begin to imagine what an amazing gift this would have been. For a little child who was supposed to be discovering the world around them, Zoe was finally able to move around and play and enjoy a full life.
Now at 34, Zoe is finding it necessary for a new type of mobility and freedom. Having to already put up with so many limitations in her life, not having the ability to get out and about with friends and family is taking its toll. This past Christmas, after a year of constant illness and feeling her disability was deteriorating, it was discovered there was a rare aggressive cancer growing in her sinus. She underwent major surgery in February of this year to remove it and has now gone through 6 weeks of radiation therapy, which consisted of travelling to the Andrew Love Cancer centre every day back and forth to receive the treatment. Whilst doing this, the family car that was specifically modified to suit Zoe's wheelchair broke down after having lasted 22 years to the point where it could not be repaired.
Zoe needs a car that is modified and reliable so that she has the freedom to get out of the house and be involved with the things that interest her and be able to meet with like minded peers. Zoe’s condition requires the car to be driven in a particular manner, which taxi drivers are seldom willing to do or understand why this is required. It is very difficult to explain to a different driver every time. Not only that, taxis are very inflexible at certain times of the day and provide no privacy, which is already an issue for Zoe, dealing with numerous carers that frequent her home.
Once again, i know we all take for granted this freedom and mobility. To be able to jump in the car and go whenever you want, to decide lets not go home just yet, lets drive out to this new place i’ve heard of or how about a little road trip with your favourite music blaring all the way. It is estimated that this car is going to cost around $84,000, which is the cost of the car needed with the completed modifications, so this amount will be our fundraising goal. Zoe’s story is such an inspirational one and she deserves to have something to look forward to in this particularly shitful time.
A bit about Zoe
Zoe has never let her disability get in the way of her leading the fullest life and to her full potential. Operation after operation, she has faced multiple challenges, but has just overcome them by adjusting her lifestyle to suit the deterioration of her body.
She is outstandingly intelligent and when finishing high school, she went on to university where she completed multiple degrees including a post grad and a Masters of Creative Arts Therapy at RMIT in Melbourne. She then became a very successful artist with her art name being Atopikushi and held her first solo exhibition in Geelong in early 2014. She also teaches art groups and frequently sells artwork from her website. At the moment she lives independently with the help of carers and enjoys life with friends and family.
Please take the time to look up the website of her artwork and you will see how talented she is.
Many thanks for your time and consideration.