A Chat with Rhiannon Tracey

Who YOU are

“When a spinal cord injury changed my life at the tender age of 20 I took it as an opportunity to create a new purpose, or “pave the way” for a new path in life.”

What YOU do 

“After becoming a quadriplegic, I decided to use my experience to create a positive outcome for others living with spinal cord injuries. In 2012 I founded The Next Step (TNS) as a not-for-profit organisation and opened The Next Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Centre in 2014 in Melbourne, Victoria. The Next Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Centre is a recovery facility for those with neurological disorders who want to obtain a greater quality of life and regain their independence.”

Why YOU do it

“After experiencing first hand the lack of support that was provided by both the government and medical system for those living with these injuries/disability, it frustrated me to know that so many people had succumbed to accepting that their lives were over now that they were living them in a wheelchair so I set out to find a way to help them optimize their quality of life whilst rebuilding their heath and independence.”

How YOU started

“I reached out to the media in the hopes that someone would want to publish my dream to open a recovery centre and luckily the Herald Sun came to the party. My mum and I received literally hundreds of phone calls from families that were sharing our experiences and from that, we gathered their support, created a not for profit organisation and began fundraising for start-up costs.”

Who YOU look up to

“From the moment I became a quadriplegic, there was no one I wanted to be more like than Christopher Reeves.  Although his injured was far worse than mine and resulted in his passing, he used his time on earth to create awareness for spinal cord injury and build a foundation that would support and educate the entire world on this injury. He instilled his passion in his family and his name will be one that will forever represent the strength that a traumatic experience can provide to not just an individual but an entire community.”

What YOU want to say

“Every day we as humans are challenged with life’s curveballs. Whether it be through injury, depression, change, or trauma and these experiences have the power to make us or break us but we in ourselves have the power to give every negative situation a positive outcome. We all have magic in us, we just need ourselves to look deep within ourselves to find it!”

 To read more about our inspirational YOU campaign, click here 

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