Tania Sherley is not your ordinary 45 year old. Born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, Tania’s mind is far from retirement or even slowing down. In fact, for Tania, life has really just started and it’s all about chasing her dreams each and every day.
From a list goals and dreams she calls her “Chasing My Dreams” Bucket List, Tania has been diligently working towards achieving what others might consider impossible, including walking for the first time in 17 years!
In 2011, Tania achieved her number one bucket list item and raced around Queensland speedway in a V8 supercar driven by Steve Johnson (Dick Johnson’s son). Reaching speeds of up to 240km/hr, the experience changed Tania’s outlook on life.
“After doing the race laps. my mind was working overtime. I went back to my hotel, grabbed a pen and started writing down all those things I had always wanted to do but was too scared to try or didn’t think I could achieve them because of my disability.” Tania stated.
Since establishing her Bucket List, Tania has been improving her physical fitness and strength in a bid to achieve more of her goals. Not only did she begin walking again with the aid of crutches, but Tania has accomplished activities many thought impossible due to her spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Activities many take for granted such as jetskiing, climbing a mountain, walking on the beach and slow dancing.
Amongst her physical feats, Tania completed the short distance course of the Sunshine Coast Marathon, raising awareness and $2000 for SBH Queensland in the process. She has established an ongoing fundraising campaign for SBH Queensland that she promotes alongside her Chasing My Dreams activities.
“SBH Queensland have been a big lifeline for me and this is my way of giving back to them,” Tania said. “I’m proud to be standing up and saying I’m giving back in this way.”
SBH Queensland have provided Tania with a range of treatment and well-being support over the years, and the organisation proudly supports Tania’s activities where possible.
“Tania provides such inspiration to others living with disability and especially new parents who have a child with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. They see what Tania is achieving and it gives them hope that their child can live an active, fulfilled life too.” Explained Bill Shead, General Manager of SBH Queensland.
“Sure, I live with spina bifida & hydrocephalus plus other health complications which means disability is visibly touched on from time to time” Tania says, “but I am simply Tania, chasing my dreams in my own way. I share them publicly to inspire others and show that anyone can reach their goals and dreams.”
Tania’s Chasing My Dreams bucket list can be found on her blog where she documents her success.
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Queensland (SBH Queensland) is a specialist service provider for people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and their families. SBH Queensland’s therapy and support services are the only one of its kind in Queensland, providing assistance to over 700 Queenslanders living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus each year.
Spina bifida is the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord which occurs during the first month of a baby’s development in the womb. It is a common form of neural tube defect and affects approximately 1 in 1000 pregnancies. Hydrocephalus occurs in approximately 80% of people with spina bifida, and is an abnormal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. People with spina bifida have varying degrees of permanent disability including paralysis or weakness in the legs and specific learning difficulties.
SBH Queensland’s passionate and dedicated staff are experts in the best therapy treatment and well-being support needed to enrich the lives of people living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
The organisation provides whole-of-life services, from birth to adulthood, and a small team of staff includes occupational therapists, speech therapists, special needs teachers, and social workers.
The organisation receives limited government funding and provides many programs through the generosity of donors, fundraising and philanthropic partners.
Please contact us to find out how you can make a difference. Phone (07) 3844 4600 or visit www.spinabifida.org