News

MPC Luncheon - Limbs 4 Life

23/06/2013

Last Friday, 31 May, Ms Totino, Charles Dalziel, Adam Hodge, John Laidlaw and I, members of the Whitefriars' Key Club, attended a Manningham Promoting Character luncheon with guest speaker Melissa Noonan, founder of Limbs 4 Life, a nonprofit organisation supporting the needs of amputees across Australia. Melissa herself was involved in an accident in 2003 where she became stuck between the platform and train she was boarding. She was taken to the Alfred Hospital and spent over a fortnight in an induced coma, where her left calf and right foot were amputated. Melissa described the everyday struggle being in hospital and eventually her 7 month rehab process. While spending time waiting to be fitted with a prosthetic leg, she began to question the services available for those tragically affected by amputation. A year after her accident, she set up Limbs 4 Life. 9 years on in 2013, the organisation has 55 'peer-support' counsellors who all have first-hand experience of being amputees themselves.

Students from Whitefriars College with Melissa Noonan of Limbs 4 Life
From left to right: Adam Hodge; John Laidlaw; Mike Rolls; Melissa Noonan; Stephanie Totino; Nick Bredhauer; and Charles DalzielKiwanis Club Doncaster-Templestowe

One of those counsellors, Mike Rolls, spoke about at the end of his Year 12, he suddenly contracted meningococcal disease which resulted in the amputation of his right leg. Tragically, due to infection, he had his left leg amputated a year later. With very similar circumstances to Melissa, Mike decided to get on with his life and achieve something. Limbs 4 Life gave Mike and 54 other volunteers the opportunity to reach out to others in the traumatic situation of having an amputated limb and support them during all the highs and lows in the coming years of their lives.

Thanks to Ms Totino for transporting and enabling us to have this experience. Also, thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Doncaster-Templestowe who paid our entrance fee for the luncheon. I know for me, attending this luncheon gave me the hope and insight that although Melissa and Mike lost their limbs, they did not focus on what they lost; they used their condition to become people who are willing to help others.

Nick Bredhauer Year 10 Whitefriars College