Cousins Jordan Brewster and Claire Smith will find extra motivation to cross the finish line during Sunday’s Great Ocean Road Running Festival’s half-marathon.
The family members are on a fundraising mission for Jordan’s sister Shantel, who was born with Spina Bifida and has endured a tough journey over the past 12 months.
Colac born-and-bred Jordan, and Claire, an Apollo Bay local, decided to take on the run together to raise awareness for fundraiser Shantel’s Cause.
Shantel, 29, has spent her life in a wheelchair after she was born with Spina Bifida, a condition that impacts the spinal cord’s development resulting in mobility issues.
The incurable disease has failed to stop her from living a full life, but a pressure wound after hip surgery last year has caused a major setback.
Shantel and her partner Clint Pickin were forced to delay their wedding plans late last year, while she had to put her volunteer work in childcare in Colac on hold.
Jordan said watching Shantel and the family’s recent battle had kicked both he and Claire into action to do something to help their much-loved sister and
“She had surgery to take the top of her hip off as a pain relief and after that we think it’s resulted in a pressure wound at the bottom of her thigh,” he said.
“She’s had to delay her wedding, which has been pretty hard on her, and a few other things like that because she’s pretty much been bed-bound since because she’s had to be monitored pretty closely.
“And she’s had to pay for weekly care from nurses and she’s recently had ramps installed at home, so we’re just trying to fundraise for that.”
Jordan and Shantel have always remained close as the two children of Colac’s Gary and Lisa Brewster.
Geelong-based Jordan, 26, is studying his third year of nursing at university, and said watching Shantel’s care had played a part in his decision to go down that line of work.
Shantel will celebrate her 30th birthday on the day of the half-marathon, with Claire and Jordan hopeful she will be waiting for them at the finish line when they complete the trek from Kennett River to Apollo Bay.
Jordan said he was excited to tackle to the iconic Great Ocean Road by foot after deciding to take on the gruelling 23-kilometre run for his sister.
“We’re really close,” he said.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.