Make Marayke Mobile
Marayke Jonkers, 33, is a retired Paralympic medal winning swimmer, paratriathlete and founder of Sporting Dreams, a grants program which helps athletes with disabilities. Unfortunately after 20 years as an elite athlete Marayke has been diagnosed with an overuse injury to her arms and now not only lives in extreme pain but requires a modified van to drive while still in her motorised wheelchair, as she is unable to propel a manual wheelchair and transport it in her current vehicle.
There’s a problem
Marayke can no longer access employment or continue her charity work as before- due to a lack of transport.
Imagine if every time you went to work you became bedridden in agony for up to a month because you had to use inappropriate transport – this is a reality for Marayke now as when she travels to every motivational speaking job she is required to go in a car or maxi taxi and causes her extreme discomfort.
Imagine going from being so strong you can lift your body weight with one hand to being so weak you drop a piece of toast, and not only that, but being forced to stay at home because you cannot afford a suitable mode of transportation.
Yet Marayke remains motivated to continue working and contributing to the community. She has overcome so many obstacles through the thoracic outlet syndrome including an inability to type or use the mouse, to now using voice dictation to control her computer so she can continue her role as a motivational speaker, sharing her journey to becoming a Paralympian in the hope it inspires others to chase their dreams.
Here’s what we’re doing about it
Marayke’s friends are putting together a fundraiser to buy a van which can transport her in her wheelchair so Marayke can get back to her old life -being employed, running a charity and being an active member of the community without needing to suffer pain or being trapped at home. We are asking you to invest in Maraykes future and enable her to get back to work and continue making a difference to the community. Marayke doesn’t want to ask for help or accept charity so we are offering some excellent quality services and good fun perks in return for your support.
Why it is worth investing in Marayke’s future
Marayke has done so much for the community not only being inspirational to her sporting achievements but through her community work- now there is a chance for the community to support Marayke in return who has never asked for anything and is a embarrassed to have to ask for help.
Read Marayke’s story
Marayke learned to swim after becoming paraplegic at 8 months of age in a car accident. When the doctors told her mum Marayke would never walk again, she taught her daughter to swim instead. Marayke’s journey from becoming paraplegic in a car accident as a baby to a three-time Paralympian has inspired people around Australia through her motivational presentations and media appearances.
Marayke won a silver and two bronze Paralympic medals as a swimmer, competing at the Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. A former world record holder and current Australian record holder Marayke represented Australia for over 10 years, breaking over 70 Australian records, and winning many international medals.
She later switched sports and became Australia’s first female paratriathlete and para triathlon medallist when she won bronze at the ITU world championships in Budapest, Hungary.
WHY we have to act fast: We only have months to fund raise for the van To fundraise raise legally in Queensland you require a sanction from the State Government. Ours ends in November and have to submit receipts for purchasing the car by then or all our hard work will be for nothin
About The Vehicle
Marayke requires a vehicle which she can enter and drive while remaining in her wheelchair. This kind of vehicle modification has an automatic ramp at the rear enabling her to drive her wheelchair into the car and drive while in the wheelchair as if it was the drivers seat. She will steer using a joystick as her arm injury mean she is now not able to turn the steering wheel.