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25 August, 2020

Longreach dashes to support Jacques

A Colour Dash will be held on September 5 to help Jacques Jacobie’s fight to walk again after he was involved in a motorbike crash in which he sustained severe spinal injuries and was transported to Brisbane for immediate surgery.

By Hamish Hart

Smile of determination…Jacques Jacobie is determined to return home after suffering spinal injuries in June.

The accident occurred on June 4 and since his operation Jacques has been rehabilitating in Brisbane. He has received tremendous support from the Longreach community including an online fundraiser which has raised more than $16,000.

Now Longreach’s Tania Osborne has organised a fun run to raise funds and awareness for the 23-year-old’s ongoing medical battle.

The Colour Dash will spread more than cheer into the air participants as they walk from Longreach’s Beersheba Park. It will douse those participants with 70 kilograms of coloured powder.

Mrs Osborne said she wanted to support Jacques, his younger sister Chrisne, mother Elaine and father Christo during this difficult time.

“I wanted to help his family and raise money towards what Jacques needs,” Mrs Osborne said. “I thought ‘what is a good way them help them financially?’ as his mother is in Brisbane and his sister and dad are in Longreach rotating travel to support him.

“I know everyone’s been cooped up over the past four months, so I thought a nice day outside with parents and kids, and going for a walk to support Jacques would make for a wonderful afternoon.

“I want to raise awareness around the services we have and don’t have out here and what we could potentially get.

“Doctors said he may never walk again, but the town’s support has given Jacques the strength and determination to overcome the odds.”

Since the announcement of the dash on Facebook earlier this month, members of the community have been in contact with Tania about wanting to raise awareness any way possible.

“A lot of people have sent texts and emailed me about wanting to help,” Mrs Osborne said. “Everyone’s talking about it and it’s really taken off.

“With the response we’ve had, we’re hoping for a great turnout on the day. No matter how tough life gets, people in Longreach will come together and support one another.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Mrs Osborne said a Colour Dash was the most optimal event to support Jacques and his family, who are “100 per cent behind the dash.”

“We have gone through all the necessary Covid-19 planning to make sure we are covered,” she said. “Being outside does allow for more freedom, plus colour dashes are fun. Who doesn’t love to get coloured up?

“We’ve got the Longreach Fire Services on board and so many other volunteers are scheduled for the day.

“The Jacobie family are very grateful and overwhelmed. I spoke to Chrisne and told her what I wanted to do, and she sees it is a good opportunity to thank everyone for being there for Jacques.”

Jacques’ younger sister, Chrisne, has been overwhelmed with the support her and the Jacobie family have received, and hopes the colour dash can raise awareness for all disabilities.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Ms Jacobie said. “We’ve had a lot of support throughout the community and to have Tania go out of her way to organise an event for Jacques is unreal.

“He never asked for anyone to do something like this, but I know he appreciates it as we all do. Hopefully it will help raise not only money, but raise awareness for disabilities within the community because I don’t think a lot of people understand everything involved.”

Ms Jacobie said her brother had been inspired by Longreach’s support to maintain his resolve during physical therapy, thanking Tania and the town for their generous acts as Jacques continues his fight to “get back out here.”

“Jacques is doing well,” she said. “He’s got a crazy schedule with physiotherapy, but he’s getting there.

“With Covid-19 restrictions, he has limited time with visitors and his spare time is spent doing physio, and he’s smashing it. Jacques wants to come home and see his friends and is motivated to get back out here.

“Words cannot sum up how thankful we are. On behalf of the family, we’re so grateful to the entire community. Thank you to Tania for going out of her way to organise this for him.

“Everyone’s been good, everyone’s sending messages, and everyone’s gone out of their way to ask how he’s doing. I can’t say thank you enough to everyone for your support.”

Entry into the Colour Dash is available on the day, with prizes being awarded to the best dressed adult and child.

Funds raised during the Colour Dash will go towards Jacques Jacobie’s Fight to Walk Again campaign. Donations can be made by visiting www.mycause.com.au/page/229453/jacques-fight-to-walk-again.


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