"Turn pain into power...Turn struggles into strength...Turn tragedies into triumphs"
The talented and courageous Lauren Parker from Newcastle is just 28 years young and was at the peak of an elite triathlon career when tragedy struck. On April 18 2017, just over two weeks from racing Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie, Lauren had a catastrophic bike accident in training that resulted in serious injuries including a broken back and severe spinal cord damage which have rendered Lauren paralyzed from the waist down. After spending almost 3 months at the Royal North Shore Spinal Injuries Unit, Lauren has been transferred to Royal Rehab at Ryde where she will spend the next 6-9 months undergoing extensive rehabilitation. In addition to the heartache and grief associated with Lauren’s life-changing injury, Lauren and her family will face significant expenses over the next 12 months and beyond. A number of Lauren’s friends and family members have joined forces and created the Lauren Parker Foundation to show Lauren that we are with her on this journey. The Foundation aims to raise much needed funds for Lauren to help with current and future expenses and to ensure that Lauren may access whatever treatment and rehabilitation she need’s to optimise Lauren’s recovery. Within a year of Lauren's accident she got back into triathlon with a positive attitude and qualified and competed at the Commonwealth Games in Para-Triathlon and come away with a Bronze Medal. Since then she has raced internationally gaining 2x World Titles and a 3rd place at the World Championship. This amazing progress is a testament to Lauren’s courageous spirit and determined nature and we would love to see that continue. Lauren's goal now is to qualify for the 2020 Paralympic Games and in 2021 she wants to go back to Kona to race the Ironman World Championships.