THE results have been sparkling for everyone involved in a fundraiser to support injured Border sportsman Nick Dempsey.
A raffle of jewellery prizes raised about $18,000 towards Nick’s ongoing rehabilitation after he broke his neck in January.
The money has helped Nick attend weekly intensive sessions in Footscray in addition to his existing program at Royal Talbot in Kew.
A new car with a wheelchair adaptation also makes getting to and from this commitment easier.
“It’s a different environment as well, which has been nice,” Nick said on Tuesday.
“It is tiring, the two-hour intense session, they’re working me hard.
“Like working on my posture and using my core and lower back muscles to sit myself upright.”
Recent progress has included controlling his wheelchair with his hand rather than his chin and starting to feed himself.
Nick said developing both the necessary strength and co-ordination in his muscles took time.
“It’s like being a baby, learning all the movements and trying to retrain your body to learn the movements,” he said.
The extra intensive rehabilitation will continue once Nick returns to Albury, which he expects to occur in early July.
Nick’s Journey committee member Leanne Luhrs said Paul Harangozo, the owner of Albury’s Coronet Jewellers of Distinction, had approached the fundraising team about supporting the cause.
This turned into a raffle timed to link in with Mother’s Day with the first prize being a $5000 gift voucher for the jewellery store.
Mr Harangozo had met the Dempseys through water polo while delighted first prize winner Melissah Watson also knew the family.
Mrs Watson and her family had bought several books of tickets in the raffle, but without expecting to win.
“We all just need to do that little bit to make it a bit easier,” she said.
“Paul’s set such an amazing example, I hope it will encourage other businesses.”
Mrs Luhrs said the committee was grateful for the amount of money raised and the jeweller’s generous support.
Nick also offered his thanks to Mr Harangozo for the donation.
“I’ve known him a while, pretty much since I was born, I think,” he said.
For more details, go to nicksjourney.org.