Cody is hugely proud to celebrate her second year as an Ambassador for the Wings for Life World Run, an incredible event taking place globally on Sunday May 6, 2018.
The run raises funds for life-changing spinal cord research, with tens of thousands of participants at multiple locations worldwide taking to the track simultaneously, attracting everyone from fun-runners to elite international athletes.
Sponsored by Red Bull, the race draws in some famous faces at various official locations around the globe. Participants can download apps to transmit their data live from their smartphones– so you can check and see how you’re measuring up against others in the field, worldwide. In past years, runners have been able to see how they’re stacking up against the likes of Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo.
Adelaide’s run will be at Victoria Park Racecourse, kicking off at 8.30 pm – but there’s a twist! It’s not a run to the finish – the finish line comes to you, with virtual “catcher cars” that follow the course, and incrementally increase their speed to gradually “outrun the runners”, leaving the fastest til last.
From wheelies to world champions, everyone’s welcome to take part – and raise money for the non-profit Wings for Life Foundation. Find out how you can register here, sponsor a participant, or even run solo wherever you are. Hope to see you trackside!
It’s been a great start to the year: firstly, Cody’s debut as Assistant Coach for the SA Heat women’s team saw their best result to date at the Touch Nationals in March. And now, term one of semester one in her Bachelor of Business (Marketing) is done and dusted at Uni SA – only five and a half semesters to go!
As Cody moves into this new phase of her life, we’d like to thank all the people who have done so much to support her. There have been countless acts of generosity and kindness, each and every one making a difference.
Fundraising events and donations of time and effort have allowed the Gray family to buy an all-terrain chair – it came in pretty handy at the Touch Nationals!
They’ve also completed a purpose-built bathroom that can accommodate Cody’s chair and lifting gear. And they’re well on the way to acquiring their own access vehicle, which will restore some much-needed freedom and independence to the whole family’s life.
And that’s all thanks to our friends, and also remarkable people we’ve never even met, who have made these events possible. This isn’t a complete list of our helping heroes and their feats, but it’s a start!
2 Mt Osmond Golf Days – Andrew O’Connor and Peter Ormandy
2 High Teas – Di Rule
2 Marathons! One each from Reece Lovett and Georgia Brown. Also a top Tough Mudder effort from Henry Gooden and an Ironman triumph from Andrew O’Connor… again!
Sports Memorabilia Auction – Dave Toseland
The Quiz Night – Kerry Forbes and Tracey Hancock
Fashion Fiestas – Lisa Mahoney and Ali Martin for Frugally Yours, and Cindy Clarke for a two-weekend clothing sale
Online baby clothes sales – Rachel Helps
The Touch Football community right across Australia has been extraordinarily pro-active from the very beginning of this journey, with countless initiatives – their continued dedication is such a gift (and a special shout-out to the refs).
…and the list goes on… the communities of Glenunga International High and Unley Primary Schools, Variety SA, the team at SA Woman of the Year, Cafe 160, and some truly generous sports stars like Drew Mitchell, Casey Dellacqua, Anna Meares, and Adam Goodes. Sam Cufone from Parafield Airport Liquor Store has been so kind, as have the wonderful McNamaras from Townsville. Then there’s Brett from Elmac Homes, who has helped make the Grays a beautiful Cody-friendly haven – he’s pretty much a member of the family now whether he likes it or not .
To the Grays’ close friends and rellies – you know who you are, and how you’re loved and appreciated. But let’s not get too mushy now: this is a website, not a chick flick.
There will be ongoing needs as Cody progresses through the medical and physical challenges ahead, but the support we have received to date has been extraordinary and humbling . Thank you to everyone who continues to help us so tirelessly.
True to form, Cody is ending her final year of secondary school with a remarkable achievement. Despite the extra challenges brought on by her accident, she’s finishing year 12 on time, along with her peers, and will be completing her exams in early November.
But that’s not all: she’s been awarded a “sporting blue” in recognition of her excellence in Touch Football, and her commitment to the sporting program at Glenunga International High. Only six other students received this honour this year.
To qualify, Cody needed to have been in a state or national representative team during her time at Glenunga, as well as making a contribution to the school in a variety of sporting endeavours or a leadership role.
Here she is with fellow recipient Emma Verral, who was awarded the hockey blue, and teacher Rex Wright. Well done to Cody and her fellow recipients!
Our friends at Reschke Coonawarra have come up with a very generous offer to make the weather a little less wintery: order any 6-pack from their award-winning range of wines by July 17, 2015, and receive 15% off! In addition, Reschke will be donating 30% of the purchase price back to the Courage for Cody trust. Incredible wines from one of the world’s most prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon regions – you’d be mad not to order right now!
And it gets better: if you subscribe to www.reschke.com.au on line, you’ll continue to receive the 15% discount off future purchases. Have a look at the website to find out more about the Reschke story and range.
A double dose of the Gray girls for Glenunga International High, as Cody returns to undertake her year 12 studies, and Riley launches into year 8. Cody has a huge year well underway, with psychology, English communications, business, health and her research project to contend with. Riley already has dived headlong into secondary school life, with camp, swimming carnival and sports day all ticked off (along with a record time for the 200 metres, no less) …now there’s just the small matter of some schoolwork! And as you can imagine, everyone’s very pleased to have them around.
When Cody suffered her injuries 6 months ago, no-one could say for sure what her future held. The slight young teenager in the intensive care bed, motionless and dwarfed by tubes and beeping machinery, was a confronting sight.
Those first few weeks brought little relief, as the severe extent of the damage to her spine became clear. The process of rebuilding her life is painstaking, and will continue for a long time yet.
No-one could possibly say the last 6 months have been easy. There have been disappointments, setbacks, painful procedures and hours and hours of challenging physical therapy most days, all in the hope of just the smallest gains in movement and independence.
Yet along with all that has come the good stuff: extraordinary strength and love from her family and friends, incredible generosity from complete strangers, and invaluable dedication from health professionals.
Cody has gone from a fragile form enveloped by medical equipment, to a never-give-up contender who, with a few modifications, can hit a tennis ball, knock out some push-ups, conquer the therapy pool, whip some butt on the Playstation, and still catch a band at Thebarton Theatre with her mates.
She’s already back on the touch football field in a support and coaching role, and this year, she returns to her high school to undertake Year 12. What a girl, and what a great bunch of people have joined her on the journey.
Twenty kilometres of mud, pain and glory faced the team supporting Cody in South Australia’s first Tough Mudder event in December – a gruelling obstacle course that tests the mettle of participants like no other. We’re pleased to report that no man, woman or corpse was left behind – go you Tough Mudders.
On a more refined note, the high tea organised by Cody’s grandma Di Rule at the Stamford Plaza in November was a roaring success – so much so, that touring rockers Thirsty Merc popped in to see what all the fuss was about.
Some more amazingly generous efforts in the fundraising arena include Dave Toseland’s sports memorabilia auction at the Marion RSL – Dave scoured the country to collect signatures on nearly 30 items from guernseys to bats and footballs – thanks Dave!
The Cody Gray golf day and auction at Glen Osmond in early December was also a big hit – special mention to Australian of the Year Adam Goodes, who donated the signed Sydney Swans guernsey he wore in this year’s grand final to the cause, on the condition that the buyer return it to Cody as a gift. That generous buyer was Andrew McGonnegal, seen below with Cody and the prized strip.
Thanks to all involved in these events, and the many more that have been held around Australia – Cody and the Grays are overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness.
The energy and ingenuity of Cody’s supporters continues, with more terrific fundraisers delivering great results. Most recently, there’s been a touch match and BBQ held at Cody’s school, Glenunga International High – great to see everybody putting their bodies on the line! Well done, Emma Verrall and team.
Jock Gilbert Real Estate has donated the proceeds of the annual art exhibition, Gallery at 60, to the Gray family; and as usual, it was a lively opening with engaging works on display: Many thanks to Di and Jock, artists Marc Lobert, Bron Kelly and John Freeman, and the extremely generous donors and bidders in the auctions. The exhibition runs until December the 5th at 60 Kensington Rd, Rose Park.
Network 10’s The Project featured an inspiring story on Cody, her family and friends on its November 17 show. A production crew spent time filming with Cody at Hampstead, at Touch practice and at the Touch SA Awards night – it’s great to see Cody making such incredible progress! You can watch the whole story here.
It’s been another remarkable few weeks for Cody and the family – starting with a visit from Olympic gold medal track cyclist Anna Meares. Anna offered inspiring insights into her own rehabilitation after severe neck injury: in 2008 she shattered her C2 vertebra but was back on the bike in 10 days, fighting her way back to qualify for the Beijing Olympics just a few months later, and bringing home silver. An incredible woman, and so generous with her time and friendship.
Cody’s own courage and determination have also been recognised at the 2014 Touch Football SA Awards Night. The Junior Player of the Year Award now bears her name – a real honour! And just quietly, her dad didn’t do too badly either – 2014 Coach of the Year. Well done, Mick!