Royal Talbot team Runs and rolls Melbourne

A group of ex-patients and staff from Royal Talbot will participate in Run Melbourne this Sunday in an effort to show people with recent spinal cord injury that they can still live an active and enjoyable life.

Manager of Leisure and Creative Therapies at Royal Talbot, Sal Dema, formed the team to highlight the crucial importance of rehabilitation after spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke or amputation.

"I think this is a great way to show how rehabilitation helps rebuild lives," he says.

"It is also great for the staff on the team to see ex-patients living an active life after rehabilitation. Creating the team helps bring people from different areas together, helping build a positive team culture throughout Royal Talbot which makes it a better place to work and rehabilitate at."

Participant Georgina Fiorentino spent five months at Royal Talbot in 2004 after a traumatic spinal injury.

She is hoping to push herself around the 10km course in her wheelchair to show her gratitude to the Centre and also to give hope.

"The group of dedicated health professionals at Royal Talbot helped me not only learn how to live my new life in a wheelchair but helped me to realise you can still enjoy a great life," she says.

"By participating I am demonstrating to other newly spinal injured patients that the wheelchair should not stop you from being active and enjoying an activity like a fun run. I hope to inspire these patients to get fit and encourage them to participate in future fun runs to raise funds for a good cause."

The team are raising funds for a recreation area where inpatients can socialise with each other, family and friends during their down-time.

"Research shows that participation in social and physical activity between therapy, rather than lying in bed, greatly aids recovery and these patients can go home sooner," says Sal.

"As a community we can sometimes underestimate the value of recreation and social connections so putting this team together and raising funds I hope will help awareness of some of these issues."

Support Sal, Georgina and the Royal Talbot team by making a donation here:

Any staff participating in Run Melbourne who haven't raised $150 to receive an Austin Health singlet, can purchase a singlet for $30 at our new gift shop (Austin Hospital, Harold Stokes Building, Level 3). Drop in on Thursday from 9am-5pm or on Friday 9am-2pm. Eftpos is available.