Ever since she was a little girl, Georgie Owens has been an inspiration to others.
At the age of four, Georgie had to learn how to walk, talk and eat again after a life-threatening condition called Meckel’s diverticulum poisoned her bloodstream and caused neurological, organ and motor skills damage.
Now as an adult, Georgie is once again using her enduring strength and determination to motivate and encourage others with a disability to stay mentally and physically strong.
Most importantly, she wants them to believe in themselves and their abilities.
The 41-year-old from Kippa-Ring does this through a personal Facebook page called Inspirational Chick. It is here Georgie shares videos and posts about her life as she works to regain her strength and continue her weight loss journey.
For the past four years, Georgie has been going to Dolphins Fitness and Aquatics, located at the Dolphin Leagues Club gym in Redcliffe, where she has lost 25kgs.
Georgie says losing weight has helped reduce her pain levels and take pressure off her joints.
“I try to stay as active as I can because I know how important it is,” Georgie said.
“I have to stay mobile and active and keep my legs strong so when I’m in my 80s or 90s I’m not in a wheelchair but can use a walker."
In her videos, Georgie can be seen doing 3kg dumbbell arm exercises as well as step ups and pushing a 50kg sled. She also gets into the pool and does leg lifts.
Above: Georgie loves working out and posting videos to her Facebook page.
Determined to live an independent life
With the help of NDIS-funded support workers, Georgie gets assistance with daily tasks and chores, and also attends social events in her local community.
The NDIS also funds a speech pathologist, an occupational therapist, as well as visits to a podiatrist.
To retain and encourage her independence, Georgie also uses her NDIS funding to access assistive technologies such as a mobility scooter, walker, and an electric bed.
Georgie says her NDIS support is helping her to build and strengthen her independence, so she isn’t as reliant on others to help her.
Using her scooter, Georgie can get herself to the gym three days a week, as well as run errands at the Kippa-Ring Shopping Centre and take care of her cat Houdini.
“Just being able to go out and get a few things from the shops by myself, or get medication for my cat from the vet, it’s an amazing feeling,” Georgie said.
“I have the freedom to do what the heck I want, when I want and how I want, with no one coming in and telling me what to do.”
Over the years, Georgie’s confidence has also grown and while she does live with anxiety at times, she’s now living life on her terms, with all the freedom that comes with living independently.
Georgie says she’s now brave enough to speak up for herself and others, recalling a time when another person with disability was left without help and she intervened to make sure the woman was okay.
“This person was left alone after a shower and was so vulnerable. It was so sad, and I wasn’t going to just do nothing to help her,” she said.
“Respect and dignity are two of the most important things in life, particularly for people with disability. And it’s not always a given, and it breaks my heart.”
A proud aunty, Georgie also looks after her nephew after school, with the pair hanging out in the afternoons watching movies and going to the shops.
“I’ve also been teaching him a few things and he’s been pretty good with taking out the rubbish and doing a few other small chores. I pay him a little bit and I’m encouraging him to save up his money,” Georgie explained.
Above: Georgie with her support worker Kim.
Next on the go-getter’s bucket list is writing a book about her life story.
Georgie also hopes one day she can meet actor Courtney Cox, one of the lead actresses in her favourite sitcom Friends.
Georgie said Courtney, and the music of the late Michael Jackson, helped her through some hard times following the end of an unhealthy relationship and the death of her cousin and best friend.
“It would be my dream come true to meet Courtney, and I also want to travel to London. But meeting Courtney in London would be even better,” Georgie said.
Find out more about the NDIS
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, [email protected], or sign up to our LAC Connect app here.
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