We are all stronger, braver and more capable than we realise. This is Sam’s powerful message for the My Future, My Choice Sydney Disability Expo at Sydney Olympic Park in August.
Through a visually immersive and intimate conversation, Sam will share her experience of a dream life instantly turned into a nightmare when she suffered a freak accident on holiday in Thailand that left her paralysed from the chest down.
Leading us through the extraordinary highs and painful lows of life before, during and after the near-fatal accident in 2013, Sam will share how family, love, and a unique connection with the natural world supported her from deep physical suffering and depression to becoming a bestselling author, two-times World Para Surfing champion, and inspiration behind the international hit movie Penguin Bloom, starring Naomi Watts.
Sam is a mum to three boys, and a former adventure traveller and neurology nurse. She works with numerous spinal cord injury charities around the world in the quest to find a cure for spinal cord injury, including as a global ambassador for Wings For Life.
Her true story holds a poignant message for all of us as we navigate our own challenges, inspiring us to become the best version of ourselves, live our lives to the fullest, and be grateful for each day.
The movie Penguin Bloom is adapted from the international bestselling book, Penguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family, a collaboration between Sam’s husband Cameron, a professional photographer, and New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive.
The book documents, in words and images, Sam’s developing interactions with an injured baby magpie called ‘Penguin’, who was rescued by her sons after falling from her nest. At first, Sam is overwhelmed by the little creature that requires so much of her attention while she is trying to deal with her own limitations, including how to manage life in a wheelchair. As time goes on however, Penguin’s tenacity and her playful nature bring beautiful moments of pure joy and provide openings for significant family conversations. Most importantly, Penguin inspires Sam to marshal her reserves and aim high for her life goals.
“You really are braver than you think. There really is hope, so don’t give up.”
Sydney Disability Expo
The FREE, Covid-safe My Future, My Choice Sydney Disability Expo on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 August 2022, features 200+ service and product providers from a variety of categories, including:
- Government and advocacy organisation
- Aids and equipment providers
- Financial and legal services
- Education, training, and employment providers
- Social and leisure options
- Transport and vehicles
- Health and medical products and services
- Allied health professionals
- Support services including in home care providers
Presenters will answer your burning questions as you get to road test equipment and discuss the details of products and services. Enjoy the breakout areas and live, all-ability performances while sipping from your cuppa purchased at the expo café.