City helps fundraise for Jessica Collins

The City of Newcastle is hosting a fundraiser for Jessica Collins after the lifeguard and volunteer lifesaver was paralysed in a surfing accident last year.

The City of Newcastle is hosting a fundraiser for Jessica Collins after the lifeguard and volunteer lifesaver was paralysed in a surfing accident last year.

The City of Newcastle is suporting a community fundraiser for the courageous Jessica Collins at City Hall next month to help the 24-year-old in the fight to get back on her feet.

A former City lifeguard, volunteer lifesaver and champion ironwoman, Jess was paralysed from the neck down in a surfing accident at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast in May last year.

I appeal to the whole community to pledge their support to help Jess in her recovery and rehabilitation efforts. We'd love to see a massive response to the fundraiser at City Hall.

Jessica Collins is the personification of her favourite flower - the sun flower - as a woman who thrives on warmth under the sun.

Long a volunteer surf lifesaver and professional lifeguard on the beaches across Newcastle, Jess’s life has revolved around the ocean. When the she wasn’t giving up her time to protect the community, she was competing in the water with distinction. 

As an incredibly strong swimmer and ironwoman, Jess has represented her state and country many times in Australia and overseas.

Last year, the ocean became the cause of her greatest challenge.

On 31 May, Jess fell from her board while surfing at Snapper Rocks and hit her head – instantly paralysing her below the neck.

What's impressed us more than her ironwoman exploits since has been her refusal to let her positivity wane. From just after her accident throughout her first months of rehabilitation, her strength, determination and outlook on life have inspired us all.

Jess is resolutely determined to defy her injury and stand tall and face the sun once again. In time, she hopes to empower others in similar circumstances, and we know that she will.

That's why I once again appeal to the community to get behind this incredibly brave young woman by supporting her fundraiser on the evening of Saturday, February 9.

For more information, go to www.sunflowersforjess.com

Matt Murray