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Adventurous tradies Logan Dodds and Jesse Cassrels give back to teen with cerebral palsy

Posted on 3 May 2017 at 2:17pm by Disability Information & Equipment Centre Kapiti

Trading her wheelchair for a jet-ski, 18-year-old Grace Stratton left the marina with something to prove.

Born with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, the Warkworth student has been in a wheelchair for the last 17 years.

Inspired to give others a positive role model, Grace decided to ditch her chair and seek adventure.

Grace Stratton rides with plumber/adventurers Jesse James Cassrels and Logan Dodds.

Grace Stratton rides with plumber/adventurers Jesse James Cassrels and Logan Dodds.

The words 'attractive woman' or 'kickass woman' and 'wheelchair user' don't usually go together in this society, and that's a really hard reality to swallow," she said.

"I don't want the next 'me' to be without a peer or to feel alone. I'd like for her or he to look in a magazine and see themselves reflected."

Enlisting the help of Auckland adventurers Logan Dodds and Jesse James Cassrels, Grace got the ball rolling and, on Anzac Day, the trio headed out into the sunshine with two jet-skis in tow.

With Grace riding tandem, the trio zipped out into the Waitemata Harbour for some fun on the water.

"The reality is that 99 per cent of things you do walking you can do rolling as well. You either just need some adaption or a little bit of functional help," Grace said.

Dodds said the trip was unforgettable, and he and Cassrels plan to take Grace on more adventures.

"Jesse and I are fortunate to live such amazing lifestyles and it was amazing to give back in such a special way," Dodds said.

"Seeing the smile on Grace's face will be something I won't forget in a long time."

Dodds put together a video of the adventure, which has since been shared by GoPro, and Grace hopes it will show disability in a new light.

"Videoing it simply allowed for it to be spread around and shown to people, and also on the days when I feel like throwing in the towel, I can watch it too," Grace said.

Grace said cerebral palsy has given her life dimensions that are "both great and challenging".

"Although I am getting more independent, a part of me thinks that aspects of the world will always scare me because it's not designed for me," she said.

Grace hopes she can continue having adventures while breaking boundaries and motivating people.

See Grace, Dodds and Cassrels' Instagrams for more.

Source: Rodney Times

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