Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Overland Jack

We feel very blessed to know the beautiful Duffy family.  They are an amazing family, who do incredible things.   I met them before Noah passed away as we ran into each other at Noah's special school a couple of times, as their son Jack also went there.

We didn't really get to know each other until after Noah passed away though, so I was so touched when they came to Aaron's funeral, even though they didn't know us very well.

We have been amazed at how they help Jack have some amazing experiences despite his disabilities.  They have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity doing things such as 'Kayak Jack' where Jack's Dad Chris kayaked from Launceston to Hobart, with Jack in the kayak an hour each day.

They then did 'running Jack' where Chris took part in a marathon, pushing Jack the whole way. 

And if that wasn't enough, earlier this year they did 'Overland Jack' to raise money for Life Without Barriers.  Jack's parents Chris and Erin and a group of supporters trekked the Overland Track which is 65 km, with Jack in a pack on Chris' back the whole way.  A film crew ended up going with them and made a short documentary about it. 

We felt very honored when they asked us if we would like to go along to the premier of it at the cinemas. 
I was prepared that I may be a bit teary while watching it, because I always feel emotional when I see Noah's friends in their wheelchairs, but I wasn't at all prepared for how emotional the whole documentary would be.

I expected it to be about the logistics of getting Jack over the Overland Track and how hard it was, and it did show parts of that, but it was more about the love between the family, and how much they love Jack and want to help him to experience everything that he can. 

I started crying as soon as it started (thank goodness it was dark!) and Harri kept looking at me.  I couldn't stop the tears flowing and I had so many mixed emotions. I was so happy for Jack as he has such a beautiful family who love him so much, but then I couldn't help but feel so sad because we used to have that, and now things are so different. 

It was so nice to see on screen the relationship that Chris and Erin have, but I left feeling so sad because they remind me a lot of the relationship that Aaron and I had. 

On the way home Kobe started crying and said that he felt like crying half way through it, because it made him think of Dad and Noah. I told him it's okay because I started crying at the beginning. 

Harri then said he saw me crying and didn't want to say anything, because he didn't want to embarrass me :) I told him it was okay and I was crying because I was happy for Jack, and that a lot of other people who were there were also crying, so I wouldn't have been embarrassed. 

I did come home and have a good cry once the boys went to bed, but despite the tears, I felt so honoured to be invited to see the premier and it made me realise even more how amazing their family is. 

Hopefully it won't be long until it will be shown on Southern Cross Television because I know it will inspire many people, and hopefully it will raise awareness and more funds for Life Without Barriers.  

Thank you so much for inviting us Chris and Erin. We are inspired by you all every day, and are so happy that Jack has such an amazing family who love him so much. 

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