Paralympian inspires Awakenings 

Paralympian Kelly Cartwright shared her story of turning adversity into triumph as part of an Awakenings Festival lunch in Horsham on Friday.

'A Touch of Awakenings' was designed to fundraise for next year's Awakenings Festival.

The annual festival celebrating people with a disability did not run this year because of a lack of funding from federal and state governments, philanthropic trusts and the corporate sector.

Cartwright, a multiple world record holder in athletics, was guest speaker at the lunch at Horizons in Horsham. She was diagnosed with a rare cancer at 15 and had to have her right leg amputated.

Cartwright, now 23, won gold in the long jump at this year's London Paralympic Games and silver in the 100-metre sprint.

She spoke about her ups and downs during the past year and achieving her dream of competing in London.

She told the crowd the experience was far different from the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.

"I was ranked in the top two for both events so I had a lot of pressure on me this time," she said.

Cartwright said her next aim was to compete at the 2016 Games in Rio.

She entertained the crowd with stories about her training schedule, the challenges she had faced and also how she had to recharge her prosthetic leg every five days.

She has two prosthetic limbs one for walking and the other for competition.

Cartwright said it was fantastic to have members of Yarri Actors and Horsham Primary School 298 campus's Signing Choir listening to her speech.

"It was amazing to see them listening in awe," she said. "One of the girls started crying because she said she had wanted to meet me so badly. It meant a lot to me."

Cartwright said it was important to her to give hope to others facing adversity.

"When you have something like this happen to you, it's not the end of the world," she said. "You have to let it not overcome you and pick yourself up and keep going."

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