Jade ‘Red’ Wheatley was a keen surfer, growing up in Townsville, Queensland and making the most of every opportunity to get wet, no matter what the conditions were. Then in the year 2000 and at just 18 years old, Jade was involved in an industrial accident and had to have both legs amputated below the knee. Rather than wallow in self-pity and anger, Red NoLegs, (the nickname he gave himself), focused on getting back to his one true love, Surfing, and is now on his way to the first ever ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships in La Jolla.
Jade’s life changed forever when a 20-ton road roller, tipped over and trapped his legs beneath the monstrous machine, but he wasn’t going to be beaten. With a burning desire (of which many of you will totally understand), Jade had to get back in the water and initially started heading to the local beach in his wheelchair and would paddle out on a bodyboard, just to be back in touch with the ocean.
It was during a Disabled Surfing Association event that Red first tried surfing again and managed to snag a few waves on a foam surfboard. With some guidance from former world champion, Barton Lynch, Jade soon realised that he still had the ability to ride a surfboard without prosthetics and was soon trimming and turning on the wave face. Ever since that day, there has been no stopping him and he now has his sights firmly set on being the only Australian representative at the inaugural World Adaptive Surfing Championships.
This is where we come in. To be able to attend the games in La Jolla in September, Red NoLegs needs to raise $15000 AUD (£7294) to be able to compete, and has set up a Crowdfunding campaign to raise the necessary funds. The ISA Championships are being held between the 24th and 27th of September and you can help Jade achieve his dream of competing there, by donating at his campaign page here. At the time of writing there has been 32 donations made and just over $2000 AUD raised.
Let’s help make this inspirational surfers dreams come true and help him to represent his country at the World Adaptive Surfing Championships. Let us know if you are inspired by Jade and have you ever had to overcome any serious obstacles to return to surfing and the ocean? Good luck Red from the Surf Report team.
Featured Image Courtesy of The Herald.com Marina Neil