Noala thanks volunteers for her liberation

By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.com.au

NOALA Geary's only liberation from her wheelchair is when she attends the Gladstone Aqua Therapy Association's (GATA's) sessions twice each week.

Noala has seen a lot of volunteers come and go at these sessions.

'I've been on GATA's list the longest time and have received therapy from scores of people,' she said yesterday.

Noala is just one of 130 people who attend the Sister Kenny Memorial Pool for aqua therapy delivered by GATA volunteers.

She said it saddened her that volunteer numbers were declining because so many people needed their help, just as she did.

'If I don't go to aqua therapy, I would just seize up ? I wouldn't be able to move,' she said.

Noala said going to the pool was "like a liberation from being in one spot and in one position all the time'.

'It means I am not confined to a wheelchair every day and that I can get in the water and move freely.'

Noala has been going to GATA for aqua therapy for 14 years following an accident 18 years ago which left her a quadriplegic.

'The only exercise for people like me is to get into the pool with those wonderful volunteers.'

She urged anyone interested to become a GATA volunteer.

'All the volunteers we've had know how much they are appreciated for what they do for us and how much we rely on them.'

'It is always so sad when they have to leave because we get to know them so well.'



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