CORY Payne has raised more than $19,000 for the HBF Run for a Reason since he was discharged from hospital following a car crash that occurred when he was 17.
In fact, his first race was just two weeks after completing four months of rehabilitation at Shenton Park.
He suffered three bleeds on the brain and needed 56 stitches and 24 staples following a crash 12km south of New Norcia.
Mr Payne does not remember what happened, or much of anything before the crash, but says police believe fatigue or the light may have played a part.
The impact of the crash was lasting, resulting in his family selling their New Norcia farm to move to Perth and Mr Payne is unable to play contact sports.
He has a slight paralysis down the right side of his body and his memory is not what it used to be.
“Before the crash I was doing four lots of footy training and two games a week, hockey training and a game, and mixed netball,” Mr Payne said.
At Shenton Park, he spent four months learning to walk and talk again, followed by a further four months of treatment as an outpatient.
He walked most of the 4km HBF Fun Run in 2014 before a short run at the end.
“I felt like I had accomplished something because I had finished a race,” Mr Payne said.
Now 21, he enters every fun run he can, while juggling two bar-tending jobs and studying occupational therapy at Curtin University.
The Queens Park resident’s reason to run the half marathon this year is to raise funds to accommodate families affected by leukaemia.
“My parents knew how hard it was to have a place to stay,” he said of his time in hospital.
For more information about the Run on May 27, visit www.hbfrun.com.au.