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Even Paralympian Rachael Watson’s Paris 2024 training schedule cannot stop her making a difference out of the pool.

Rach has initiated a new relationship with the Children’s Hospital Foundation as our latest ambassador to help support our fundraising endeavours throughout the year and inspire kids in hospital to follow their dreams despite their significant health challenges. Just like her.

On the new relationship, Rachael said: “I am very excited to be an ambassador for the Children’s Hospital Foundation. I know what it’s like to have your world turned upside down overnight from a health diagnosis, but I also know just how much good support and care can help too.”

A decade ago, Rachael was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition, Guillain-Barré syndrome. In essence, her immune system mistakenly attacked her peripheral nervous system – paralysing her.

This diagnosis came after Rach, a triplet, was born three and a half months prematurely and acquired spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. She underwent years of intensive physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and many surgeries.

“I guess I know life as someone who had the world at their fingertips to someone who had everything change overnight. It’s why I’m so passionate about healthcare and helping others,” Rachael said.

Rach first wrote herself into the history books in 2016 when – at her first Paralympic Games – she won a gold medal and set a Paralympic record in the Women’s 50m Freestyle S4.

At Tokyo 2020, she produced another remarkable swim to take home the win in the Women’s 50m Freestyle S4 for the second time.

But what you may not know is that Rachael has been volunteering with the Foundation since the Queensland Children’s Hospital opened its doors in 2014 – supporting families both in the operating theatre and as a Wayfinder.

“I’ve experienced a lot when it comes to the patient journey –the uncertainty, the waiting, the advocating, the stress, the good news, the tough times and the staff who become like family.”

– Rachael Watson

“I wanted to be a paediatric nurse before ending up in a wheelchair so volunteering with Children’s Hospital Foundation is my way of feeling like I can support patients and staff – it is something I find incredibly rewarding,” she added.

She sees her role as an ambassador for the Foundation as another way to give back to kids in hospital and to help them grow up to feel proud of their efforts and achievements.

Head here to see how you can join Rach to be the difference every kid deserves.