After the 2002 Bali Bombings terrorist attacks, Ben Tullipan was told he would never walk again.
Ben lost both of his legs, most of his stomach muscles and received 63% full thickness burns to his body. He is Australia’s worst injured survivor from the attacks and was given a 5% chance of survival.
17 years later he is not only surviving; he is thriving. He has learned to walk again on two prosthetic legs, started playing Golf with incredible results, and become a disability advocate and volunteer.
Ben has been awarded the 2006 Pride of Australia Medal for Courage, a 2006 Moncrieff Community Award, was named 2008 Gold Coast Citizen of the Year, graced the cover of the 2010 Gold Coast White Pages as a Courageous Australian, was named 2016 South East QLD Father of the Year, 2016 Queensland Father of the Year, was a Finalist in the 2016 United Nations Volunteer Awards and was awarded a 2016 Northern Gold Coast Community Award.
Now Ben, along with his wife Kerrie and kids Sheridan and Rory, is setting out to show Australians that having a disability doesn’t have to stop people from having fun and making the most of opportunities.
The family are the latest to hit the road as part of the Dometic Follow the Sun Relay!
The Tullipan family will begin their trip in Sydney and travel around New South Wales, stopping in at townships including Kangaroo Valley, Huskisson, Narooma, Bateman’s Bay, Wollongong, and more!
“I’m pretty excited about doing this, about showing that even with a disability we can still get out and live life and have fun,” Ben said.
“We’re going to try and find some stuff that’s a bit out of the ordinary.”
“We know the area a bit so we are hoping to showcase some of the places people might not have seen,” Kerrie added.
“We want to show what holidaying in a motorhome is like for a disabled person. It can deter you from doing this kind of thing sometimes, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t go on holiday and have fun.”
“People say to him that if they didn’t see him getting active, they would still be sitting on the couch feeling sorry for themselves. People say he’s changed their lives, and that’s what keeps you going. We’ve see grown men cry because they thought they wouldn’t be able to do something like that again. It’s amazing really, what (Ben) does. It’s life changing.”
Photo Credit – Melissa Pratt Photography