Inspirational Speakers Visit Braemar College

This term in our PACE programs and as a whole Middle School we have been examining an overriding theme of adversity.

All year levels have been looking at this in various ways through their programs.


Last week, Mandy McCracken and her husband Rod visited Braemar College and inspired us all with their story.

A Kilmore mother of three, Mandy McCracken was admitted to her local hospital for dehydration on 10 August 2013. Her condition was later diagnosed as Streptococcal A infection, and Mandy almost lost her life.


After six weeks in intensive care and countless operations, Mandy lost all four limbs due to the infection. Her legs were amputated below the knee and her arms at the elbow. After ten months in hospital Mandy went home.

Nearly two years on Mandy’s resilience, humour and mental strength have been an inspiration to so many people.


The key message our students gained from the day was that it does not matter what the challenge, how big or small, it is your challenge and very important to you. How you deal with it is up to you, but hiding away and not dealing with it is not the answer. Being honest and facing problems is the way forward.

Mandy posted this on her Facebook page about her visit to Braemar College:

We had a great session at Braemar College yesterday. Around 300 kids from their middle school. A great group who all seemed to enjoy hearing our story. We passed around my arms and swimming legs and in the end we had to make a call out to get Alana back. I think she was enjoying meeting some new faces a little too much.

We were there to talk about resilience in times of adversity. Big stuff that unfortunately we all have to deal with at times. Rod and I try our best to keep …it light hearted but we keep hitting a nerve with some of the kids. I do know however that our story ends with a smile and that’s the most important thing we can teach these kids. No matter what happens, just look for something to keep you smiling.

After we had finished many of the kids came up to say hello and thank you. All of them were gorgeous and incredibly appreciative of us being so honest.

One big part of our speech was that Rod and I are not embarrassed by any of this. But that is not an easy frame of mind to get to. It takes a lot of courage to wear shorts and t-shirts so everyone can see what makes me different.



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