I first met Hilary Weeks in 1999 and have been asked to write a few words about her.
Hilary was 8 years old when she ran from behind a Mr Whippy Ice Cream van and was hit by a car. She was confined to a wheelchair as a result of her injuries. Her family must have made many sacrifices while bringing her up. Years later Hilary married and had three children David, Chloe and Michael. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in divorce and Hilary was left as a single mum bringing up her children on her own. Being a strong willed, gutsy woman, she was always there for them and made sure they got an education. The kids grew up and went their own ways. David, to work in Kalgoorlie and Chloe and Michael got partners and started families of their own. I had a Falcon panel van that I put hand controls in so that Hilary could drive it. We went on trips where we stored our belongings in the back and slept on a mattress. One trip we went up the coast and camped on the way to Darwin where we stayed on Erica’s driveway for a while. Then we had to drive home down the Centre past Alice Springs as Hilary had a hospital appointment in Perth. It was hard for me as Hilary did not want me to tell anyone not even her parents or family about her health or what was wrong with her. This trip was one of many trips we went on between hospital visits. I later bought a Falcon Ute with a canopy on the back and my dad built a Teardrop caravan with a mattress on the floor so Hilary could slide into through the door. It had a kitchen on the back of it. On different trips we went back to Broome and all-around WA, over to SA and Victoria. We really enjoyed ourselves. We went to the Abilympic Games and hospital visits in between.
Just after we met in 1999, Hilary was on the board of Abilympics WA branch and Abilympics Australia (now finished). The team including Hilary, competed in Prague. She competed in pottery, hand crafting small clay figures. While there Hilary and her friend Val went to the Spa country for the day and had a great time, meeting lots of people and making new friends.
Abiliympics 2003 New Deli – Hilary competed in photography. She was given 3 rolls of film daily over 7 days, they were given a theme to create and the film was developed overnight. Hilary was awarded a mid-field place. The highlight of the trip was when Hilary and I went to the Taj Mahal from New Delhi, a five hour drive each way.
Japan 2007 – we didn’t go due to ill health.
Seoul 2011 – Hilary chose photography again which was digital. You could take as many photos as you liked but could only print out 5. She was placed mid field again.
Bordeaux 2016 – Hilary competed in digital photography again with a theme and 5 photos. She placed mid-field again. At the closing ceremony Hilary was given an encouragement award.
While we were in Bordeaux the whole group of us went on a day trip to a winery for tasting and then onto Santa De Minion.
In 2021 Hilary was diagnosed with cancer and we stopped the camping. Hilary took up wheelchair dancing and was very competitive. She won medals here and in Melbourne.
Metz 2023 – Hilary again chose photography and was placed mid field. The local people were nice but there was a language barrier, and a bit of sign language was needed but was mostly overcome.
Sadly on 28.9.2023 Hilary passed away after her long battle with cancer.