Sean enjoys health lifestyle against the odds

Sean likes having a laugh, high adrenaline sports, keeping fit, playing wheelchair basketball and spending time with his adorable puppy, Ruby.

 The 29-year-old has cerebral palsy and has never let his disability or people’s attitudes get in the way of achieving his goals and having fun.

“I’ve had a lot of people over the years telling me that I can’t do this and I can’t do that and I like proving them wrong.”

Men’s Health Week kicks off on June 11 and highlights the importance of men making good lifestyle choices to protect their physical and mental health. Did you know that inactive men are 60 per cent more likely to suffer from depression than those who are active?

A healthy lifestyle and exercise can also help men avoid about 70 per cent of the most common health problems. So what happens if a disability makes going to the gym, playing sport and catching up with friends difficult? One thing that was holding Sean back was the lack of supports available to him outside of his family. That changed when he got his first NDIS plan last year and turned to not-for-profit disability service provider Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH).

VMCH has helped Sean make the most out of his new NDIS plan. One goal was finding a support worker to help him at the gym, swimming pool and to try new high adrenaline sports.

VMCH linked Sean with disability support worker, Kevin, and they go to the gym and the swimming pool together. They also go fishing and jet boating when the weather is good.

 “Before the NDIS I was not getting any support. It was a lot of stress on my family,” Sean said.

“Having Kevin takes a lot of the stress off my family. Kevin is a really nice guy.  He has a sense of humour.  He definitely pushes me to keep going in the gym and gives me confidence.”

 VMCH has been providing disability services in Victoria for more than 100 years and recently opened an office in Ballarat to offer disability support services in regions including Ararat, Pyrenees Shire, Moorabool Shire, Golden Plains Shire and Hepburn Shire.

 For Kevin, the NDIS had offered him a career change. After 33 years working at a goldmine in Stawell, Kevin was retrenched and looking for a change.

 “This job is different. That’s what I enjoy about it. I get to see the sunshine, do stuff outdoors in the fresh air.  Every day can be different,” Kevin said.

 “It’s nice to catch up with Sean and see the benefits he’s getting out of what we’re doing. It’s very rewarding.”

 VMCH’s new Central Highlands office helps people make the most of their NDIS plan. This includes NDIS plan management and support coordination, support with daily living and community participation.

 If one of your NDIS goals is a healthier lifestyle, call VMCH on 1800 798 921.


Did you know?


  • Women live 4.4 years longer than men do
  • A healthy lifestyle can help men avoid 70 per cent of the most common health problems
  • Men represent 56 per cent of the workforce and yet 94 per cent of work fatalities involve men
  • Inactive men are 60 per cent more likely to suffer from depression than those who are active
  • Men take their own lives at four times the rate of women.