Memoir Offers Accurate Look at Life with Disability

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Heather Coombes looks to open discussion on how disabilities are perceived

The classic 1994 movie, Forrest Gump, presents a moment in which the lead character conquers his physical disability by simply running out of his leg braces. In reality, a disability is not a single barrier needed to be overcome. It is a life-long journey of learning and growing. Heather Coombes shares her personal story with cerebral palsy, providing an authentic look at life with a neurological condition “Marathon Wheeler: Living with Physical Disability.”

“Books and movies often create inaccurate portrayals of people with a disability,” Coombes said. “I wrote Marathon Wheeler to show readers what life with a physical impairment really looks like. My story isn’t one of triumphing over my cerebral palsy. It is simply one of navigating life with a disability.”

Coombes narrates her medical journey and traces the educational and employment opportunities that came her way. Coombes shares the role her faith played in shaping her life, eventually leading her to become an ordained minister. She also presents practical life lessons on living with a physical disability tailored for both persons with a disability and abled-bodied individuals.

“Marathon Wheeler” shows that while a life with a disability can be a continues struggle, it can also be a fulfilling one. For more information on the author and her book, please visit

“Marathon Wheeler: Living with Physical Disability”
By Heather Coombes
ISBN: 9781512762594 (hardcover) 9781512762570 (softcover) 9871512762587 (e-book)
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Westbow Press

About the author
Heather Coombes was born in 1954 in India with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. She attended Macquarie University to study behavioral science, the University of New South Wales for librarianship and the United Theological College to study theology. She was employed with the Australian Council for Rehabilitation of Disabled in 1978-1982 and was ordained a Uniting Church Minister in 1986. She began a ministry in aged care at the Mayflower Retirement Village, Gerringong and continued with Uniting Care Ageing – Central Coast. She currently lives in Bateau Bay on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia.


Review Copies & Interview Requests:
LAVIDGE – Phoenix
Jacquelyn Brazzale
480 998 2600 x 569

General Inquiries:
LAVIDGE – Phoenix
Satara Williams
480-998-2600 x 586

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