“TO me it’s like I’m in a dream on a fantastic island, that is how different I feel.”
It’s something many take for granted, but for 40-year-old Mary Catanzariti, who suffers from cerebral palsy, getting her license felt that good.
Ms Catanzariti, who recently passed her Ps test first go, was congratulated and celebrated at a lunch held at the Intereach office on Wednesday.
However, when she was told of the party they were throwing for her she was quick to insist it also be for all of the people who had helped her reach the milestone.
“I couldn’t have done this without you all,” she said to the numerous community members who rallied to volunteer their time to help teach her to drive.
“I only wish I could thank them more.”
Ms Catanzariti also thanked Simone Murphy, a ‘linker’ with Ability Links, who worked alongside her to understand the freedom a license would bring her help make it a reality.
“She gave me a boost in the right direction and helped me so much, I couldn’t have done this on my own.”
Ms Murphy said the way the community had banded together to provide support was incredible to see.
“She was such a determined student and although everyone who helped her did so individually in their own time, they all really worked together to give her this gift,” she said.
“It’s more than just a license to Mary, it’s the independence to do what she wants.”
Ms Catanzariti relied on family and friends to help her with transport in the past however, following her father’s passing she has stepped up to be able to provide transport for her mother.
“To me, I feel like my Dad is watching over me, I feel like he has sent this gift to me to help me move on and I have always had him in the back of my mind while I was learning to drive,” Ms Catanzariti said.
“It’s a miracle for me to be in the driver’s seat. Head over heels that is how I feel.
“When the instructor told me I had passed I was in shock, I was overjoyed and I was crying at the RTA I said to her ‘what are you saying?’”