Earlier this year, Sharon Holz took her first independent steps with a mobility frame after being in a wheelchair for 25 years.
"It was like a miracle, one day I just took off for a walk," the Mt Warrigal woman said.
Sharon, who has cerebral palsy, had been working hard at strengthening her legs for a long time through gym workouts.
"One day, out of the blue, I said to him: 'I'm going for a walk'.''
The 55-year-old had been told by medical staff that, after multiple orthopaedic operations, it was likely she would remain in the wheelchair for the rest of her life.
Yet she thought otherwise.
"I live with my elderly father Len and he had bought a walking frame for me which was sitting in the corner not being used," she said.
"One day, out of the blue, I said to him: 'I'm going for a walk'.
"Dad cried with happiness and so did I."
Sharon still occasionally uses the wheelchair but the walking frame has been a part of her life since January.
The improved mobility has introduced a fresh perspective to Sharon's life.
"I've gone from strength to strength," she said. "I've got a totally different outlook on life and I've got more confidence."
Sharon, who is developing her public speaking skills, recently attended her first Toastmasters club meeting at Windang.
She would like to publicly share her story of finding the strength to move out of her wheelchair in order to inspire others to challenge themselves.
"As a child I was very shy and it's only been since I've become older that my confidence has developed," she said.
"I want to challenge myself every day and now I want to improve my confidence even more, which is why I am going to Toastmasters. I think I've got a good message to tell other people about how my life has progressed and all the goals that I have met.
"I would like to help other people by telling them my story. I want to speak to them from the heart."
Sharon has cerebral palsy as a result of her premature birth. She walked with the aid of calipers and walking frames and sticks until she began using a wheelchair 25 years ago.
Windang Daytime Toastmasters is a new club that meets fortnightly on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 12.45pm at Windang Bowls Club. For more information on Toastmasters clubs contact email@example.com.