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Invictus Games medalist Denise Hepburn guest speaker for United Way City of Kawartha Lakes fundraiser

Denise Hepburn won four medals at the Invictus Games in Toronto. She will be the guest speaker at a fundraiser for the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Denise Hepburn won four medals at the Invictus Games in Toronto. She will be the guest speaker at a fundraiser for the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes. United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes

The golden anniversary of the United Way in the City of Kawartha Lakes will include inspiration from Invictus Games medalist Denise Hepburn.

The now retired 8-Wing master corporal will be the guest speaker at next month’s 50th anniversary Community Champions Dinner for the United Way.

READ MORE: Retired master corporal talks about competing in the Invictus Games in Toronto

Hepburn, who served 13 years as a combat medic, was seriously injured during a military training exercise in 2010. She suffered a fractured neck vertebrae while jumping from a helicopter into the Bay of Quinte in 2010.

“It was pretty awful,” Hepburn told Global News last fall. “Everything came to a grinding halt.”

Doctors told her only five per cent of C2 spinal injury victims survive. However, she defied the odds and overcame the injury. Last September she qualified for the Invictus Games in Toronto — a competition for injured and wounded military personnel from around the world.

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She competed in indoor rowing, sitting volleyball and swimming, claiming four bronze medals in the pool.

Denise Hepburn shares her Invictus Games medals with Community Living members on Thursday morning.
Denise Hepburn shares her Invictus Games medals with Community Living members on Thursday morning. United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes
Invictus Games medalist Denise Hepburn with City of Kawartha Lakes Police Chief John Haggarty, United Way CKL board president Duncan Gallacher and City councillor Pat O’Reilly.
Invictus Games medalist Denise Hepburn with City of Kawartha Lakes Police Chief John Haggarty, United Way CKL board president Duncan Gallacher and City councillor Pat O’Reilly. United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes

Hepburn will share her story as part of the fundraiser for the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes on March 22 at Celebrations Lindsay on Lindsay St. W.

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“We began our campaign with a dedicated team that brought Col. Chris Hadfield to our community,” said United Way CKL board president Duncan Gallacher.

“We are so honoured to have Denise Hepburn, another Canadian hero, join us to share some of her journey. This year we chose a different leadership style for our campaign where we have been celebrating and featuring community champions from across the City.”

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The event will also include silent and live auctions. For more information or tickets, call the United Way office at 705-878-5081 or its website.

READ MORE: Dalhousie researcher exploring psychological, health benefits of Invictus Games

The United Way branch has invested approximately $6.9 million in agency programs since 1986 and more than $875,000 in community projects since 2005.