Jared’s story is an inspirational one but also a tragic one. Jared first defied the odds when he was hit by a car at the age of 7 sustaining life threatening brain and other injuries. Doctors gave him no chance of survival and he spent three and a half weeks in a coma. Doctors said he would never walk or talk again but he defied medical odds and Jared not only survived but lived a remarkable life – he finished school, went to University, started a retail sports store, trekked the Kokoda Trail to name just a few achievements. Jared also supported many local charity and community groups including his involvement in a group called TRAG – Teenagers Road Accident Group – which saw him visiting schools and speaking to Year 11 students about the dangers of modern driving. Jared was a member of the Casey Concert Band as a trumpeter, where he was the bands’ longest serving member.
Jared was chosen to take part in the Queens Baton Relay in the lead up to the 2006 Commonwealth Games, aged 24. At the time, he said he hoped his story and his run with the Baton showed people they could overcome obstacles and achieve success.
In an unbelievable tragedy, Jared was killed on 22nd February 2013, aged 31, when he fell from his bike while taking part in a charity cycling event and was struck by a truck and trailer travelling in the same direction. Jared loved riding his bike and he was taking part in his second Rotary Ride to Conference charity bike ride. The ride raised $66,000 for three Rotary projects.
Since his passing, Jared has been awarded a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary District 9820. This is one of Rotary’s highest awards and was awarded for Jared’s contribution to the community.
Jared was the oldest child of John and Kathy Dunscombe and had one sister, Jonelle. His family was the world to him – his parents, sister, brother in law and most especially his two nephews, Kalen and Makai. Jared was the most doting of Uncles and Kalen adored him. Makai was just 11 days old when Jared passed.
All who knew Jared remember his big smile, his loving personality and his zest for life. He always went out of his way to help others. He was determined, courageous and an inspiration to all who knew him.
Some messages from those who knew him:
“You are the bloke who never waved at you from across the street but always crossed the road to say hello. A true gentleman and inspiration to all who knew you!”
“A real champion, a grouse mate and probably the nicest guy you’ll ever meet”
“Jared led a hugely courageous life and proved that nothing was impossible and everyday was worth smiling about”
“When someone told you You Cant Do It or Wont Do It, Jared you showed them how It Can And Will Be Done”
“He always impressed me with his enthusiasm, kindness and just being an ‘old school’ gentleman, which I loved about him. It was Jared who rekindled my fading hope in chivalry still existing in this day and age.”
An excerpt from Jonelle’s (Jared’s sister) speech at Jared’s funeral:
After surviving the accident all those years ago, I often reflected on how lucky we were to have Jared as part of our family. I always thought that Jared must have had a special reason to be here and that his life had a real purpose. Now, having had him taken away from us so tragically, I can only think that he has been taken away from us so soon to leave this unbelievable legacy for all who knew him or his story. Surely, one cannot be anything but inspired and motivated to be a better person by having known Jared.
The mark of a successful life is having made a difference in this world. Jared inspired so many people. Others can only dream of having achieved half as much in their lifetime as Jared achieved in his. He left the world better than he found it through inspiring others, helping raise money and awareness for many charities and the many talks that he did with TRAG.
For all of you here today, please think of Jared any time you think that life has thrown you a hard time and use him as an inspiration to keep going, don’t put off things until tomorrow, hug your loved ones tightly and make sure that you tell them every day how much they mean to you.