I have enjoyed playing sports since I was about 5 years old. I started playing indoor soccer in
My life changed on May 22, 1999, just 13 days before high school graduation. I was involved in an ATV accident that left me with, most notably, a crushed spinal cord and two collapsed lungs. Let me tell you I wasn’t the biggest fan of school and I wasn’t going to let a little accident keep me from graduation. It was a struggle, but I made it and received a standing ovation.
Most people will tell you that I have a competitive streak and I was determined to push through whatever the therapists threw at me. I was told what the record was for dips and I pushed past it, I was ready to leave the hospital about 24 days after my accident, but my house wasn’t. I stayed a few more days and then they “kicked” me out.
I have always had the desire to compete in wheelchair sports, but as most have come to find out life can get busy after high school. I started working full time to pay my way through college, which I finished with a bachelors degree from
Now that I was finished with school and newly married I was once again asked if I would like to come out and play basketball. Was I ever! I started playing wheelchair basketball with the Wheelin’ Wildcats out of Ogden in December of 2008. Well it has been two years and I feel it is time to step up my game, which is why I have joined the Wheelin’ Jazz for the coming season. I am driven to be the best I can and am very excited to play with the Wheelin’ Jazz.
There was so much outpouring of help and love when I was involved in my accident and I try and do what I can to give back. I have spoken several times to youth groups about life’s challenges and the need to stay positive and LIVE! I currently help with young men in my neighborhood and, as we all do, try and help them become better individuals and hopefully great men. I also try and keep in touch with my physical therapist from when I was in the hospital; she lets me know if there are young adults at the hospital I can talk to.
I have spent hours upon hours in the hospital talking with individuals and their families who have suffered spinal cord injuries and try to offer comfort and hope for the future. Life is good and if you are having a hard day, month, or year, let me know and I will do what I can to help you realize that and bring a smile to your face!