“It’s not too bad, it’s just different.” This is how Andy Hensel from Port Pirie, Australia, one of the world’s most accomplished paraplegic motocross racers, now describes what riding is like. A former top 20 freestyle motocross racer, he’s now making records as a paraplegic, discovering the far reaches of what is still possible as a paralyzed motocross racer.
Injured only a few years ago, this 20-something had already had a difficult past. He went to jail for drug charges for 1 year in his late teens. But after his injury, he knew he had to stay on-track. And within a year, he had already figured out how to return to motocross.
Some might think he’s crazy for returning, but that’s why he’s a SCI Superstar in our book. Andy refuses to let his injury win. Read more
“If you can breath, you can do yoga.” This is one of the awesome quotes Mary-Jo Fetterly likes to share when she’s teaching yoga. A yoga teacher for over 20 years and an adaptive yoga teach for nearly 10, Mary-Jo, of Vancouver, Canada, came upon the world of spinal cord injuries from a skiing accident 10 years ago.
Since her accident, she’s decided to look at her injury as a project in healing, something her background in natural therapeutics could potentially heal. Initially a C4-6 ASI A complete spinal cord injury, Mary-Jo’s techniques have helped her regain use of her arms and even her hands, when doctors were sure it was impossible. Read on for her incredible story
Considered one of the best mountain bike athletes in the world, Martyn Ashton is new to living with a spinal cord injury but his spirit is strong as ever. In 1993 when he was just 19, he sprang on the mountain bike scene, and in later years he became one of the biggest YouTubers doing his long beloved sport.
But in 2013 his story took a turn, and Martyn, while filming a sequel to his all-time popular videos, broke his back. He hasn’t stopped doing what he loves though thanks to his longtime riding buddies. Read more
Lonnie Bissionette is as a stubborn as they come, and we love him for it. The first paraplegic BASE jumper in the world, he is the only paraplegic to BASE jump off of four objects, and the fact that he was paralyzed BASE jumping hasn’t stopped him one bit.
Lonnie is also a pioneer in the brand new sport – para-bobsleigh. He represented Canada earlier this year in the World Cup and made one heck of a showing.
To learn more about this adrenaline junkie who’s also dedicated father and an ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation, read on.
A former sit-n-ski water skier with several adapted water ski titles under her belt, Stephany Glassing is one of the few licensed female paraplegic pilots in the country. And that’s not all. She’s also a mother, an artist, former Ms. Wheelchair Georgia 2003 and a lover of monkeys. Yes you heard us right – monkeys.
The recipient of a Capuchin monkey (she requested one to help with depression), she’s become a huge disability service monkey advocate since receiving Tracy, speaking on behalf of the organization that gave her her monkey whenever she can.
To learn more about Stephany, an amazing woman and dedicated single mother who refuses to let her chronic pain win, read on.
A conservative political analyst for the Washington Post and Fox News, Charles Krauthammer is a quadriplegic you’ll never forget. The thing about Charles however is that he doesn’t want you to focus on his quadriplegia, and he’s been amazingly successful in this goal.
Out of the thousands of Charles’ dedicated fans, most don’t even know he uses a wheelchair. It’s not that it’s a secret, it’s just that his opinions and views on American politics are so engaging that they make you forget his disability.
From working as a Harvard-trained psychiatrist to becoming a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist all post-injury, read on for the fascinating story of Charles Krauthammer. Read more
We have many heroes in the spinal cord injury community, notably the rockstar SCI researchers. One of the most promising researchers is Dr. Susan Harkema, Director of the Neurorecovery Network, Rehabilitation Research Director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville and the Director of Research at Frazier Rehab Institute.
Dr. Harkema is the researcher who discovered that electrically stimulating the spinal cord can help us move our legs again. Yes, she has one amazing mind. From Katie to the Today Show, she has been featured all over the media and is the leading SCI researcher to know.
But research wasn’t always on her radar. From a career she thought was headed towards athletic training, Michigan-born Harkema was lured to the warmer weather of California where she discovered a passion for spinal cord injury research, and the rest as they say is history.
Read on to see how Dr. Harkema’s determination to find a workable cure may just land her in the history books
The people of France have long been obsessed with aviation. From sponsoring the Wright Brothers to perfecting the hot air balloon, the French love to take to the air.
This is why it should come as no surprise that Dorine Bourneton, a paraplegic and French woman, made history as the first woman with paralysis to receive her acrobatic pilot’s license in the world.
But it wasn’t easy getting where she is today. From her injury that also occurred in the skies to receiving her professional pilot’s license post-injury, Dorine has one indomitable spirit. Read on for her amazing story
The first quadriplegic in the world to complete an Ironman triathlon, South African and Paralympian Pieter “Supa Piet” du Preez has been busy showing the world anything is still possible after a spinal cord injury, and boy does he make it look good.
Also fully independent despite a C6 injury, as well as an actuarial analyst by day with a company that also sponsors his training, this married man hasn’t let his injury stop him from reaching for his dreams. Read this entry
Not just another Paralympic athlete, Anna Turney is a lifelong athlete who’s more self-aware than most. Injured nearly 10 years ago in a snowboarding competition, she transformed herself into a top mono-skier representing Great Britain in two Paralympics. And that’s not all.
This year she transformed herself again, leaving her Paralympic career behind and focusing on the next chapter of her life – journalism and motivational speaking -something she never dreamed she’d be doing before she was hurt. This is why Anna is a superstar and more. Read on for her awesome story