At the age of 16 years old, 7 years ago, a motocross accident left me paralyzed from the chest down and I began a new journey on wheels. For seven years, I have been challenged by this disability to find ways to be as active and adventurous as I once was. Along the way, I have also gained a new perspective on the world of disability and how society has portrayed the rest of my community. We either have to be someone’s inspiration or a forgotten commodity when it comes to access in this world. I’ve been denied work, I’ve been invaded by strangers, and I’ve been stuck in the middle of a parking lot covered in snow because snow removal wasn’t the priority that day.
Regardless of all this struggle, I’ve moved on. I am currently a fourth-year Kinesiology student, with my certifications in Personal training where I train others like me, I volunteer to give back to my community, and most importantly, I’ve learned how to educate those around me in hopes of creating change for those who do not have a voice. I am more physically active than I have ever been. I’ve been back on a dirt bike, I’ve skied, I’ve attempted different sports, I kayak and row. Yet, when I am kayaking with friends or family in the mountains, I continue to carry this sadness that I will never be able to see the world looking down, on a top of a mountain, after a hard trek to the top. I fear that in the future, I won't be able to be as independent as I would like with a family outdoors.
When I was first introduced to the Bowhead Reach, I quickly saw how I could reclaim my independence. I am now hopeful I can regain the sense of peace and humility that the outdoors offers and share this with loved ones. Maybe I could even let go of seeing things that I have lost since this accident and can start dreaming up new adventures that I can do. After all, I have learned that these wheels come with endless possibilities, I just need to find a way to get there. Your support in my journey to obtaining a Bowhead Reach will be forever cherished in the mountains. I also hope that with enough support, I can leave a small portion for the next individual who may be seeking the same freedom I am. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!