University of Houston hosts the nation’s first Women’s World Wheelchair Rugby Invitational Clinic
As Karah Behrend grabbed the rims of her wheelchair and thrusted her arms forward, she hurtled down the rugby court—zigzagging as a blur of bright purple hair through more than two dozen other women on wheels.
One quick look is all it takes to know with 100 percent certainty that Tatyana McFadden is really, really strong. Her arms are rippling with muscles—muscles that have not only propelled her to 17 Paralympics medals and 20 World Championships medals, but multiple first-place finishes in the Chicago, London, Boston, and New York marathons.
For the earliest years of McFadden’s life, those powerful arms—and her hands—were the only way she could walk.
LAUREN Jones, 23, is a wheelchair tennis player from Worthing.
Lauren, who was number 25 in the world, tells how she made her sport dreams come true and is now living a life she loves, despite her disability.
As Beau Vernon scooped up the football one Saturday afternoon at Leongatha seven years ago, he was collected in the head by a Wonthaggi opponent. It wasn’t a big hit, he said, just “wrong angle and wrong time”. He could have added “wrong bloke”, but did not.
“I fell to the ground and knew straight away something was very wrong,” he said.
He could not move his arms or legs. Nor could he feel his limbs when trainers touched them. “That time laying on the ground was the scariest of my life,” he said. Thinking he had broken his neck, he warned teammates, including his younger brother Zak, not to touch him. Less than two hours later, he was in an induced coma in the Alfred hospital. His parents, then on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa, flew home in a miserable hurry.
Jeff Montag’s fingers can’t hold a paintbrush, but that doesn’t stop him from painting portraits, flowers, flamenco dancers, ornery bulls, airplanes, Sioux warriors and Kearney landmarks.
A quadriplegic for 40 years, Montag creates art in his spare time with a specially designed cuff he fastens onto his right hand.
Last week, maneuvering his wheelchair, he guided a visitor through his kitchen and attached garage into his cozy studio cluttered with paintbrushes and tubes of paint. He wheeled up to the easel, slid his hand into his cuff and began to dab bits of bright color on an unfinished painting.
Wheelchair rugby is a high-octane team contact sport changing the lives and mental health of the spinal cord injury patients who play it.
After becoming a quadriplegic in 2008, Sydneysider James Gribble’s is on an inspiring journey to make golf accessible for all abilities.
Everything changed in James Gribble’s life when an accident in 2008 left him with a broken neck. But one thing remained the same – he’s still a golfer.
Though it wasn’t easy for the quadriplegic.
For four years, he endured intensive rehabilitation, proving a series of doctors wrong to achieve significant recovery milestones – walking short distances on crutches and, most importantly, swinging a golf club.
Loren Worthington is a photographer with a unique perspective, both literally and figuratively.
It is one thing to believe that it is your responsibility to inspire, but driving over 5000kms to reach out to thousands of speciallyabled citizens from the southernmost tip of the country to its northernmost boundary is a pure act of heroism.
Not to forget the perils of spending long arduous months on the road and staying away from loved ones. And to do all this while seated in a wheelchair… is there an adjective that can do justice to such a whole-hearted endeavour? Harry Boniface Prabhu is not in it for the praise, applause and appreciation, anyway.
“I want to educate the disabled. Show them that the world is a wonderful place and help them get rid of their insecurities,” Boniface said earnestly.
In 1983, at age 17, Jennifer Peterson was injured while downhill skiing. The injury left her a quadriplegic, with no use of her legs and limited use of her arms. While her body was different, her drive and determination to succeed was not. She got her Ph.D in Organizational Psychology from Walden University and became an executive coach. And stayed involved in sports.
As she wrote on her website, tailfeathercoach.com, “I have experienced first hand that life can throw curve balls and as a result, I’ve learned to adjust my swing.”