In 2002 I was a junior in college studying creative writing and training to become a professional soccer player. While on winter break I went snowboarding with my sister Krystal and my girlfriend in Bear Valley. It was one of those gorgeous NorCal days and the powder was perfect.
Not everything that’s starts off in splendor ends that way. I found myself several weeks later in rehab at Santa Clara Valley Medical. I was paralyzed from the chest down, able to shrug my shoulders, and wearing a halo to keep my spine stabilized.
A few years later I was at home resting in my hospital bed when a show came on called Degrassi. Grammy winning recording artist Drake was an up-and-coming actor and played the role of a high school kid who gets shot and becomes paralyzed from the waist down. Watching his character following the shooting was incredible. Jimmy Brooks overcame hurdles I was all too familiar. His characters courage reignited a passion in me. For the first time in a long time I was inspired. I was invigorated and ready to get out of the bed and do better.
My sister Robyn learned Drake would be in Oakland performing at the Oracle Arena and said we had to go!
I brought a picture of Drake's character playing basketball from his wheelchair for him to sign. Unfortunately I didn’t get backstage but I did make a video and tag Drake on Twitter. Thank you Drake! Drake and Migos put on an incredible show complete with a flying Lamborghini!
If you or someone you love is struggling after experiencing a spinal cord injury, please visit www.norcalsci.org for amazing resources, financial assistance and peer support.