As a person that was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, not many people gave me much of a chance of a “normal” life. As I grew up, I realized that everyone was wrong, including the doctors.
I quickly gained confidence in my ability to enjoy what life has to offer.
I started wheelchair athletics at 18 years old. I met people that were dealing with similar issues that I had and learned that the only disability in the world is a bad attitude and you can definitely take lemons and make lemonade.
In my work at the Henry Viscardi School, I met kids that, despite their disabilities, had the desire to live a “normal” life.
I had the opportunity to become a certified scuba diver and my love for the ocean was born. I met the Skudin brothers through a Viscardi family and they introduced me to surfing! I love the ocean. I respect the ocean.
Surfing is something that doesn’t equate with having a disability but with all I do and all I show the students at the Henry Viscardi School, a disability does not define a person, its how you deal with the challenges the disability presents you with. I like to look my disability in the face and say, “Not Today, Spina Bifida / Hydrocephalus”, I am going surfing!!
Soon after registering with Surf For All, I asked if we could do something where the Viscardi students can experience the joy that I have for the ocean or even, just the beach. The students of the Henry Viscardi School are just as adventurous as I am and have taken to the ocean. They love the exhilaration of taking a wave into shore as our families and friends cheer us on! In 10 years, I know I have improved in my surfing prowess, and I am forever grateful for the gift of the ocean that Surf For All has given me and my students.