Written By: Nate Loomis
Often, the way in which an individual deals with pain and adversity is a window into their true character. Some individuals have the rare ability to take adversity and transform it into something entirely positive. Brian, one of NEP’s newest participants, is a great example of someone embodying Northeast Passage’s mantra to Define, Pursue, and Achieve through his own brand of humor, humility and persistence.
In January of 2012, Brian was enjoying the start of his early retirement, after selling his successful IT company, when an unexpected spinal disorder left him with debilitating back pain and paralysis in his legs. Brian went through rigorous rehabilitation at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital where he was first introduced to therapeutic recreation and adaptive sports. Though he saw a presentation about NEP at Whittier, it took a tenacious Northeast Passage staff member to convince Brian to show up to an event.
Since his first outing with NEP in April, Brian has become a frequent attendee at NEP events and has tried a variety of adaptive sports and activities including boccia, biking, golf, kayaking, and shooting sports. With tennis and basketball on his list of future sports to try, Brian is quick to recognize the benefits of therapeutic recreation and has become a vocal ambassador for Northeast Passage.
“The staff creates safe and fun environments for all ages and all disabilities, which I find quite amazing. The rewards are countless, but NEP has provided the missing bricks to building my life back.”
Since acquiring a disability, Brian’s positive mindset has helped him stay motivated and driven. He created a new division in a New England medical supply company that focuses on adaptive medical solutions for the home and has written a comedic self-help book about his experience with disability.
Brian has also focused his positive energy into helping others through a spinal support group and encourages others to get involved in therapeutic recreation.
“NEP has had a great impact on my life since the injury, definitely on the same level as my PTs/OTs. I am doing things that I never thought possible. I never felt defeated or down since my injury because I know a positive mind helps heal the body, but I was missing many parts of my active past life. The Recreational Therapists helped me achieve more than I thought possible.”
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