Peer Mentor & Member
“My hope is that the lives of peer members and their families will be enhanced and strengthened by the programs that SCI BC has to offer. I hope they’ll realize that when you’re newly injured life doesn’t end, it changes—it’s what you do with these changes that makes a difference.”
Looking back on life, I probably would have really benefited from having a peer group to go out and try new things with. When I was 14 years old I was injured in a skiing accident, and with the support of my family and friends I paved my own way, but I didn’t have any close friends or anyone to mentor me about living life with an SCI.
My relationship with SCI BC began in 1993 with a scholarship to go to SFU to earn my degree in business administration and psychology. Since then, I’ve participated in countless events and mentored people of all ages. My social life and work-life have been enriched and infused by the people I’ve met along the way through SCI BC.
Some of my most rewarding moments have come from mentoring people who are newly injured, and from supporting those who’ve had long-time injuries. I know just how difficult it is to be vulnerable and open up. And when someone gives me that view into themselves, I’m profoundly grateful. I’ve been with people who’ve started to cry just because they see that I’m living. They see what’s possible 20 years post-surgery. These visits are life-altering for them, and they change my life as well. What I’ve realized is that a peer relationship isn’t just one-sided, we can learn so much from the people we have the honour to mentor.
These are the moments when we have this remarkable chance to connect, to change values, and to make life-long friends—to create new relationships with people who have travelled this road before, or those who are just starting their journey. These are the moments when you are brought into another person’s life, with this one unique thing in common. You have this extraordinary opportunity to make friends you wouldn’t have had the chance to meet otherwise. People who can open your mind to other experiences and perspectives.
Sometimes I go in to meet with new members and I don’t know what I can contribute to change their world, and they have no expectations to change mine—but these unexpected wins happen all the time.
My hope is that the lives of peer members and their families will be enhanced and strengthened by the programs that SCI BC has to offer. I hope they’ll realize that when you’re newly injured life doesn’t end, it changes—it’s what you do with these changes that makes a difference.
I love helping out and giving back to the community that’s enriched my life. As a former SCI BC employee, I know how much it costs to put these programs together and that they rely on donors to keep them going. I also know what a difference SCI BC makes for people. This is why I’m a long-time donor.
I hope my story encourages others to get involved and inspires peers, their friends, and families who have benefited from these programs to join the SCI BC family and become a donor—and in turn, transform the lives of other people.