Volunteer Peer Mentor
South Fraser, BC

Marney Smithies

Marney has always been an active person, a failed suicide attempt at age 16 left her a T5 complete paraplegic but that didn’t slow her down. Like many people who go through a very harrowing experience, she bounced back and found a new appreciation for her family and life in general.

It took a while to recover but she has since conquered those depressing days and has lived a full happy life. She has always been a very sporty person and was introduced to wheelchair sports while in rehab. Marney took a shinning to wheelchair basketball and made the Canadian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team when she was only 18. She travelled the world playing basketball and participated in the World Championships and two Paralympics (Seoul in 1988 and Atlanta in 1996). She also enjoyed playing para ice hockey, road/track wheelchair racing and racquetball.

She moved to BC in 1993 and married her best friend Jeff in 1994. After pursuing a career in human resources and data entry, she retired and has kept busy volunteering with a variety of groups. Marney is co-founder of the support and advocacy group, South Fraser Active Living, a group for people with physical disabilities trying to live a more free and productive happy life while improving the inaccessible world we live in.

We can’t leave out, a huge part of Marney and Jeff’s life, a mini poodle named The Dude who was like their son. He passed at the age of 16.5 years but lived a full and very happy life often helping Marney by pulling her chair, picking up dropped items and even emptying the dryer!

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