Ryan Clarkson was born in Winnipeg but raised in the Fraser Valley. He comes to SCI BC armed with a Business Management Diploma from BCIT and a passion for travelling, music and sports. He has backpacked around Europe, taken countless road trips and racked up over 80,000 kms travelling throughout Canada and 21 states.
After his injury in 2009, Ryan became an avid solo-camper. He’s hitched his tent roughly 170 times and taken in sights ranging from the frozen tundra of Alaska to the red rocks of the Navajo desert (and it only cost him 13 flat tires and two broken windshields to do it). When he’s not camping, you can find Ryan at a sporting event or concert, or playing the harmonica—an instrument he has a true talent for.
In Ryan’s role as Regional Peer Support Program Coordinator, he can be found most weekdays at Spinal Cord Injury BC’s GF Strong Resource Office. Much of his work involves visiting people who are newly injured and providing information and connection during the first few months after injury and over time as their needs change.
“Sometimes I play an active role in supporting the changes in their lives by providing tools or resources, and other times I just listen,” he says. “If a client isn’t ready for support, their partner or family may come to me to find out what the right approach could be. Every situation is completely unique, but my goal is to help our clients gain independence and thrive. It makes me smile when people have made so many improvements since discharge that I almost don’t recognize them!”