Being an "Access Champion" is so much more than what you do, it's why you do it and who you can help along the way. I've always believed this, and it's why I have been involved in philanthropy and community-based programs for people with disabilities for the past twenty years. Not only have I been able to contribute to these programs, but I've also had the great fortune of being a recipient. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, but thanks to the fortitude and perspectives of my parents, that has never served as a barrier in my life.
I was introduced to sports at an early age; swimming since I was a baby, which lead me to join a provincial swim club. I started horseback riding when I was 3 and a half, at the Pacific Riding for the Disabled in Langley and competed until I was 16 years old. Later, I joined the Track and Field team and participated in wheelchair events 50, 100, 200 Track plus Shot Put and Club Throw. I seemed to excel at sports quite quickly which allowed me the phenomenal opportunity to compete in the BC Games for Athletes with Disabilities since 1994, earning 22 Gold, 10 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals in various sporting events.
Aside from physical activity, I also feel it's important to advocate for the things you believe in. I feel blessed to use my voice everyday to represent myself and the issues I care about. I first started speaking in front of large audiences at the age of 10; it was then I realized the impact that words can have. Since then, I've been involved with a number of organizations (including Easter Seals/The Lions Society of BC, The Sunshine Foundation, The Active Living Alliance, and The United Way) as a spokesperson, helping to spread advocacy for persons with disabilities across Canada, and proving that anything is possible when you invest the right kind of energy and creativity. Because of this, I started my own business as an Inspirational Speaker, which has given me the privilege to speak on stage at events across North America including: TEDxStanleyPark and The Duke Of Edinburgh Awards. In August of 2013, I received the honour of being recognized for my work in improving business practices, while contributing to the betterment of society and was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Self-Employment and Entrepreneur Development Society. I have made a ton of lifelong connections and have helped to build brands such as Reality Controls and Hunky Haulers. As an advocate of disability related issues, I most recently started working with the Rick Hansen Foundation as Marketing and Community Manager on an accessibility review website and initiative called "Planat."
Every day I am inspired by the people I meet. The people I look up to the most and consider mentors are my father, Rick Hansen and Michael J. Fox.
My Business Website: http://www.thecubeprinciple.com/
Marketing & Community Manager, Planat
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