Wheelchair Rugby Maximized My Independence

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Gavin is paralyzed from the chest down without the use of his triceps and fingers.

When he was first hurt, doctors weren’t too hopeful about what he’d be able to do. Gavin, however, pushes for the things he wants in life and goes after them.

“They said that basically someone of your level generally don’t do most of the things like getting to complete independence, which was one of my main goals. I love a good challenge," he shares. In the years that he’s played wheelchair rugby, he’s learned what it means to pair strength with skill to maximize his independence.

“With rugby it’s been gaining strength to transfer, but it’s also been techniques I’ve learned from other people like where to put your feet…Even just with hopping into bed or the way people take off their shoes. I’ve put little loops on my pants to pull my pants up, just tiny little things like that make it so much easier. It doesn’t come down to brute strength, you’ve gotta be smarter than that.”

“I’ve kept positive people, I’ve got a great family, I’ve got a great partner and I’ve got a dog named Tommy and he’s my best friend,” he says. “You got to have these things around you, you know if you don’t want to look at the negative side of things.” Gavin’s outlook and support system have helped him get to where he is today. “Don’t focus on what you can’t do, look at what you can do and challenge yourself.”

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