On June 23rd 2012 my life changed forever. A normal incident in a normal game of Aussie rules football left me with C5-C6 quadriplegia. In an instant I went from a 23 year old who never sat still, to spending 8 months in hospital and looking at the prospect of spending my life in a wheelchair. Before the incident I played any sport and would be up for any outdoor activity and even quit a commerce degree at the thought of sitting down to work all day. Things have definitely changed for me.
Until recently, my family and I had no idea about spinal cord injuries. This is why I want to share my experiences of living with a spinal cord injury and the difficulties that come with it.
At the age of 22, Brendan had a major fatigue related road accident where he sustained a spinal cord injury and became a paraplegic. Brendan battled with depression as he adjusted to his new life in a wheelchair but slowly found new hope in his life as he started to play wheelchair sports.
“Getting back into sport was a key factor in helping me to adjust to my new life as a paraplegic. I had played so much sport before my accident and I found that I needed to continue to do this after my accident; I would have wasted away if I didn’t have that outlet. We all need something to spur us on so that we can be positive about ourselves and sport was my light.”
He has since represented Australia in wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis, was a coach and player in Victoria’s wheelchair AFL team and has coached the women’s national wheelchair basketball team. He is the current Captain/coach of Collingwood’s Wheelchair AFL Team.
“Play tough, play proud, play brave, play like Bobby Rose. I’m both proud and delighted to wear the number 22 and add my support to this wonderful initiative. Behind every spinal injury survivor is a brave person to admire.”
“Imagine having your own mobility taken away in an instant. I encourage you to get involved and support the spinal injured community. The power of two can make a big difference.”
Our Other Ambassadors
In addition we have each of the inaugural Wheelchair Footy league captains joining as Ambassadors, Brendan Stroud, Marcus Sander, Peter Ogunyemi, Matthew Morris & Louis Rowe.
Pictured (right to left): Marcus Sander (Captain St. Kilda Wheelchair Football Team), Peter Ogunyemi (Captain Hawthorn Wheelchair Football Team), Peter Rose (Robert Rose Foundation Board Advisor), Matthew Morris (Captain Richmond Wheelchair Football Team) and Louis Rowe (Captain Essendon Wheelchair Football Team).