Here at Magee, we are dedicated to treating the whole person — not just the injury. We are so proud to be able to offer a wide range of patient and community programs that do just that. But these programs wouldn’t exist without your support. Each year, the Night of Champions raises much-needed funds to keep them going strong.
We can tell you over and over again how important these programs are to people living with disabilities. We can show you studies and statistics. Facts and figures. But don’t just take it from us. We asked patients and former patients to tell us, in their own words, how these programs have impacted their lives. Today’s blog post comes from Sean Johnson, a participant in our Wheelchair Sports Program.
In 1993, upon returning home from serving in the Desert Storm conflict, I was the victim of a random shooting in my neighborhood. I was shot in the back and paralyzed from the waist down. I was admitted to Magee Rehabilitation for my rehab, where I learned that my injury wasn’t the end of my life. Magee taught me that spirit, drive and passion was the way back to a productive and enjoyable life. It’s also where I first learned about wheelchair sports.
I didn’t get involved in the program until several years later, after an amputation. I joined the wheelchair basketball team, the Magee Sixers, in 2013, and quickly fell in love with the sport. Now in my sophomore year with the team, I was just selected to represent the Magee Sixers in the Wheelchair National Basketball Association All-Star Game.
I don’t know where or what I’d be doing if I wasn’t playing wheelchair basketball. Although I’ve been quite active in other sports, basketball is my favorite. Magee was responsible for getting that ball rolling (pun intended). Not only that, but Magee has also provided me with the resources needed to play basketball. The specialized equipment associated with the custom wheelchair, travel expenses and tournament registration… these were all subsidized by the Magee Wheelchair Sports Program.
Discovering wheelchair sports has changed my life. I’ve met the greatest people who I have so much in common with. We all have similar challenges with our disabilities, but we’ve become each other’s greatest encouragement. I’m in better shape than I’ve been in over a decade! I don’t think I would be as passionate about sports and fitness without the help I received from Magee and their staff. I want to thank everyone who makes these sports and recreational programs possible for people like me to rediscover a potential that may have otherwise been lost.
My confidence is through the roof because I’ve been able to accomplish many things I never thought I could. Since joining the Magee team, I’ve won several medals for basketball, softball, cycling and track and field. I’ve also surfed, skied and kayaked. I would have never attempted these activities had it not been for the wonderful programs Magee Rehab provides. As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t anything I can’t do!
We agree, Sean… there truly isn’t anything you can’t do.