Rich Vander Wal
After his motorcycle accident in 1992, Rich sustained a T4 complete spinal cord injury with no movement or feeling from his chest level downwards. Rich uses a manual wheelchair on a full-time basis. Because of his injury, the only thing that made sense to him was to combine his new life experience and his love for sport with a therapeutic recreation bachelor’s degree.
Post injury, Rich experienced several rehabilitation environments and always felt the need for a collaborative environment where rehab and sport could be integrated in a supportive and motivating environment.
He shares his 25 years of post-injury life experience to support, motivate and educate people within schools, universities, hospitals and the community. Rich’s involvement within the community goes beyond the physical rehab scope; clients and their families, as well as healthcare professionals discuss taboo and difficult subject matters with Rich because of his approachable and non-judgmental demeanor.
In addition, his passion for sports such as sit skiing, handcycyling, racing, rowing and wheelchair tennis has led to his participation in national and international competitions allowing him to connect with anyone interested in participating recreationally or competitively.
Rich has single handedly built the Neurocore space and continues to find ways to ensure the facility is accessible, warm and inviting to anyone who comes through.
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