Reece’s story: ‘It was great to get out there again and meet new people’
2 February 2022
Read on to discover how our Multi Activity Course introduced Reece to confidence-boosting adaptive activities and helped him connect with others who’ve experienced similar challenges after spinal cord injury.
There are numerous medical conditions that can damage the spinal cord. In Reece’s case, his spinal cord injury occurred when he was diagnosed with cancer. He had a tumour in his head and spinal cord, which resulted in permanent damage to the spinal cord.
For Reece, his injury was life-changing.
“My spinal cord injury stopped me in my tracks. I was very outgoing before I was diagnosed with cancer – I loved car shows, Drum and Bass music, and long walks. But when my mobility was taken away – changing my lifestyle was hard.”
In Reece’s case, he has an incomplete spinal cord injury. This means that some signals can still travel between his brain and his body. Although he is able to walk, he still faces challenges due to his injury. After sustaining his injury, Reece needed to get his confidence back.
“I faced a lot of difficulty when I left hospital. There were times I felt very low. I wanted to get out into the world and do what I did before – but I couldn’t see a different future on the horizon.”
Reece first met Back Up while in hospital. We taught wheelchair skills training sessions at his spinal centre. When he left hospital, he signed up for one of our confidence-boosting courses where he had the opportunity to meet, and learn from, others in a similar situation.
“I wanted to gain confidence, and be able to do more – I was at a point where I thought I couldn’t do a lot of things.”
“Seeing the activities on the Multi Activity Course looked like an opportunity to test myself, and build up my confidence again. I wanted to learn what I could do.”
Our Multi Activity Courses in Exmoor and the Lake District are packed full of adaptive activities, from zip-lining and abseiling to sailing and archery. All happening within a supportive and encouraging environment.
On this course, Reece was able to do things he didn’t expect would be possible after spinal cord injury.
“We did a lot of different things. I rode a horse for the first time on this course, which was a very interesting experience – I never thought I would do that, even before my injury! I was able to conquer my fears by trying abseiling too. I’m a bit scared of heights, but as I was coming down my fears went away.”
“We also did an adaptive bike ride. It was great to be able to ride a bike again. That was something I wanted to do for a long time after my injury.”
The course Reece went on was one of our first courses since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020. He says that, after a difficult year, the course was extremely valuable.
“Being able to meet others in a similar situation was good. Since March 2020 I had been working from home, so it was great to get out there again and meet new people!”