Siby’s story: Staying active with a spinal cord injury through the years

Meet Siby:    

  • First used our services back in 1994 
  • Has taken part in fundraising challenges to support Back Up 
  • Loves travelling and keeping active 

No matter when or how you sustain a spinal cord injury, the impact of it is life-changing. In Siby’s case, she sustained her injury in a road traffic accident back in 1994. At the time she was living an active lifestyle and was a mother of two young children, which made her worry about what her future would look like.

“I’ve always been sporty. As a kid I skied, and as an adult I loved cycling with my own children. I’d have one on the front and one on the back as I cycled with them to the child minder!”

“The very first thing I wanted to do after my injury was to get back to being a mum. I felt like my life had changed completely. I went from being a very active person to learning how to live as a wheelchair user.

In the aftermath of her injury Siby was struggling to see a bright future for herself. This was until she got involved with Back Up. Siby took advantage of our confidence-boosting courses, and discovered first-hand that she could still live life to the full.    

“Getting involved with Back Up showed me that there was a life to be had as a wheelchair user. The Back Up course was just the beginning, it proved I could still do things that involved speed and excitement!”

The service which truly showed Siby of all the possibilities she could have after spinal cord injury was our sit skiing course. Here, Siby was able to experience the fun and freedom of the slopes, surrounded by people with lived experience of spinal cord injury.  

“The ski course was amazing. For me, Back Up was the thing that opened my eyes to what was possible after spinal cord injury. 

“After the course I was inspired to keep skiing! I skied with my children every year until 2008, going to places like Colorado and Canada.” 

After having a positive experience with our courses, Siby has been inspired to support our vital services over the years. In 2017 she joined our No Limits cycling challenge and rode from London to Paris. More recently, she has supported us in our 2023 Spinal Circuit challenge. Here, she set herself a distance goal and challenged herself to push that distance in the month of March. 

“The Spinal Circuit was great for keeping myself active and motivated. It was great to support Back Up and raise funds while exercising.”

Having lived with her injury since 1994, Siby knows how important it is to stay active and surrounded by a supportive community.  

“I’d recommend any newly injured person, no matter their age, to try a Back Up course. They are inspirational – they’ll show you what you can do after spinal cord injury, rather than focusing on what you can’t do.

“Later this year I’m planning on travelling to Costa Rica with a friend. It should be very exciting!”

We’re glad that we have been able to support Siby through the years. Visit our website to learn how we can help you thrive at any age after spinal cord injury.