Ryan learned a hard life lesson at the young age of 16. After jumping from a tree into a canal in South Florida and becoming quadriplegic, he was challenged in ways he never before experienced. But through his trials, he discovered a newfound motivation to live life to the fullest.
Now, he uses this motivation to help others through the hardships of living with a disability.
“I learned that life isn’t over when you live with a disability,” says Ryan. “I love being a cheerleader for anyone that is struggling.”
Ryan graduated from Florida Atlantic University with his master’s in business administration in 2008.
“I encourage anyone with a disability to further their education, pursue work, find a hobby, participate in support groups, and most importantly, live life to the fullest,” he shared.
One tool that is critical to ensuring his independence is his ABLE United account. Ryan learned about the program at a disability expo at Nova Southeastern University – and today uses his ABLE account to maintain his independence and pay for his housing and accessible improvements.
As president of the Broward Chapter of the Spinal Cord Injury Support Group of South Florida, Ryan continues to inspire others and share his words of wisdom. Since 2009, Ryan has managed the support group which now meets virtually to provide friendship, education, advocacy, and resources to their more than 300 members. To get involved, visit www.scisg.org.