Rob became an incomplete T1-T5 paraplegic after the surgical removal of a spinal cord tumour in 2008. Through sheer determination (and lots and lots of physiotherapy), he was able to get back on his feet and, with the aid of electronic orthotics and a pair of crutches, he is now able to stand and walk again. He has a passion for swimming and aims to get in the water every week, in between driving his kids to and from school and enjoying lots of other typical fatherly duties. Rob leads the Peer Support team and sees his role as a way to give back after his rehabilitation; to thank those who helped him during his recovery. He loves to travel and has managed to spend the last few years traveling around the USA, most recently visiting Hawaii.
In 2000, Jess sustained an incomplete C6-T3 walking quad injury after a motor vehicle accident with her sister. Since her injury, Jess has become a silver medallist whilst competing for the Australia Junior World Championships for wheelchair basketball. She’s also enjoyed playing at senior level. Jess loves to travel, and recently spent a month in Los Angeles, enjoying a Disneyland and California adventure which included a visit to Universal Studios. On weekends, Jess loves having brunch in one of the many hipster coffee shops in her neighbourhood and playing basketball with an LGBT-friendly stand up crew!
Dan sustained his injury in 2008 after a fall left him a C5/6 quadriplegic. He’s been a key part of the SCIA Peer Support team since 2013, offering his honest and sincere wealth of knowledge to a great many patients, helping them find a new way forward. Dan is a keen member of the NSW GIO Gladiators Wheelchair rugby team, and has a strong passion for all sports, live music and traveling the world. Every week you can catch Dan and his trusty sidekick and assistance dog, Charlie, as they do the rounds of many of Sydney’s spinal wards.
Branka sustained a T10 incomplete SCI as a pillion passenger on a motorbike more than 25 years ago. Not letting it stop her one bit, immediately after her injury Branka graduated from a Bachelor of Commerce and later completed a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. Before commencing work with SCIA, she gained valuable experience working in SCI prevention, as well as dealing with “at risk” youth through her work in health services. Branka has a real passion for sport and was delighted to be a part of the Australian side during the World Team Cup Champions in 1999. She also won a silver medal in the women’s double tennis at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. Her greatest joy has been becoming a mother to young Xavier, now aged five and a half.
In April 2015, Lee sustained a T2 complete SCI after a motorcycle accident. But it hasn’t deterred his zest for life in any way! Lee believes in giving everything a go, from enjoying the outdoors to continuing his love of motorsports. When he’s not busy working in the spinal units in Sydney’s hospitals, Lee enjoys spending his weekends with his family.
Emily sustained a C4/5 complete SCI whilst snowboarding in Vermont, USA, in 2012. Despite her accident, Emily returned to university and is soon to complete a Master of Social Work. She loves travelling and enjoys kayaking with her fiancé and catching up with friends over margaritas on the weekend.