You can accomplish a lot while sitting down – just ask Dane Cross.
Since sustaining a spinal cord injury in 2001 that left him with complete quadriplegia, the Brisbane Spinal Life member has gone on meet and marry the love of his life, Stacey, became a father to two beautiful boys, bought a home, started his own accessibility consultancy business and travelled around the world.
Much to Dane’s amazement, the keen angler has even been able to sneak in a few fishing trips now and then.
“I’ve been flat out living a regular life – working full-time, paying off a mortgage and being a father,” he said.
“After I sustained my injury I didn’t want my disability to get in the way of my capacity to live a fulfilling life.
“I work, I spend time with my family and love the outdoors – I’m just like anyone else really.”
While Dane keeps a positive outlook, he admits there have been some challenging times, particularly right after his accident.
“I was a very active guy who played a lot of sport and spent a lot of time outdoors, so you can imagine how life-changing it was to lose the use of your legs,” he said.
“I don’t think it was even a choice to stay positive, I just knew I had to get used to the changes and transition back into a normal life.”
One thing that did change post-injury was Dane’s interest in advocacy and accessibility for people with physical disability, a focus of his business, Inclusive Access Solutions.
“I live with a disability every day, so I know how important it is to ensure equity and dignified access for people in all aspects of life, regardless of level of ability or disability,” he said.
Dane receives additional personal support and advice from Spinal Life Australia and is currently working with them to raise funds to support and advocate for other people with spinal cord damage.
For more information, visit www.spinal.com.au/donate.