Coast Mental Health has announced that Jim Ryan will be honoured with a 2018 Courage To Come Back Award in the Physical Rehabilitation category.
A successful West Jet captain, Jim Ryan’s life changed forever in 2016 when an accident on an Hawaiian beach rendered him a quadriplegic. At first unable to speak or breathe independently, Ryan faced a long road to rebuilding his life. As he progressed, he became determined to find ways to use technology to help him and other disabled people gain independence.
Ryan first realized things could be different when Rick Hansen encouraged him to become an ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation. Soon after, a talk he gave to his local Rotary Club led directly to The City of Chilliwack making his local park more accessible. That’s when Ryan understood he could become a change maker in his community.
He has become a powerful advocate and advisor, speaking to university groups; students; firefighters; and organizations like West Jet about how to improve services for quadriplegics and paraplegics. At the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre he discusses the types of technology available to quadriplegics, and at the Neil Squire Society he teaches other disabled people how to use software and computers. Active on social media, Ryan talks passionately about the possibilities life holds.
Says Ryan: “The most important blessing is that I can demonstrate to people that when adversity hits, one must carry on with life.”
For 20 years, Coast’s Courage To Come Back Awards have celebrated British Columbians who have overcome remarkable adversity, and who give back to others. This year, the awards recognize achievement in the following categories: Youth, Addiction, Medical, Physical Rehabilitation and Mental Health.
“Jim’s courageous and compassionate work for his community while continuing to undergo his own difficult recovery is inspiring. I’m looking forward to congratulating him and our other award recipients at the Gala in May.” says Lorne Segal, Chair, Courage To Come Back Awards.
The 20th Annual Courage To Come Back Awards presented by Wheaton Precious Metals will take place on Thursday, May 10th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Proceeds from the event will support Coast Mental Health, a non-profit that has been helping British Columbians find the courage to come back from mental illness for over 45 years. For more about the Courage To Come Back Awards, visit couragetocomeback.ca.