Spinal Injury Can't Stop Quadriplegic Surfer

World Run Ambassador Barney Miller won't let a spinal cord injury destroy his passion for surfing.
© Red Bull Content Pool
By Scott Hart

There are three million people currently living with a spinal cord injury, and each year 250,000 more are traumatically injured -- the main cause being traffic accidents.

Barney Miller was an up-and-coming Aussie surfer until his path to the professionals came to a standstill when he was paralyzed in a high-speed car accident in 1999. The accident broke his spinal cord at the C5-6 disc with damage to the C3.

He was told he’d be on a ventilator for the rest of his life, never move his right arm and never walk again. Unwilling to settle with the prognosis, Miller set out to do something about his condition and prove the doctors wrong.

In 2009, Miller found a rehabilitation program called Project Walk, based in Carlsbad, CA. The kinesiology program based on repetitive exercise was what he needed to start seeing a marked progress in his recovery. Dedicated to training, he now spends half of the year in Australia and half in Carlsbad.

After meeting the love of his life Kate Southwel in 2007, Miller told her that he wouldn’t propose until he could get down on one knee. With romantic tradition as a motivator, Miller's training and perseverance paid off, and the couple celebrated a beautiful, traditional on bended-knee proposal in September, 2012.

The next milestone goal Miller has set to accomplish is to have a standing first dance with his beautiful bride at their wedding on April 18, 2015.

As an ambassador for the Wings For Life World Run, Barney Miller will participate in the World Run 2014 -- a first of its kind running race organized to raise awareness and funds for spinal cord injury research.

The event will take place on May 4 in 35 different locations around the world, simultaneously, with one-hundred-percent of registration fees to benefit the Wings for Life foundation to fund research.

For more information or to register, visit the official Wings For Life World Run 2014 site.

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