Joel Sardi lives in Melbourne with his wife and young daughter. Before his injury, Joel was in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Today, he works with the ADF to support people leaving the army to find civilian work. He also speaks at events around Australia about his story and how he perseveres and overcomes obstacles he never thought he’d have to face. On top of it all, dedicated and ambitious, Joel’s passion for awareness and accessibility has led him to begin a Psychology Science degree this year.
“When I was first injured, I spent years trying to adapt to life in a chair and learning how to live again. It was extremely difficult and very eye-opening. Losing my independence was life-shattering as I had taken it for granted my entire life. Since the accident, I have struggled with incontinence, my body lost its ability to regulate temperature, and I even lost the ability to cough! These challenges are a part of my every day now. They are my ‘normal.’ I’m really looking forward to working alongside Forward as an ambassador so that I can educate many more people about spinal cord injury and what’s possible on the other side. Just recently, my wife and I had a daughter. Despite my daily challenges, there’s so much to live for and look forward to.”Joel Sardi
Lynda Holt is a business owner, former Paralympian (who is currently making a comeback in shot put and discus), a disability advocate and a massive goal setter!
“Just over a year ago, I decided to come out of my sporting retirement and get back on the athletics circuit with the dream to represent Australia again at either another Paralympics, World Championships, or Commonwealth Games.
It will take a lot of training and commitment, but I love my sports and enjoy every step I need to take to get to where I need to be. Additional to my sporting goals, I run my own NDIS business, Choice Consultancy, supporting other people living with a disability in the community, which I love to do.
Working with Forward will allow me to help people living with SCI, like myself, know that they can set their own goals and make changes to their own lives. Just because we live with a disability does not mean we cannot contribute to society or create our best life!”Lynda Holt
“I want to show everyone that living with a disability doesn’t disable you. For me, my life is so full, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”Sam Tait
From a family of skiers with a love of the snow, there were few surprises that Sam was most keen on hitting the slopes after his injury. Before long, Sam’s goal was to compete in the 2018 Winter Paralympics and he spent the following years training day and night to get there, which he did!
Sam’s incredible drive has him set on a new goal: to be on the podium at the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing.
Luke, who has caudal regression syndrome and spina bifida, found his passion for wheelchair racing after being introduced to racing legend Kurt Fearnley. From the moment he sat in Kurt’s racing chair, Luke hasn’t stopped racing.
Wheelchair racing has taken Luke to competitions worldwide, and he is now proudly ranked no. 1 in Australia and no. 2 in the world.
“I’m excited to educate people on SCI and share my story of racing. I’d like to inspire others and show people that you can do anything you want, regardless of if you use a wheelchair or not.”
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