Before Mark's accident he enjoyed the outdoors. This picture shows Mark taking in the scenery just months before his accident.
Now Mark likes to share with others what he has learned about continuing life after a spinal cord injury, the value of making good friends, making good choices and diving awareness.
On September 11th, 2004, Mark Cameron, a 34 year old avid outdoorsman made a decision that changed his life forever. While vacationing with his buddies, Mark, not knowing the depth of the water dove off a dock intending to swim to a boat. In an instant Mark broke his neck changing his life. At that moment Mark became a quadriplegic. He was transported by life-flight to the hospital where doctors confirmed he sustained an injury to his C-4/C-5 vertebrae and stretched, pinched and bruised his spinal cord. After two surgeries, doctors predicted Mark would never breathe without a ventilator or regain movement and feeling below his shoulders. Mark has proven those doctors wrong on several occasions. Within 3 months of his accident he was able to wean himself off the ventilator and continues having muscles come back to life. Although dependent on others for his daily care, Mark retains much of his independence. A caregiver comes in each morning to get him into his wheelchair but is gone by 11:00 a.m. allowing Mark the rest of his day to work. His evening care is made possible through a group of family and friends dubbed the "Quad Squad." Mark attributes his overall health and progress along with his pursuit of recovery to the fund raisers that afford him additional care and equipment not covered by insurance. In addition to working part-time, Mark gives back to the community in many ways. In 2006, Mark accepted a position with the City of Olathe as a member of the Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board. In this role, Mark was responsible for bringing Push America to Olathe and continues to schedule activities for them during their stop each year. This national organization is a group of young cyclists whose goal is to bring awareness to the needs of the disabled community. In addition, he also assists in facilitating events surrounding "Disability Awareness Week." He attributes his attitude and spirit to his tremendous support network and admits regularly with a smile that he is the "luckiest man alive."
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