When I was 16 I had been competing in gymnastics for six years. My last two years I had competed nationally, my last year ranked in the top 50 All-Around in the nation in my age group and class and on the horizontal bar in the top 15. I was almost guaranteed a gymnastics scholarship to college and felt I had complete control over my life. I felt that I could do just about anything with my body and my future that I wanted.
One month after nationals in 1990 I was involved in gymnastics accident when I lost control of my body during practice. That injury left me almost completely paralyzed from the shoulders down, a C-5.quadriplegic. In one instant, I went from being an athlete feeling completely in control to being paralyzed, unable to move and completely helpless. I was completely dependent on others for everything. No matter what my future held in store, I could not live independently ever again and I would certainly never to gymnastics again.
I spent three weeks in the hospital followed by three months of therapy and rehabilitation. When I got out of the rehab center, I resumed my junior year of high school already half over. With the help of friends and the school I was able to catch up and was ready to graduate with my class a year and a half later.
I attended Franklin and Marshall College the following fall and four years later graduated with a major in math and a minor in philosophy. Through a mutual friend during the second semester of my freshman year, I entered into a relationship with a young lady I would eventually marry. She started working for me as a personal care attendant while I was attending college. Before long the relationship took a new turn and we started dating. We were married a year after I graduated from college. During my senior year of college I developed an interest in computer science. One month after graduating, I began an internship at Lancaster Laboratories. Three months later I was hired full-time and have been there ever since.