Sometimes you meet someone who is an inspiration.
When you meet John Cairns today, the first thing you notice is that he radiates positive energy, smiles with his whole face and is genuinely happy to spend time with you. Even if you just met, he’ll waste no time jumping into conversation.
So why is John is a true inspiration? Maybe it’s because he climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, or hiked to Base Camp at Mount Everest, or ran the Terry Fox Marathon, or that he’s an entrepreneur and motivational speaker. Oh, he also founded a charitable foundation.
Impressive right? Well, there’s more to the story. A quarter of a century ago, John took the last step he would ever take with his right foot. In 1993, John lost both his right arm and his right leg in a workplace accident when he stopped a runaway rail car headed for a crew working on the tracks.
“Every other step is still a leap of faith”
John went through weeks in intensive care, months of rehabilitation, and suffered with bouts of depression as he faced his new reality. One day, John realized “this is not the end, it is a new beginning.” With that, he was able to confront his situation and through effort, determination, and positivity, he’s been able to accomplish feats that many people can only dream of.
In 2016, John climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, one of the Seven Summits of the World. He followed up with another climb in May of 2018 when John summited Everest Base Camp. All along the way, he thanked his supporters for their encouragement to allow him to share his life’s purpose of demonstrating: living life to the fullest potential, despite any circumstances.
In the time since the accident, he’s taught himself to scuba dive, play squash, and even snowboard.
There are no small steps.
John’s accomplishments aren’t just physical. He is also the President and Founder of the Wheelchair of Hope Foundation, a not-for-profit committed to changing the lives of people by giving them access to mobility devices. As a motivational speaker, business-owner, leader, and friend, he’s left an indelible mark on the community at large.
John continued to take on new challenges as we embarked on a trip to the Lyell Ice Field high in the Rockies of British Columbia to test the limits of our Vibram Arctic Grip collection.
Learn more about the great work done by Wheelchair of Hope here.