In 2008, Dries Millard was on top of the world: A strapping young man on the cusp of a potentially illustrious rugby career.
But Millard’s dream was shattered when he was left paralysed by a car accident just weeks before he received his Junior Springbok call-up. “The best advice I ever got is that the only thing you have control over is your attitude towards the things that happen to you in life.”
Where most people would have crumbled at the prospect of living as a T8 paraplegic, Millard decided to relearn how to surf. And the 27-year-old’s ambitions did not stop there. He represented South Africa at the International Surfing Association’s 2015 World Adaptive Surf Championships, winning the national colours he so rightfully deserved.
But Millard says the true meaning of life lies in how you give back.
This is why he started Extreme Abilities – a non-profit that teaches the disabled how to surf. Bedridden since December 2016 with a pressure ulcer, Millard remains as positive as ever, if not slightly irritated. But thanks to technology, he runs Extreme Abilities from his bedside in Cape Town while he waits to be mobile again.
No doubt we can expect much bigger things from Millard, on and off his surfboard.
|You need to trust and rely on other people if you want to get anywhere in life.|