The first ever patient centred conference for people living with spinal cord injuries in Ireland will take place on Saturday 21st April at the RDS, Dublin.
The event is called the My Life Wellbeing Conference and it is organised by Spinal Injuries Ireland with support from Coloplast.
There will be a schedule of exciting events happening throughout the day including talks from a lineup of international speakers (who each have spinal cord injuries themselves), information stands from a range of accessibility companies, a panel discussion, music, and lunch/refreshments will be served on the day too.
Among the international speakers lined up for the conference are:
Annemarie de Vries-Postma, a well-known model/author/chef from Germany, who was paralysed from the waist down when she was just 11 years old following an untreated tick bite. She has gone on to study law and she was the world’s first professional model with a visible disability when she was in her 20s. She also appeared in Playboy in 1995 and is now a best-selling author with a focus on staying healthy using the power of food.
Niek Van den Adel from Holland who was paralysed from the chest down in 2010 following a motorcycle crash when he was 28 years old. Five years later he has written a best-selling novel about his life called ‘Crash’, he is married to his occupational therapist with whom he has three daughters, and he has a house being built. He is also a motivational speaker and delivers speeches to thousands of people as a motivational life coach, he teaches senior-level executives about inclusivity, and he writes a very popular blog.
Suzanne Edwards from the UK was paralysed from the waist down in 2011 when a balcony she was standing on collapsed while she was on holiday. After a period of rehabilitation, Suzanne discovered wheelchair tennis as a hobby and she now competes in international tournaments and is on the Great Britain Development Squad. In 2015 Suzanne joined Accomable, the accessible travel section at Airbnb, which helps disabled people find accessible holiday accommodation. Suzanne now advises on accessibility at Airbnb. She is extremely passionate about making travel inclusive for everyone and ensuring the Airbnb platform is as accessible as possible.
Kevan Baker from the UK was paralysed at the age of 19 when he was involved in a serious road crash. Following a successful Paralympic career competing in wheelchair discus, Kevan was honoured with an OBE by HRH Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 for his voluntary service to disability sport. Throughout his international sporting career he was a full time UK Manager with Aviva plc (for 30 years). Kevan has a BSc in Computer Science and has been a member of many national and international sporting committees. Kevan remains passionate about giving disabled people the opportunity to play sport.
In addition, on the day of the My Life Wellbeing Conference, there will be information stands from companies including: Care to Comfort, Lyncare, DM Mobility, Gary-B Wheelchair Accessories, ISB Mobility, What’s Your Excuse Fitness, Accuscience/Exo Bionic Suit and MMS Medical.
Music on the day will be provided by the Rathfarnham Ukulele Group (RUGS) along with lunch & networking opportunities at 1.30pm.
Tickets are still on sale and cost just €10 per person. The price of the ticket includes lunch & refreshments on the day. Make sure to register now here
Schedule for the My Life Wellbeing conference:
11.00 – Registration & tea and coffees – exhibition area & networking
11.30 – Welcome address by MC Olan McGowan
11.45 – Painfully Happy – Niek Van Den Abel, Author of Crash
12.45 – Video Fitness interlude by Rob O’Byrne
13.00 – Pushing Boundaries– Suzanne Edwards – Air BnB
13.30 – Lunch & networking & entertainment by RUGS (Rathfarnham Ukulele Group)
14.30 – Personal Care – Kevan Baker OBE
15.15 – Eating for Sitting – The Sitting Chef – Anne Marie de Vries Postma
16.15 – Q&A session with all speakers
16.30 – Close