Less than two years after a spinal cord injury, Dallas Disbro shares his passion for community involvement – and some secrets for success!
Dallas Disbro is an active board member for the SCI Network of Metropolitan Washington, the local chapter of the United Spinal Association, and a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. We bring you his story below, exclusively for the CURE NATION!
Dallas Disbro Survives a Diving Accident at 26
In May of 2016, Dallas Disbro was in Ocean City, Maryland, to enjoy Memorial Day weekend with a group of friends. At one point, he had separated from the group and found himself chatting with a couple of nice ladies that he’d never met. After a while, he said goodbye and prepared to swim back to where his friends were.
Dallas doesn’t remember anything after that. His head made contact with the ground as he dove into the ocean and he suffered a cervical spinal cord injury. Dallas says he’s incredibly lucky that the following events played out the way they did, or he wouldn’t be here to share his story today.
“Perfect strangers saved me. One of the girls I’d been talking to ran to a house to get a gentleman that came to the rescue and was able to carry me out of the water.”
And, the help continued to come. Dallas goes on to explain, “A nearby boat had seen the whole thing, too. They also came to help and, by an amazing coincidence, there was a nurse on that boat that I actually knew! She didn’t recognize me at first, because I was so blue, but then she finally did. Since she knew who I was, she was able to tell my friends and family what happened to me – or they wouldn’t have even known.”
Dallas was airlifted to the hospital and soon learned that he had suffered a C-5 spinal cord injury. He went to Shepherd Center in Atlanta for rehab and, with a lot of hard work, made significant progress in his recovery.
Dallas feels fortunate to have had quite a bit of movement and ability return. An incomplete quadriplegic, he has good function on his right side, but little on the left.
“I’m not able to type with my right hand, but thankfully, I’m able to write. I’m even able to stand up and walk with assistance,” he shared. Dallas still participates in ongoing rehab at MedStar NRH in D.C.
Dallas Finds a Way to Give Back to Others with Disabilities
After rehab, Dallas transitioned immediately into living independently in the city where he’d resided before the accident. He found a great apartment in downtown Washington D.C. and returned to his position as a financial advisor for Meryl Lynch, working out of a local bank. Again, Dallas expressed appreciation that he had a career that he was physically able to return to and a company that welcomed him back after a 9-month leave.
Dallas had a strong support network throughout his recovery process and after getting back into the swing of things at home, he decided he wanted to start a non-profit to help others.
The first person he reached out to was Nick Libassi at United Spinal Association, who suggested he check out the local United Spinal chapter. Nick told Dallas that the local chapter would probably be open to creating a program or supporting his desire to help people with SCI however they could. After some research, Dallas realized he already knew the president of the Metro D.C. Chapter, Harsh Thakkar, from rehab – so he decided to reach out.
Dallas didn’t waste any time getting involved and contributing his skills. Right away, he joined the board and, with his financial background, he was appointed the head of their fundraising committee and given a team of 5 volunteers to work with. In the fall of 2017, he represented his organization at United Spinal’s Chapter Leader Meeting that took place in Las Vegas, and had a wonderful time connecting with other leaders and advocates across the U.S. More recently, Dallas was nominated for Treasurer of the SCI Network of Metro D.C. and accepted the position.
“The more I got involved, the more I wanted to shake things up! They’ve seen me do a lot in a year, and there’s much more to come.”
Lately, Dallas feels like he’s been working two full-time jobs, but he’s not complaining. When he’s not working at the bank, he has been pouring himself into an upcoming fundraiser for his chapter.
Join Dallas DISBRO at the Wheel2Win Event
The Wheel 2 Win event is in collaboration with Georgetown University and will take place Sunday, February 25th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For a donation, participants can sign up in teams for a 3v3 wheelchair basketball tournament. The event will also feature vendors and a bake sale – and attendance is free!
Wheelchairs will be provided for able-bodied participants who want to give the sport a try. For more information on the Wheel 2 Win wheelchair basketball tournament, email SCInetworkmetroDC@gmail.com.
Dallas says Georgetown University has been great to work with, providing the event space for free and organizing over 30 student volunteers. They’re still looking for additional organizational sponsors, though, to make the fundraiser a big success. The board’s fundraising goal is $10K, but Dallas’s personal goal is to surpass $15K – and he’s excited to make it happen for his chapter.
Dallas Shares His Thoughts on the Cure Commitment
When asked how he feels about the Cure Medical commitment to donate 10% of all net income in pursuit of a cure for paralysis and CNS/D, Dallas had several points to make.
“I think it is incredible! Cure Medical is not only providing a great product for the spinal cord injury community, but also they are committed to SCI research that could lead to a better quality of life for SCI patients. Unlike a lot of other medical companies that concentrate solely on profits, Cure is also working toward finding a cure,” Dallas explains.
If you’d like to be part of the pursuit of a cure too, we invite you to try a Cure Catheter!
To request free samples of the Cure Catheter® or any Cure Medical catheter, contact your local distributor of quality healthcare products, or click here.
A Good Attitude Goes a Long Way
Much of Dallas Disbro’s success and resilience can be attributed to his positive attitude and sense of gratitude. “I’m always happy,” he shared, “and I’ve always been like that.”
It’s evident when talking with Dallas and hearing his story that he has a talent for focusing on the good around him; the ways in which he has been fortunate. He seeks out adventure, loves to travel and lives life to the fullest. He believes he is lucky to have survived his accident and finds joy in helping others live a fulfilled life after their injuries. And, less than two years into his injury, Dallas Disbro is just getting started.
“One thing I’ve been able to do is use this platform to give back to people.”
The disability community should definitely keep an eye out for Dallas Disbro! For more information on leaders in the disability community, check out our collection of articles for the Cure Nation!
For the Cure Nation: First 90 Days with Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury is an equal opportunity villain. It doesn’t care what kind of car you wrecked, or whether you jumped or got pushed. SCI could care less if you’re young or old, hip or square, mean or nice.
A new book called “SCI: The First 90 Days“ is now available to the Cure Nation, thanks to the generosity of author Sam Maddox.
We understand this free resource won’t make the anxiety of adjusting to life with SCI disappear, but it can help you process it. That’s why we’re helping Sam share this guide with you and your loved ones.
SCI: The First 90 Days offers resources and connections to sort through the madness so you can make informed choices for the long-run.
Download your free copy here:
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